Lip balms may seem like an unimportant subject. Surprisingly, it is one of the most searched topics on Google and other search engines. Go figure. I did start thinking, though, that I personally have tried many and stayed true to only one or two natural lip balms. There`s a certain science behind the world of truly good all natural lip balms.
All Natural Lip Balms versus Synthetic Lip Balms
Lips don`t have any oil glands, so they can`t moisturize themselves. That is why we feel like we need lip balm. Lip balms are rather easy to make. They are usually not too pricy and used by almost everyone, statistics from 2021 claim that 65,9% of people use lip balm daily. That is huge. Just imagine how much lip balm we actually eat in a lifetime. Which brings us to to the issue of raw ingredients that need to be safe, efficient and suitable for the super thin skin of the lips.
There is a school of doctors, dermatologists, estheticians and other specialists who claim that petroleum based products are better than natural oils and waxes. Pure highly refined petroleum jelly is non toxic and shouldn`t cause a lot of harm – true. However, petroleum jelly is so processed that you can never be sure that it doesn`t contain harmful toxins, such as 1,4-dioxane, which is „known to potentially contribute to some cancers. It’s also a kidney toxin, neurotoxin, and a respiratory toxin, not to mention a leading groundwater contaminant.“ (Goop: read full article here) Moreover, you don`t get any skin nutritional benefits from petrochemicals – they just give the feeling of hydrated skin.
As we have wonderful ingredients provided by nature that are sensibly priced, sustainably harvested and ethically processed then the decision should be quite easy to make. All natural lip balms contain one or more natural waxes and oils that soothe dry lips while more complex close to natural products are made of lab produced ingredients that provide a more sophisticated and stable final result. Depends on your budget, of course, but a simple daily lip balm can simply be simple J You might even realize that it causes less addiction and doesn`t have to be applied so frequently. The best butters for lip balms in my opinion, are mango and shea butter. Shea butter is slightly more oily and leaves a shiny glowing residue. Mango butter is the absolute queen of lip balm butters as it is:
- softly waxy
- easily spreadable
- contains loads of beneficial actives (fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants)
- has a natural SPF
Natural Lip Balm with SPF
SPF is another long topic that has changed during the last years as more and more highly harmful substances have been found and prohibited from the sunscreen industry. Many ingredients have been claimed by safety administrations as cancerogenic and/ or hormone disruptors. Some archipelagos and tropic countries have banned more ingredients to give a chance to the local oceans. Thailand, for example, banned coral damaging sunscreens in local marine parks. These are products containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor or butylparaben. If those ingredients in teeny tiny amounts can finish off corals then just imagine how they might influence humans, more importantly, children and babies.
So, we would rather recommend to use mineral sunscreen if you feel like using lip balms with some extra safety from UV rays. The safest option before 2021 was considered zinc oxide, but now it has been found that it becomes somehow toxic after 2 hours of UV exposure (Learn More). Many lip products contain titanium oxide as well, however, this topic is under discussion in Cosmetics Europe and is already considered unsafe in some forms.
Mango butter has a gentle natural SPF which makes it perfect for a 100% natural vegan lip balm.
How to Make Natural Lip Balm
The beauty of raw butters is that you can melt them and make your own personal blend with your favourite essential oils. Don`t throw away your old lip balm container. Clean it with boiling water and use it for your own special blend. Melt a bit of raw mango or shea butter (or both) on a hot water basin, pour the oil into a chosen container and just before solidification add a few drops of essential oil and mix. Then let the balm cool down and turn solid. For a more solid result, you can add a tiny bit of bees wax (not for vegan lip balms), which is super good for the skin. For a natural organic lip balm, just choose the same ingredients with an organic certification and voila.