a patterned purple houndstooth background holds a small, terracotta pot painted green holding a disposable lip balm that looks the same as a regular one but it says

Your Favorite Lip Balm Hates You (we heard them talking shit) Anyway here are our favorite haters

Catsup Magazine takes a closer look at popular lip balm ingredients and tries out a "biodegradable" lip balm

Thoughts I imagine our lip balms have throughout their lifetimes will be in large italicized text. Enjoy, my plump-lipped beauties.

Why am I being re-applied for the fifth time this hour?

Too many of us are addicted to lip balm.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, lip balms, or as some people will generally refer to by the all-encompassing registered trademark: ‘Chapstick‘s, contain “ingredients like phenol, menthol and salicylic acid” which actually dry out one’s lips.

For those with more sensitive skin, ingredients such as cinnamic aldehyde and peppermint flavors can also worsen the lips’ skin condition over time. (LiveScience)

While weaning off is possible, I think I would miss the ritual and would not make it through the transitional period.

Clean the crumbs out. Clean the crumbs out. Don’t cap me ye—

In a pinch (much too often), when I can’t find a lip balm readily available (despite having a car lippie, bag balm, kitchen lip, room balm), I will use petroleum jelly.

But just how bad is that stuff? And is it “vegetarian friendly”? While I am not ingesting it, I do avoid products that are animal derived whether ingredient-wise or tested. Upon a quick search, petroleum jelly is good at preventing what is called transepidermal water loss, which means it creates a barrier so the moisture from your lips stays contained in instead of directly evaporating into the surrounding air.

That’s dandy, but back to the health question — while petroleum jelly has its lubricating uses and was touted as a healing cream since its invention, the bottom line shows that petroleum jelly may not be safe for long-term body use, like my cheapy lip balm hack. (EFSA) Due to possible high percentages of mineral oil hydrocarbons, or MOAH, consumers are warned that products contaminated by or based off of petroleum jelly may be carcinogenic. (Stiftung Warentest)

As for vegetarian friendly, while I don’t think it’s gelatin-avoiding-level, I do think I will avoid lurching for my giant tub of petro jelly during my next moisturizing crisis.

(Can lip balms be composted?)

So I guess I will keep going through my small, disposable lip balm tubes. Who runs a refillable, ecofriendly 100% recycled/recyclable lip balm company? You’ve got me for life if you can make it happen.

So… they do exist. While I don’t promise the aforementioned hyperbole of a lifetime commitment, I did purchase the first “biodegradable” lip balm I saw in person (at a healthy foods store!). I have seen cardboard packaging for roll-up deodorants and other products, but this lip balm came in the ever familiar white tube. I have to wonder if this is one of biodegradable labelled products that requires composting within an industrial facility.

a purple/white houndstooth background holds a small, painted green teracotta pot. a pink lip balm tube that reads "biodegradable" sits inside the plant pot

Thanks for buying me I’ll see you in 4.5 months when you remember I am wedged in this drawer.

Favorite “hater”

Brand: TONYMOLY Jelly Lip Melt, a birthday gift (2022 – tub still going!)

Flavor: lychee

Feel: light, bouncy, lasts for hours

Drying? not at all! ingredients: Diisostearyl Malate, Polybutene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Trimethylolpropane Triisostearate, Pentaerythrityl Tetraisostearate, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydroxystearic Acid, Phenyl Trimethicone, Ethylene/Propylene/Styrene Copolymer, Fragrance, Tocopheryl Acetate, Benzyl Benzoate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Linalool, Butylene/Ethylene/Styrene Copolymer, Limonene, Hexyl Cinnamal, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Extract, Water, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol.

It is VEGAN and I am eyeing the blackberry flavor but still have a bit to go with my lychee tub. The packaging is beyond cute.

Too soon to tell but don’t want to hate it

Brand: Moon Valley Organics

Flavor: juicy blackberry

Feel: greasy, light, staying power

Drying? no…? i can’t help but feel that while it’s moisturizing my lips aren’t “healing” ingredients: Organic Safflower oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Blackberry flavoring, Moon Valley Organic Lemon Balm, Moon Valley Organic Comfrey, Moon Valley Organic Calendula, Organic Licorice root, and Natural Vitamin E made from Sunflowers.

I really want this tube to be home compostable and maintain moisture but my initial impression describes it as oily. I may reach out to the company via email in regards to the packaging’s aftercare.

Later, “hater”

Brand: Naturistick® (2022-2022)

Flavor: assorted huge multipack from am*adson 🤮 this particular one is “Vanilla Luxury”

Feel: slightly waxy

Drying? doesn’t feel like it but I would not repurchase. Lemme check: Cera Alba (Beeswax), Helianthus Annuus Sunflower) [sic] Seed Oil, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinus Commonus (Castor) Seed Oil, Lanolin, Flavor, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Extract, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Butyrospermum (Shea Butter).

I would love to not rely on lip balm. Not to draw a direct comparison, but I’ve seen accounts of people online who quit shampoo with mixed feelings. There is a rough transition period where your body no longer has what it’s accustomed to so it gives unpleasant results before finally reaching the shampoo-less-but-not-gross upkeep level. As mentioned earlier, I would miss the fruity smells and satisfaction or recently hydrated lips probably. By the way, did you know you can powder your hair instead?

Remember to stay moisturized!

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