Lip Balm Ingredients to Avoid

When you're choosing a lip balm, be sure to look at what it's made of. For moisturizing your lips, some ingredients are better than others. Here are the lip balm ingredients to avoid.

Close-up of a person applying lip balm.

Photo: Pixabay

Best Moisturizing Ingredients

During the winter, the cold weather and air require moisturized lips to avoid dryness. That said, there are 4 main categories that moisturizers fall under (Source: Indian Journal of Dermatology):

  • Emollients - oils that hydrate and make your skin softer, more flexible, and smooth.
  • Humectants - attract water from your skin and the environment (if it's humid).
  • Occlusives - creates a layer over the skin to prevent moisture from escaping.
  • Squalene - balances oil production.

Here are the best ingredients for hydration:

  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin E

Remember, the right lip balm will be absorbed immediately, providing hydration right away without irritation.

Lip Balm Ingredients to Avoid

There are many lip balm products with different formulations. When you're looking to buy one, you want to make sure that it hydrates your lips instead of irritating them.

According to Dr. Ramsey Markus and Joshua Zeichner, a New York-based dermatologist, the following ingredients commonly cause allergic reactions and dry your skin which makes you reapply the lip balm often:

  • Camphor
  • Menthol
  • Oxybenzone
  • Parabens
  • Phenol
  • Salicylic Acid

Tips for Dry Skin

Avoiding the ingredients that aren't helping your skin will make your lips feel and look better. Here are 6 more tips to help with dry skin (Source: Harvard Health):

  • Take warm baths and showers. 
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Use a gentle soap.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Bundle up when you're going out in the cold.
  • Avoid licking your lips.

No matter how good an ingredient is at moisturizing, if you're also using ingredients that cause irritation, it'll interfere. Use the right ingredients and you'll have hydrated lips.