Maybe it’s just me, but lip balm has always seemed so … safe. Many varieties are colorless and flavorless. When I think of lip balms I think of therapy for dry, chapped lips.
Have my preconceived notions been right or wrong?
I checked the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database. The EWG ranked 702 lip balms and the majority were safe. In fact, more than half of lip balms – a total of 427 – received a low hazard rating.
The tricky part
Here’s where the safety of lip balms gets really tricky, though. Like so many other cosmetics, you can’t really judge the safety of a lip balm by name alone. Some “natural” and regular companies produce safe AND unsafe products. (Typically, though, most of the safe cosmetics companies produce safe cosmetics across the board – their lip balms are no exception.)
And cosmetic brands like Almay, CoverGirl, L’Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, Sally Hansen, and Wet ‘n Wild only sell moderate and high hazards.
So what ingredients make the high hazard balms so highly hazardous?
- Amylcinnamaldehyde aggravates allergies.
- Benzyl Salicylate disrupts your endocrine system, aggravates allergies and is an ecotoxin.
- Cinnamal is toxic to organs and aggravates allergies.
- Citral irritates skin and aggravates allergies.
- Coumarin is a known human immune system toxicant.
- Eugenol is a known human immune system and organ toxicant.
- Geraniol is an ecotoxin and allergy aggravator.
- Lilial disrupts the endocrine system, is toxic to organs and the human immune system, and is a bioaccumulant.
- Oxybenzone disrupts the endocrine system, is toxic to reproductive systems, aggravates allergies, is toxic to organs, enhances skin absorption, causes changes on a cellular level, and bioaccumulates.
- Parabens like butylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, isopropylparaben are known reproductive system and developmental toxins, as well as endocrine system disruptors. They’re also found in breast tumors.
- Phenol is an ecotoxin and bioaccumulant. It irritates skin and is toxic to organs and reproductive systems.
- Retinyl Palmitate is toxic to your reproductive system and organs.
Do you use lip balm often? Do you need to change brands and varieties to be a little safer?
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