As of December 2012, the FDA is now requiring new labeling to be included on lip balms. Due to this, there has been a slight increase in prices, as well as some new formulations. Lip balms can contain a variety of ingredients, some considered good, some considered not so good by some. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the more common:
UVA/UVB Testing Requirements
UVA & UVB are forms of ultraviolet radiation which cause sunburns, and both have been linked to causing skin cancer. Lip balms which protect against both types of radiation are now labeled as “Broad Spectrum” sunscreen.
Oxybenzone has been a common chemical sunscreen used in products since 1978. However, some toxicology experts believe it is absorbed through the skin and is linked to hormonal disruption which can possibly lead to skin cancer. Some manufacturers are starting to replace it with another chemical, Octisalate, which does not have the possible hazardous effects of Oxybenzone.
Beeswax, Petrolatum, & Parabens
Petroleum(petrolatum) helps moisturize, but does not treat dryness. It’s a temporary fix. Beeswax is a naturally healing antiseptic emollient which has a less sticky feel than petrolatum. Parabens are often used instead of beeswax and have been found in some studies to disrupt normal hormone function.
Menthol, Camphor, Phenol
Commonly found in balms, these can actually lead to dryness, irritation and/or peeling skin — not exactly what you want on your lips! Phenol is actually a substitute for formaldehyde, an embalming fluid. Again, not exactly something you want on your lips!
If concern about chemicals is an issue, opt to choose natural lip balms which do not contain sunscreen. These lip balms use all natural ingredients for moisturizing lips, including coconut, jojoba, hemp, olive and sunflower oils and/or shea butter. Although they don’t protect against sunburn, they do an excellent job of moisturizing and preventing chapped lips.
When it comes to lip balms, we have many options to help you choose the formulation and price that fits your marketing plan. Keep in mind that although natural or organic formulations may cost a little more, the benefits can outweigh the cost when compared to the less expensive options. A good quality lip balm is an excellent promotional item that will be used and remembered for a long time.