Lip balm has been around for over 100 years. But it took a wrong turn right at the beginning. The inventor of lip balm, Dr. C. D. Fleet, started an unfortunate trend by using petroleum jelly in his Chap Stick lip balm, and it's only become clear in recent years just how ineffective petroleum jelly is as a lip balm. At best, since petroleum jelly isn't absorbed by the skin, it provides only a short-term fix for dry, chapped lips. And since it keeps the skin from breathing, it can actually make your lips more chapped and cause other infections. Many conventional lip balms that contain petrolatum-based ingredients like mineral oil appear slick and emollient, but because the skin can't absorb them, they don't actually condition or heal chapped lips. In fact, they just lie on the surface, creating an impermeable barrier that can actually clog the skin and lead to breakouts and bacterial infections.
Petroleum-based lip balm doesn't fix the problem that causes dry chapped lips. Instead, it basically acts as a band-aid -- slightly moisturizing the surface of the lips and trapping the moisture there, thus temporarily making the lips less dry. But to keep your lips moist using petroleum-based lip balm, you need to frequently reapply the lip balm.. You may as well save your money and just lick your lips all the time -- that has the same temporary effect, and it doesn't run the risk that bacteria will be trapped between the greasy lip balm and the skin, causing further irritation and even infection.
Our lip balms do not contain any petroleum based products. Our simple list of ingredients are less than half the size of any store bought versions, and the oils we use are extremely beneficial to your lips.
We include natural moisturizers like shea butter, beeswax, sweet almond oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and cocoa butter; all of which actually penetrate the your skin. Shea butter's effect on the skin is different from that of petroleum jelly. Instead of lying inert on the surface of the lips, it is absorbed by the skin cells, and because it improves the moisture retention capacity of your lips, your lips become dry and chapped much less frequently.
In early adulthood, all of our skin cells (including those in our lips) begin to become more porous and less elastic. If shea butter (a substance that both moisturizes the skin and restores the skin cells' elasticity) is applied to the lips, then not only are the cells hydrated, but they gradually regain their natural elasticity so that they are better able to keep moisture from escaping. Because unrefined shea butter contains both a high moisturizing fraction and an extraordinarily high healing fraction, it is a wonderful agent for revitalizing our skin cells so that they get back their moisture retention capacity.