Women eat, chew and lick our way through the equivalent of as many as four lipsticks, in a lifetime. (Or two tubes a year – depending on which expert we’re talking to.) So not surprisingly, at Beauty Bible we’ve always been rather keen that lip products should be good enough to eat.
Because of course while the debate rages about exactly how much of a body moisturiser or a skin toner is absorbed into the skin, there is no debate about where your lip products are ending up. The same place as your breakfast, lunch and dinner, basically. ‘Conventional’ lipsticks may contain paraffin, saccharine, mineral oil and synthetic colours, as well as fragrance – think: that nostalgic ‘mummy’s lipstick’ smell – which can be very drying to the lips.
So to us, it makes absolute sense to ‘go natural’ with lip balms, sticks, glosses and liners – even if you don’t switch your foundation, blusher or mascara. (Doesn’t make much sense to be buying organic lettuce, cheese and vin rouge, only to be munching your way through chemical lip products. If you wouldn’t be happy to spread it on your toast, why slick it onto your lips…?)
Let’s start with balms. Even if you don’t wear lippy, chances are – if you live somewhere with air conditioning or central heating – then you rely on lip balm to keep yours comfortable, even kissable, especially now the mistletoe season is upon us.
It’s often said that lip balm is addictive – but actually, there’s no conclusive proof of that; it’s the feeling of lip balm we get hooked on, and it’s just as possible to get hooked, psychologically, on the lip-cocooning sensation of a natural product as a synthetic one. Conventional lip balms are based on petroleum (petrolatum), because it’s a great barrier. But the advantage of natural, sustainably produced ingredients is that they offer skin-caring benefits above and beyond a protective barrier function. Plant-derived oils like avocado and jojoba oils, shea and cocoa butter, as well as hemp seed, are rich in Essential Fatty Acids that can actually nourish the very fine lip skin. (To create a solid texture, these oils and butters are usually blended with beeswax, which magically helps liquids ‘set’.) Herbal ingredients like marigold may be added, for healing. If you’re going to be outside a lot, pick a formulation with an SPF – one based on titanium or zinc oxide, rather than chemical sunscreens, we recommend.
Remember too that dry, chapped lips are a response to dry conditions in your body, as well as in your surroundings. So to keep your lips silky smooth be sure to stay hydrated – it’s back to that 2.5 litres of water a day, again (you may yawn because you’ve heard this so many times, from so many beauty editors, but we truly believe you can glug, glug, glug your way to better-hydrated skin). Keep your internal reservoir topped up, and you may not find you need to reach for the ‘comfort blanket’ of your lip balm, quite so often. We also believe – totally, utterly and completely – in adding in an Essential Fatty Acid supplement to the diet, because it’s so hard to get the right balance of omega oils from what we eat. The one we eternally recommend is IdealOmega3, by IdealOmega: one capsule a day and you’re sorted. If you do ever get chapped lips, never pull at the flakes; instead, take a little brown sugar and a drop of oil and massage into lips, to exfoliate them gently; remove with a wet, warm muslin cloth or flannel, and then slather with balm.
In fact, if you search through any pocket of any coat either of us owns, at this time of year, you’ll find a lip balm in the pocket. And we’re going to do a pretty shameless plug here, because this is something we really believe in – a wee while back we found a lip balm we liked so very much that we decided to launch it as Beauty Bible’s only real product (aside from our books, of course). It’s 100% natural, created from a blend of organic shea butter, aloe and vitamin E, and we especially like the chubbiness of it: one smoosh and you nourish both lips. (It makes an ideal stocking filler, too.)
We’ve been asked a gazillion times why we don’t launch a Beauty Bible skincare range, but we’re all about steering women to the best products in each category (as readers of The Anti-Ageing Beauty Bible and its predecessors will know), and don’t believe that any one range can have all the answers. However, since we could put our hands on our hearts and say: this is our favourite-ever lip balm (and we’ve kissed a few frogs on that front, over the years!), it made perfect sense. (And thanks to VH’s own Gill Sinclair for helping to make it happen.)
We hope it makes you smile, too. With lovely, comfy, gorgeously-moisturised lips.