Lips are extremely susceptible to drying out-much more so than other parts of our body, as they are always exposed to the elements, and really have only a thin layer of skin to protect them. This is why we turn to lip balm. By now you’ve probably heard that lip balm dries your lips out, which in turn makes you apply more, and then it turns into an addicting habit that isn’t doing you, or your lips, any favors. That is, to some extent, true. Certain lip balms do contain ingredients that feel good at first, but leave you with the need to put more on just an hour or 2 later as they dry up, and leave your skin even drier. They also act by creating a barrier than just sits on top of your skin, and locks out any moisture it might be getting from the air.
This homemade balm is designed to help seal in moisture and not just dry up and off, but actually sink into your lips. It also won’t leave a slick, exclusive barrier. Use with a homemade exfoliator to help slough off all the dead, dry, and peeling off skin that comes along with rough chapped lips and reveal the softness underneath. I have found great success with both of these (and I live in a place that can turn your lips into the Sahara if you’re not careful.)
Ingredients: Beeswax, Coconut oil, honey, vitamin e capsules, essential oil (optional).
Why Beeswax: Beeswax can act as an emollient (moisturizer) as well as protect your lips from the elements, but the most important role it plays is that it is what gives your lip balm its stiffness and body so that it can be easily transported and applied.
Why coconut oil: Coconut oil will not coat and smother your skin like petroleum based products, and moisturizes deep down. Its fatty acids hold onto moisture, and can help reinforce the skins lipid (fat) layer, which promoted hydration.
Why honey: Honey is a natural humectant, which means it attracts and holds onto water molecules.
Why vitamin E: Full of antioxidants, vitamin E can neutralize the effect of free radicals that damage healthy skin cells and lead to dryness.
Why essential oil (optional): I like to steer clear of fragrances when it comes to my lip balm, but if you like you can add in a few drops of your favorite scent.
You will need…
-1 tablespoon grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
-1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
-A dash of organic raw honey
-2 vitamin e capsules
-several drops of essential oil (optional)
In a double boiler, melt down the beeswax, adding in the coconut oil and honey when about half of the beeswax is no longer solid. After it’s all melted and blended together, stir in the contents of 2 vitamin E capsules. Pour into container or a tube and let cool. Apply as needed-but not in excess. Resist! There can always be too much of a good thing.
I live in Minnesota. I understand chapped lips. Cracked, dry and yes, even bleeding, lips are all too familiar to me. I don’t even care if it’s not the most appealing look in the world; I just hate how uncomfortable it is. As winter starts to set in-well fall is just starting technically, but one must be prepared here-I already feel the dryness beginning. Already I find myself digging through the black hole that is my purse to find my lip balm, and the familiar anger that comes along with taking 5 minutes to fish it out.
Watch out for…
The main culprits in chapstick or lip balm that can make your lips dry out even more include camphor, phenol, and menthol, which can lead your lips to ultimately cracking though they feel cool and refreshing. Then there is OL, as its listed on ingredients, which basically means alcohol, which dries out quickly. Finally theres salicylic acid, which is added to help flake off dry skin, but it can just leave you with lips that peel even more (I use homemade lip exfoliator for helping the dry skin instead.)
Are you hooked?
I read an interesting book once called “The Power of Habit” that talked about toothpaste companies, and how they figured out the hook to getting their product to sell was to make it foam. In all reality, the foam did absolutely nothing, but it made people think it was. If the toothpaste foamed, everyone thought, obviously there was some sort of action going on, and this resulted in them going back to that toothpaste again and again. The same thing goes for lip balm-if it feels cool and tingly, it feels like it’s doing something, which hooks you in. In the end though, there’s really nothing to it-except that it dries up and then you feel like you need more-which is why the industry is now making over $370 million a year.
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By Claire GoodallClaire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire
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