What a conundrum?? You’d think there would be a simple answer. But sadly noooo. There is so so much information available on this topic. So many opinions. So many cosmetic companies competing for your dollar. I even read one article titled “It costs 530 a pot - but the ingredient cost is just 25...” needs no explanation. Sort of like those products that claim they are going to cure cellulite!!!
Bell Soap has been making and selling lip balm for about 4 years. I know its good. But I want the best product possible. Nothing but the best!! So I’m on the hunt to improve my current lip balm and maybe add a product or two for the all important LIPS.
The main problem for dry and chapped lips is that we lick our lips among other things...drink hot liquids, exposure to sun and wind, kiss our partners, kiss our dogs, etc. this removes the natural sebum that protects your skin. So a lip balm should not only moisturize and heal but it should also act as a barrier to the elements. But what is that combination of oils?
It is agreed by most everyone by now that you must STAY AWAY from petroleum products, any fake colour or fragrance, alcohol derived substances, menthol and camphor. The menthol and camphor may feel soothing when it is first applied however these ingredients actually dry out your lips. Some oils such as lanolin are not good on open cuts as they may cause allergic reactions. Further, essential oils should be minimal even though they are derived directly from plants, they are highly concentrated and can be irritating to your skin. Another big NO in lips balms is most citrus essential oils as they can be photosensitive which means you are opening your lips up to sunburn. It’s too bad because they smell so good. Orange essential oil has a lower bergapteme so if used in small percentages it is fine in a lip balm. Bergamot is a citrus essential oil but it is available without bergaptene (yeah!) so I will experiment with that one. I’ve read that lavender is a healing essential oil for the skin. I tried it in one of my balms and wasn’t crazy about the smell. This summer I am going to make my own lavender infused oil with my garden lavender that smells amazing. I think that may be the answer, herb infused oils. I’ll pick herbs that have healing qualities and smell great.
In my last blog entry I wrote about the carrier oils that are said to be excellent for skin and lips. I have experimented with them over the last few weeks. I’ve put the oils on directly without mixing them with anything and also formulated lip balms with various recipes. My results; Borage Oil. Weird it smelled like turkey soup to me. But it did feel nice on my skin and lips. The Borage Oil also soaked in really nicely. I haven’t read much more about its benefits for a lip balm so I think I’ll save this oil for a skin salve. The high levels of fatty acids help the skin produce more sebum, thats a good thing. I also read that if you take borage oil orally it can help your skin. Argan Oil. Wow...soaks in beautifully. I couldn’t resist putting some in my hair. I liked that too. It didn’t leave my hair oily the way olive oil does. My reading about Argan Oil states that it is high in Vitamin E and squalene. Best source of squalene oil is shark liver oil, rice bran and some vegetable oils. Squalene is found in human sebum and is also rich in antioxidants. I’d like to add a squalene to my lip balms. It may be in Argan Oil or it may be from another source. I’m still working on that. I haven’t received the Meadowfoam Oil yet.
In my experimenting I did make a cocoa butter lip balm that I LOVED!!!! No scent just the natural chocolate smell of the cocoa butter. I also put shea, jojoba and castor oil. I am definitely making that into lip balm. I’m going to sell it in tubes. It will be perfect for moisturizing, it’s creamy and yummy smelling.
And I’m happy to say that my original lip balm recipe is pretty good. That is; coconut oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, wheatgerm oil, beeswax and vegetable glycerin. I still want to experiment. I want to make samples and get some feedback from customers. I am going to mix up the percentages and perhaps add the meadowfoam oil, squalene, hemp oil as it has high levels of Vitamin D and it’s Canadian eh. I haven’t been able to find a pomegranate oil to test out. Oh and I have since read that Mango Butter is good too, well likely any tropical butter. See my problem haha, there are so many natural butters and oils that are fabulous. Bottom line. Read your labels, say no to fragrance, dyes, petroleum, parabens, menthol, camphor. And if you don’t have any lip balm in the house, rub some olive oil from the kitchen onto your lips.
Until next time.......stay moisturized, Karen