The entire point of lip balm is to majorly hydrate, so the fact that petrolatum — a main ingredient in most lip balms — can actually make lips drier is beyond disappointing. There are many petroleum-free lip balms out there, and the best lip balms without petrolatum are sure to keep your lips in tip-top shape.
First, a few basic facts: petroleum jelly, which often appears on the label as "petrolatum," is derived from oil refining and, although not labeled a toxin in the U.S. or Canada, is considered a dangerous substance in the European Union because of chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. While only highly refined petrolatum can be used in cosmetics here, there are still some people who feel concerned by the potential health risks — and by the fact that crude oil is not a renewable resource.
And there's more, I'm afraid. While petroleum jelly is great for sealing in moisture and creating a barrier between your skin and the elements, it doesn't do a stellar job of helping moisture absorb into the skin so that your chapped lips heal. Ever notice the more Vaseline you apply to dry lips, the more Vaseline you need to keep them soft? You can blame petrolatum for that.
With all of that said, there is no hard evidence linking petrolatum to any health conditions, but if you're searching for an alternative to petroleum jelly, these petrolatum-free lip balms are some of the best!
1. A Hydrating Balm With Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protection
This hydrating lip balm with SPF 30 protects your pout from the elements regardless of the conditions. The formula contains organic beeswax loaded with antioxidants and skin-softening properties, as well as shea butter to moisturize and soothe irritation.
2. A Lip Balm With 100 Percent Pharmaceutical-Grade Lanolin
A natural lip balm that uses pharmaceutical-grade lanolin, Naturals New Zealand contains no additives, colorants, or preservatives. Those reviewers who say they have made the switch from petroleum to lanolin rave about how intensely hydrating it is, how it's perfect for anyone with skin sensitivities or has allergies, and how it doesn't leave lips "sticky" or "cakey" like other products. This balm comes in a portable pot, a little goes a long way, and it will last you for months.
3. A Lip Balm Stick With Healing Emu Oil
The key ingredient in Emu Joy Banish Chapped Lips is, of course, emu oil, which is a deeply moisturizing oil (it can absorb into all seven layers of skin) that is often used to treat burn victims and people with inflammation.
But the amazingness doesn't stop there: this fragrance, paraben, and gluten free balm also contains coconut oil to soften rough skin, cocoa butter to create a barrier that protects lips, aloe oil to heal damaged skin, and Montana beeswax to protect lips from the sun and wind. Reviewers say the change in their dry lips after using this balm is "drastic" and that it works fast and has no irritating taste or smell.
4. A Buttery Citrus Balm That Stimulates Collagen
What's better than providing lips with the deep hydration found in papaya, beeswax, and Shea butter? Providing them with a citrus lip balm that contains antioxidants and can actually stimulate collagen production and give lips a plumping effect. Some reviewers say this is the one lip balm that can repair dry winter lips and that their lips "feel moist and slightly fuller" after one application.
5. A Luxurious, Subtly Tinted Lip Balm Available In Three Natural Looking Shades
This SPF 15 lip balm from Jane Iredale is available in three shades that are perfect for everyday wear: Buff (a warm nude), Crush (a cool berry shade), and Flirt (a cool nude pictured here) — as well as an untinted version called "Sheer." This balm hydrates lips with vegetable, castor, carrot, and avocado oils and protects your pout from the sun's rays with Titatnium Dioxide, a gentle, mineral sunscreen that's safe for sensitive skin types.
One reviewer called this balm "the holy grail" and noted that Buff is a "nice nude color that matches my own (lips)."
6. Organic Lip Balms In Four Scrumptious Scents
La Lune Naturals Lip Balm is a quartet of four scrumptiously scented organic beeswax balms that are infused with hydrating ingredients like organic sunflower oil, coconut oil, Vitamin E, and calendula. You'll find no petroleum or petroleum derivatives, soy, fillers, chemicals, glutens, or GMOs and balms are cruelty-free and come in earth-friendly packaging. For one price you'll get four lip balms: raspberry, vanilla bean, Asian pear, and peppermint.
7. A Lip Butter That Provides A Sheer Rosy Tint
Why fiddle with lip balm and lipstick when you can get a totally soft look using this one product: Korres's Wild Rose lip butter, which provides a subtle red wash. Instead of relying on petrolatum, this lip butter uses natural and vegan ingredients like rice bran wax, shea butter, and safflower oil to provide a dose of hydration that heals lips and keeps them smooth.
Reviewers gave it 4.5 stars, saying this lip butter will leave your lips hydrated and that the red tint is sheer and "still looks so natural."
8. A Lip Balm Rich In Nourishing Essential Oils
This natural organic lip balm relies on a thoughtful blend of essential oils and organic raw coconut oil, organic cruelty free beeswax, and organic grass-fed ghee to provide a silky texture and hydrating formula that doesn't contain soy, petroleum, or artificial ingredients. Reviewers describe this lip balm as "moist," "incredibly creamy," and one of the only balms that instantly helps heal cracking lips.
9. The Perfect Peppy Peppermint Essential Oil Balm
With all-natural ingredients like peppermint essential oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and beeswax, Healthy Host solves the problem of chapped lips with solution that requires zero chemicals or petroleum. One reviewer who says her lips were "destroyed" by a competing lip balm claimed she trued Healthy Host at night and, upon waking up in the morning, discovered her lips were "as good as new." Another reviewer says her family has sensitive skin and they live in the desert and this is the petroleum-free lip balm that gives them soft lips.
10. This Super Fun-Shaped Lip Balm
Who knew there was such thing as fun lip balms? Eos Organic Lip Balm Sphere is made with natural and hypoallergenic ingredients. You won't find petroleum or parabens in these dermatologist-tested orbs, but you will experience the hydrating benefits of shea butter and jojoba oil.
Reviewers say the cool containers are fun, but the really impressive thing about these is that they take excellent care of your lips.
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