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It can be a bit of search looking for lip balms that do not contain any animal products. Typically, beeswax, or other bee products, are used in making lip balm. Since this utilizes an animal by-product, it is technically not vegan anymore.
The best ingredients to look for in a vegan lip balm include: shea butter, jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and candelilla wax. The most common non-vegan ingredients that you will find in lip balms are beeswax and lanolin. Usually, the best way to tell if a product is vegan is by looking at the packaging.
Beyond the vegan factor, you need to find quality products that protect your lips and are free of questionable ingredients like parabens, chemical sunscreens, and petroleum. It’s tough! In this article, we will review the best and most nourishing plant-based materials used in lip balm. We will also discuss which ingredients to avoid. Enjoy!
According to Healthline, “High concentrations of fatty acids and vitamins make shea butter an ideal cosmetic ingredient for softening skin.” Shea butter is also known to have both anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Using shea butter on your lips can condition, tone, and soothe the sensitive lip skin!
Shea Butter is great for any sort of chapped skin, as it is ultra-hydrating. What’s even better? Apparently, Shea Butter is a 0 on the comedogenic scale, meaning that although it is incredibly rich and creamy, it will not clog your pores! If you are looking for a lip balm, having Shea Butter as one of the ingredients is a major plus!
According to Ogee, just like Shea Butter, “Jojoba oil has anti-inflammatory properties which help to tame chafing and chapping, reduce redness caused by drying, ease the effects of eczema and rosacea, and keep skin calm and comfortable.” Jojoba oil is incredibly good at soothing dry skin, and aiding in skin repair.
Jojoba Oil, however, can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. According to WebMD, “It can cause some side effects such as rash and allergic reactions.” It is also recommended to never consume this oil by mouth. If you are using it on your lips, make sure to not get any inside your mouth!
Due to the abundance of Vitamin E and A found in Sweet Almond Oil, this oil can keep your skin cells healthy, protect from UV rays, and keep the skin looking smooth and moisturized! Buckler’s Remedy says, “The fatty acids help your skin retain moisture and can heal chapped and irritated skin.” That means that this oil is ideal for a lip balm or chapstick!
HowStuffWorks.com says, “Olive oil might make you think more of pizza and roasted garlic than a lip balm, but it's an excellent moisturizer and is a popular ingredient in many skin conditioning products.” Overall, olive oil is an incredibly moisturizing ingredient and is jam-packed with properties that are great for your lips!
If you want to exfoliate your lips, you can also use olive oil. Add a little sugar to your oil and start scrubbing those lips! You will see visibly brighter and smoother lips. And it’s all natural. What’s not to love?
We are sure that you have heard of the recent beauty trend with Coconut Oil. Put it on everything… right? Well, it turns out that Coconut Oil is particularly good for the lips! Why is that? Well, according to Healthline, “In alternative medicine, coconut oil is a mainstay in burn treatment. This is due to its moisture, as well as its analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. These same effects can translate to benefits for chapped, cracked lips.”
Additionally, Coconut Oil is an emollient. An emollient is a non-cosmetic moisturizer that keeps the skin moist, and they’re primarily used to protect the skin. Since emollients trap in moisture, it makes this oil a real winner when looking for lip balms or chap sticks.
Avocado Oil is great for lip balms and chapsticks because it takes longer to absorb into the skin, as opposed to some oils like Jojoba and Grapeseed. Since this oil lasts longer on the surface of the skin, it protects the lips for a longer amount of time.
Additionally, Chapstick Lifestyle says that, “avocado oil has a great nutrient and antioxidant profile, which can neutralize damaging free radicals in the body and help alleviate oxidative stress on the skin.” Sounds like a win-win to me!
Candelilla Wax is plant-based substitute for beeswax, and can be derived from the leaves of the small Candelilla shrub native to northern Mexico and the southwestern United States. This substance is incredibly moisturizing, and has double the strength and staying power as beeswax.
In most vegan beauty products, Candelilla Wax is used as a substitute for beeswax. This wax is very rich in nutrients, and is easily absorbed into the skin. It makes a great barrier and prevents loss of moisture in the skin.
Beeswax is a very common ingredient in lip balms, as it is considered antibacterial, an antioxidant, and an anti-inflammatory substance. It is also known to give lip balms the perfect texture. While this ingredient is incredibly moisturizing, it is not vegan.
It is important to note that there are some beeswax that are ethically-sourced, meaning that they don’t harm the hive when extracting the wax. If you want to use a product with beeswax, just inquire about its source!
Lanolin comes from a wax secreted by the glands of wool-bearing animals. It is also known as “wool grease”. Lanolin has been used by humans in beauty products for hundreds of years to lock in moisture. Since lanolin comes from an animal, it is not vegan. However, since the process of extracting this oil happens naturally when the sheep get sheared, many do consider this ingredient vegetarian.
According to PBS, “Lanolin also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that protect the sheep's skin from infection. Derived from the animal's oil glands, lanolin is a mixture of wool fat and 25-30% water.” This substance has been known to create allergic reactions though, so if you do use it, make sure to spot test!
All in all, there are TONS of plant-based ingredients that will do wonders for your lips. Make sure to do your own research on each of these oils, and see which ones work for you. And of course, always make sure to spot test any new product to ensure that it works on your skin.
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