It’s getting a little chilly here in Brooklyn, and with the change in weather comes chapped lips–for myself and my kids (my husband is strangely immune).
Blistex lip products definitely soothe super chapped, sore lips. Perhaps this explains why Blistex sells more than $100 million worth of their “medicated” lip balm every year! But is Blistex non-toxic?
While Blistex offers short-term relief from the pain of chapped lips, it contains ingredients that may carry other health risks.
Is Blistex Non-Toxic?
A tube of Blistex contains some 25 ingredients, including a variety of preservatives and dyes. Among the most concerning ingredients are the following, which you will find in various Blistex products:
- Phenol. One of Blistex’s several active ingredients, phenol is considered toxic to the central nervous system and to the heart.
- Saccharin. I won’t eat food with this artificial sweetener in it, and anything you smear on your mouth has sort of got to be considered food, right?
- Parabens. Unsurprisingly, thesenotorious, carcinogenic preservatives make an appearance in some Blistex formulas.
- Fragrance. We know that when we see “fragrance” on a label, that usually means the presence of phthalates.
- Oxybenzone. That really bad sunscreen ingredient that’s linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, as well as endocrine disruption.
- Mineral oil. A petroleum product.
- Parraffin. Another petroleum product.
- Petrolatum. Yet another petroleum product.
(See our glossary for more on many of these ingredients, including links to studies that back up all these scary claims.)
This chemical cocktail is especially concerning in a product that you smear all over your mouth. (I’ve likely eaten several ounces of Blistex in my life, since in high school it was all I used.)
The good news is that there are many natural lip balms that really do work. I’ve heard from a lot of you about how thrilled (and yes, surprised!) you are that these natural products are actually effective.
Best Natural Lip Balms
Here are some of my favorite natural lip balms:
- Green Goo makes healing balms in either Cool Mint or Citrus Zest, which come in a standard chapstick-style dispenser.
- Tandi’s Naturals Lip Balms are rich in avocado oil and beeswax, and are available in either Mint & Grapefruit or Herb Garden and come in a cool little tin (extra points for no plastic!).
- Another incredible plastic-free option is Organic Essence lip balms, which comes in a really cool paper tube. Choose from Grapefruit or Almond.
- Badger makes some nice extra-large cocoa butter lip balms, which are great for little hands and make a perfect stocking stuffer.
- If you like a lip balm with a hint of color, my favorite are these from Babo, with SPF 15. Badger also makes a nice shimmery mineral lip tint.
- If you like a little luxury in your lip balm, I recommend Beautycounter’s lip conditioner, which also works really well over any of their lip sheers (I wear Twig or Terra).
Thankfully, lip balm is one category of products where choosing the Good Stuff doesn’t mean a sacrifice in performance (as opposed to, say, deodorant!). When my lips are chapped and painful, these natural balms really do bring complete relief.
P.S. Please share your favorite lip balm brands below, or ask away if you have any you’d like us to investigate.