Why Do Your Lips Always Feel Dry?

We all want kissable moist lips, don’t we? I don’t think anyone loves the idea of having to always apply balm constantly, but we don’t want chapped, cracked kissers either. So, if you’re always applying balm, then why do your lips still always feel dry?  Notwithstanding medical conditions that can cause dry skin, your lip balm may be the culprit.

If you thought that the cosmetics industry was developing products for your benefit, you would be sadly mistaken.

I can prove it to you with scientific research done on various ingredients that are marketed to make your skin, hair, and lips smoother, when in all actuality, they are robbing your skin and hair of moisture! Sure, they feel smooth going on, that’s what they are intended to do; to give you the illusion that it is helping. So what do you do? You use more and more because your skin and hair is constantly being damaged… intentionally. Today, I’m addressing the men and women who feel addicted to their lip balm. The cosmetic industry is intentionally making you lip-balm junkies. Do your lips feel constantly dry and flaking? Do you feel like you need to constantly re-apply your balm? Our lips don’t have oil glands, so it’s most important to work with them naturally to seal in moisture. While some of the ingredients are admirable and beneficial, others are drying and have known irritant and allergy potential. Why would a company use ingredients known to dry your skin or cause irritation? Well, profit my dear, sheer profit. The more you use, the more they profit.

The ingredients listed in red may be the reason your lips always feel parched.

Chapstick: camphor, beeswax, menthol, petrolatum, phenol, vitamin E, aloe, and oxybenzone.

Softlips: Dimethicone 2% ozokerite, petrolatum, ethylhexyl palmitate, octyldodecanol, squalane, myristyl myristate, ricinus communis (castor) seed oil, myristyl lactate, cetyl alcohol, myristyl laurate, myristyl alcohol, BHT, flavor, menthol, tocopheryl acetate [vitamin E]

Burts Bees, a seemingly natural alternative has the following: beeswax, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, lanolin, aroma (flavor), honey, tocopherol, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, benzyl benzoate, coumarin.

If you want to know the specific reasons on why the ingredients in red are problematic, I’ve compiled the following information:

Benzyl Benzoate: Drug precautions: Keep benzyl benzoate away from the eyes and other mucous membranes, such as the inside of the nose, because it may cause irritation . Do not use benzyl benzoate on open wounds, such as cuts or sores on the skin or scalp. To do so may increase the amount of absorption, which may increase the chance of side effects.
Oxybenzone: side effects: Itching, Burning, Rash, Swelling
Tocopherol/ Vitamin E: A Dermatologic Surgery study found that 33 percent of patients developed contact dermatitis from applying topical vitamin E. The Contact Dermatitis Institute also lists vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol) as one of the most prevalent allergens. They have an entire fact sheet on it. Vitamin E is usually derived from soy, so this is a disaster for people with soy allergies
Camphor: Camphor-containing products are LIKELY UNSAFE when applied to broken or injured skin. Camphor is easily absorbed through broken skin and can reach toxic levels in the body. Camphor is UNSAFE when taken by mouth by adults. Ingesting camphor can cause severe side effects, including death. The first symptoms of camphor toxicity occur quickly (within 5 to 90 minutes), and can include burning of the mouth and throat, nausea, and vomiting. Did you note that camphor is the 1st ingredient listed in Chapstick?!
Dimethicone: I’m going to be doing a complete article on just this ingredient and why it is so detrimental to our skin and hair health. The list is so long on why this is so detrimental, it deserves its own article. The biggest problem is that is in the MAJORITY of products marketed to moisturize. It actually REMOVES moisture and prevents our hair and skin from regenerating, so that we lose the ability to produce natural oils. Instead of sinking into your skin and nourishing it from the inside out, like healthy ingredients do, it forms a sort of plastic-like barrier on the outside of skin.
Octyldodecanol: a study published in Cosmetics and Toiletries in 1979 showed irritation occurred in tests of Octyldodecanol, even in low concentrations, and again in a study published in the Journal of Toxicology in 1985. A 2006 study found that it enhanced the irritation of other ingredients.
Cetyl Alcohol: Many medical experts believe that cetyl alcohol, and many other fatty alcohols, have the ability to altercate the lipid bilayer of the epidermis (protective barrier) and cause allergic dermal reactions in some. There are many studies supporting the potential irritation associated with this ingredient. Considering this information, it’s best that sensitive skin types perform a patch test with any product containing this ingredient, particularly anyone suffering from a skin condition such as Rosacea or Psoriasis.
Myristyl Alcohol: Myristyl Alcohol can be drying, as can most fatty-alcohols.
Menthol: Menthol is an alcohol, a compound family known for its drying properties in the skin. For some people menthol dehydrates the skin or lips and makes them feel chapped and irritated.

Of mention: Honey and Lanolin can cause allergic reactions in some people, though I am a huge fan of these products for those without sensitivities.

Now you know WHY your lips constantly feel dry. You’re putting known irritants on them. In the cosmetics industry, repeat business is what they seek, so if your lips are constantly dry, you’d never even think that your balm is the reason.

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