Sunday, October 10, 2010

What is lip balm?

Are you wondering what is truly considered a lip balm? Well, I found this description from

"Lip balm is an ointment used on the lips to help keep them moist and to aid in the healing of sores and cracks. Different types of lip balm use different ingredients, ranging from petroleum jelly based balm to those relying on 'natural' ingredients such as beeswax. Lip balm is different from lip gloss and lipstick, both of which serve only a cosmetic purpose. Lip balm, in addition to adding a sheen to the lips, also aims to fight chapping and to protect the sensitive skin of the lips from sunburn.

The most famous brand of lip balm in the United States is ChapStick, which manufactures hundreds of specific types of lip balm. The brand has become so popular that its trade name has become generic, such that any lip balm, no matter the manufacturer, may be referred to as chapstick. ChapStick lip balm comes in different product lines, each of which offers different varieties for consumers. The All-Natural line, for example, has additives such as mango butter, jojoba and vitamin E.

Flavored lip balms are also very popular, particularly among younger users. Major manufacturers of flavored lip balm include Lip Smackers and ChapStick's Flava-Craze line, though most major lip balm manufacturers have at least one flavored product available. Popular flavors include strawberry, cherry and mint, with odd-ball flavors such as coffee offered by some companies.

Though most lip balm products have some level of sun protection in them, usually around SPF 4, many manufacturers offer special lines of sun-care lip balm which contain especially potent sun-block. These lip balms are ideal for those spending extended periods of time in the sun. Most protecting lip balms have an SPF of at least 25, and often contain ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E as well.

Medicated lip balm is also available from a number of companies. These products contain a number of ingredients meant to sooth pain in the lips and help repair intense damage. Ingredients such as menthol, camphor and phenol act as analgesics to dull the pain, while petrolatum helps to repair damage to lips.

There are a number of rumors that lip balm is 'addictive', requiring users to continue using it or face damage to their lips and experience physical withdrawal symptoms. Most independent investigations suggest that there is no physical addiction occurring with the use of lip balm, but that users become accustomed to a high level of softness and moisture for their lips, and experience psychological withdrawal when their lips return to a natural state. This may provoke users to lick their lips in a misguided attempt to remoisturize them, which ultimately serves to dry them out more and cause cracking, which may then be attributed to a physical addiction to lip balm."


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