It’s that time of year. We’re outside in the cold dry air. We’re inside in the warm dry air. We forget our lipbalm, we lick our lips. Oh no!!! Now what to do?
I’m around natural organic nourishing vegetable oils and butters all day long, but which is the best for curing cracked dry lips? And how long does it take for lips to heal? That’s my mission in the next few months. I don’t want to use a medicated balm. My regular lip balm is fantastic for keeping your lips moist and protecting them from the elements. However I want to make one that heals quicker for this time of year.
In my research I came across the usual oils that we’ve all heard of and know about, in fact I’m already using them. Those are; coconut oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, castor, cocoa butter, calendula and jojoba oil. The following oils that have become popular over the last few years that I want to look into are; argan, borage, meadowfoam, pomegranate, seabuckthorn and capuacu.
Whew! Quite the list. Now which oil or combination of oils would be the best for lip repair? For sure castor oil, calendula and jojoba oil will be on the list. I already have seen first hand the star quality of these oils. Castor oil is so thick and moisturizing and jojoba oil has the cell structure that is most similar to our own skin that its a natural in any skin care product. I love calendula too - it’s great for healing cuts and abrasions. I’ve ordered Argan, Borage and Meadowfoam to test out myself but that will take a few weeks of using them to get a start on my new recipe. In the meantime, below is the details I found;
Argan Oil comes from the fruit of the Argan Tree Argania spinosa L. It became popular with the Morroccan Hair products. It’s popularity has been very good for sustaining Argan Trees as well as economic development. Another positive - much of the argan oil produced comes from a variety of womens coops. I love that and will for sure purchase fair traded argan oil. The production of argan oil is much the same as shea butter. The fruits are dried, the pulp and kernels are removed, the kernels are roasted and then pressed to make the oil. (You don’t want to know how they did it in the old days - um well ok - they took the undigested pits from goat poop, yup and yuck) The resulting oil contains Vitamin E, phenols, carotenes, squalene and fatty acids. For cosmetic use the argan oil is great for moisturizing dry flaky skin, healing burns and brightening hair. Sounds perfect. For sure trying this in my hair conditioner and my development of lip repair serum!
Borage Oil Borago officinalis is a herb commonly known as the Starflower it is an annual that self seeds and grows easily in the UK and parts of Europe. It seems Borage Oil has primarily been used as a naturapathic oil for PMS and gastrointestinal issues. However, Borage Oil contains high levels of the essential fatty acid gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) apparently the richest known source of GLA. This essential fatty acid is great used internally but its also fantastic for dry skin. Definitely happy I purchased some to give it a try.
Meadowfoam Oil comes from the seed of the Limnanthes alba - its great for hair and skin care because it has a long chain of fatty acids that make it stable and stays on your skin so it acts as a barrier as well as getting the most benefits for a longer period of time. This seems like a must in a lip repair serum, I can’t wait to try it!!
Pomegranate Seed Oil - wow it takes over 200 pomegranates to make 1 pound of oil!!! Its another seed oil that is also good taken internally. Its been used to help with menopause type symptoms, help fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The same fatty acid that is good for you internally is also good for your skin. It contains a high percentage of punicic acid. This oil has been known to revitalize dull skin, improve skins elasticity and help heal cuts and burns on the skin. Sounds like it would be a good oil to have in combo with some of the others.
Seabuckthorn Oil - comes from the shrub Hippophae rhamnoides. The oil can be made from the fruit and from the seed. The resulting oil is very different from each other. The oils are high in vitamin E, A, F, K, D, tocopherols and carotenoids. It is mainly used internally for acid reflux and ulcers. The oil can stain your skin. It may have some good skin properties but I think I can get these benefits from other oil sources.
Capuacu Butter - comes from the tree Theobroma grandiflorum that lives in the rainforest. The butter that comes from the nuts smell like a combination of cocoa and pineapple. It is used in food products as well as skin products similar in nature to cocoa butter. There is not a lot of info available on this product but it is said that is has high phytosterol levels which helps to keep moisture in once applied. Sounds similar to cocoa butter and since I already have some of that I’ll stick to that for now.
I’m sure there are many more oils and butters to be reviewed that would be suitable for lip repairs. I think I’ve found some good ones and I’m really looking forward to experimenting with them. It will take a few months to see which is the best and then to come up with a recipe I’m happy with. I will be adding healing essential oils to further enhance the lip repair balm. Sadly it likely won’t be ready until next winter. In the meantime our original lip balm is super for moisturizing and protecting you from the harsh dry winter. Till next time, Karen