Lips may need to be protected from wind and weather conditions not only in winter, but in summertime too. When lips get dry, to avoid chaps it is advisable first to drink more water, second to treat them with a suitable cosmetic product. Let us see which one to choose.
On the market, there are many lipsticks generally made up with paraffins and synthetic waxes, that layer on the epidermis leaving a very soft perception, but not really moisturizing the skin. Among such ingredients, we may include polyisobutene, microcrystalline wax, synthetic wax, VP/copolymers; to the doubts about skin compatibility, we may add the bad impression about their environmental persistency, as they are not biodegradable substances.
In 2018 april, the Italian consumers’ association Altroconsumo investigated about synthetic ingredients of lipsticks, stating that they should be avoided as they may contain both MOHs (saturated hydrocarbons) and MOAHs (aromatic hydrocarbons, that have benzene rings inside their molecules). Currently such substances categories are under investigation mostly as they are food contaminants; MOAHs in particular are suspected to be long-term toxic chemicals. A lipstick is not food, but it is subjected to be swallowed little by little, so it must be considered with caution.
So, natural substances are preferable to synthetic for creating a lipstick, but… is it always true? As we keep repeating, not all naturals are safe, for a number of reasons. Natural oils and greases are very suitable for treating our skin, nevertheless they show more tendency to oxidize and to give off a bad “rancid” smell. To prevent the rancidity, the manufacturer can technically choose among various methods; the most efficient is to add specific antioxidizers, either BHA (terbutyl hydroxyanisole) or BHT (terbutyl hydroxytoluene), which are suspected to be endocrine disruptors. Such chemicals should be avoided, as well as allergenic fragrances (among them essential oils) and dyes (which are indicated by the abbreviation CI followed by a set of numbers, in ingredients lists).
On the lip balms market, there is beginning to be some good products, that complies with the best safety requirements. Among them, the main differences are about ingredients quality. For example, some contains low cost natural grease, as the castor oil (Ricinus communis), others contain top-grade greases, as cocoa butter (Theobroma cacao Seed Butter) or shea butter (Butyrospermum parkii Butter).
Although it is not a “stick”, the Benè Moisturizing Cream for Sensitive Skins was designed to take the place of a lipstick too. It is made mainly with cocoa butter and shea butter, dispersed in water through other natural ingredients; it does contain neither BHA nor BHT, nor allergens. Applying it daily on lips allows to maintain the right level of moisture; if necessary, it may be applied more a day. As any lipstick, but with more safety and skin compatibility. Put a tiny amount on the hand, then pick up with the fingertips and rub gently the lips.