Why your lip balm may not be good for you after all

Lip balms can cause allergies, according to dermatologists 

Kashmira Gander
Monday 08 February 2016 16:30
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Whether the sun is scorching down, the temperature has dropped below zero or the central heating is on full whack, the delicate skin on your lips is in a constant battle against the elements.

Slathering your lips with balm is supposed to protect them – but is the need for constant top-ups a sign that products aren't quite as moisturising as you're led to think?

If your lips are chapped despite your attempts to keep them supple, this may be because you are allergic to the ingredients - causing you to keep applying more in the hope they will heal.

Some people swear by petroleum jelly as their go-to lip balm. But the derivative from oil refining does not actively nourish the skin, but rather seals the lips so moisture does not escape. And as moisture can’t get out, air and moisture can’t get in – meaning it can dry your lips, the Huffington Post reported.

And advocates of bees wax-based balms needn’t be smug, because this often contains propolis. Bees use this substance to repair their hives – however, many people are allegric to it, dermatologist Dr. Whitney Bowe told New York Magazine’s The Cut, citing a 2010 study showing that the majority of children with eczema are allergic to propolis.

Lanolin, which is used in balms and lotions, also causes problems for some. The oily substance derived from wool, and is linked to allergies which cause an itchy rash for some people.

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