Tuesday, 09 May 2017 10:56

The Truth about Lip Balm

Winter is upon us and, unfortunately, ‘tis the season of chapped lips!

Our recent blog posts on winter skincare advise that you up your game when it comes to skin hydration in the colder months and, of course, the same applies to your lips.

But wait! Before you slather on layers of any old lip balm, it’s time to face the facts.

We won’t deny it, the feeling of applying a good lip balm to chapped and dehydrated lips can be absolutely heavenly. If you shake out the handbags of women across Australia during winter, you’re almost certain to see a tube of some sort of lip balm fall out. It’s certainly thought of as a handbag essential, and we agree that it ought to be!

The problem, however, lies in the fact that most people have no idea what they’re really putting on their lips and are oblivious to the potential for certain products to cause chronic reapplication regardless of environmental factors.

Have you ever noticed that the more lip balm you use, the more you feel you need to keep applying it? With so many products on the market that advertise natural ingredients or come in clever packaging that gives off the feeling of being free of any nasties, it can take a while to realise you’ve been using something that is doing more harm than good.

Many balms on the market, particularly paw paw varieties, are seen as being safe to use repeatedly despite being filled with ingredients that often irritate the fragile skin on and around the lips, causing a loss of hydration when you’re expecting them to have the opposite effect!

The main culprit in regards to irritable ingredients is petrolatum. As we discussed in a recent blog post, balms containing petrolatum fall into the category of occlusive products, meaning they form a barrier on the skin which locks in pre-existing moisture rather than actually adding moisture. There is a temporary effect of relief which can cause the tendency for overuse, but more damaging still is the fact that petrolatum-rich products can cause the skin to become lazy and not work to maintain its own hydration levels. So begins the vicious cycle of lip balm addiction.

The solution? Know what you’re applying to your lips and make a wise, informed choice about the products you use.

Of course, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Even when you’re using gentle, effective and natural products, it’s wise to not depend on anything too much. Applying a layer a few times a day or before exposure to the wind and cold is probably enough. If you find you’re applying more throughout the day than you think is wise, then a great idea is to perform the following pre-sleep ritual: gently buff away dead skin by brushing your lips in circular motions with your tooth brush, apply a thicker than usual layer of our petrolatum-free Essential Paw Paw Lip Balm and voila! You’ll wake up with an already hydrated pout.

Keep in mind the importance of all-natural ingredients and you’ll be boasting beautiful lips all year round!

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