All The Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Lip-Balm Year Round

Lip balms have been around for hundreds of years. We can date the use of lip balms all the way back to 40 B.C. when Cleopatra was using beeswax, olive oil and other natural fats as cosmetic ingredients. Ancient Egyptians were known for pioneering the cosmetics industry, so it came as no surprise to me that they would have been using things to protect their lips as well.

Some time around 1865, a man named Robert Chesebrough invented, patented and distributed a new type of petroleum jelly, better known to us as Vaseline. Fun fact: Vaseline used to be called “Wonder Jelly,” but this name didn’t bode so well with the market. The product didn’t really start to kick off until he changed the name to Vaseline.

Now on to the lip balm part. The man credited with creating the first official lip balm is Charles Brown Fleet, and he created a little product we all know today by the name of “Chapstick.” The first ones were in little round tin cases, and it didn’t really sell as well as what we have today. Sometimes it takes a minute for new products (especially the most brilliant and future-forward ones) to catch on with the public.

Fleet was a physician and pharmalogical thinker (I literally have no idea what that means, and I’ve googled the term repeatedly ) from Lynchburg, Virginia. After pretty much no success with his invention, he sold the rights to the product for five dollars to John Morton in 1912.

Morton is the person credited for creating the Chapstick we know today. Rather, the credit should go to his wife; she melted the mixture in their kitchen, cooled it and cut it into sticks. The Morton Manufacturing Corporation was created after the sales went through the roof.

Eventually, many other companies jumped on the lip balm train and you can find them everywhere now, in any flavor, and in any shape.

Regardless of which one you choose, everyone (even Men) should be using a lip balm. You might be asking, “why? I use lipstick. Isn’t that enough?” The short answer is no, although there are now some lip balms and lipsticks who are more or less hybrids. Everyone needs a lip balm and once you start using one daily, you will see a huge difference in your lips.

In short,  lip balm and lipstick are two completely different products with different functions. Think of it like foundation and primer or BB cream. You can definitely use a primer instead of foundation (depending on the brand and formula composition), but a primer is never going to do what a foundation does. It can only carry out a portion of the functionalities of a foundation. Same with a BB cream. It’s a closer substation for foundation (I often use BB cream instead of foundation because it’s lighter and I’m oily), but it’s still not actual foundation.

There are many lipsticks on the market which have super hydrating qualities, that are primers and lip color in one and so on. However, they’re still not an actual lip balm, which is why you need both.

The two products  may share common ingredients depending on the brand and formula, but lip balms and lipsticks have very different purposes.

What is a lip balm? The main purpose of lip balms is to provide protection (and sometimes relief) to your lips.

Here are a few benefits to using a lip balm every day:

  1. Your lips feel more nourished and healthy. Natural lip balms contain ingredients which promote fast healing of the skin. Dermatologists have determined that our skin heals faster when it is moisturized. You’ll score extra points if you have a lip balm made from beeswax, because this ingredient can help repair damage caused by the sun’s harmful rays.
  2. Lip Balms help make you appear more youthful. Believe it or not, when your lips are dry, cracked and peeling, it also makes you appear older. Soft, supple lips help you look younger (and feel better also).
  3. Your lip products go on better, last longer, and look much more even and smooth. If you’re using a lip balm every day before you apply your lip products, the balm fills in cracks and smooths lines. Think of it as an insta-blur filter product, much like the ones we use on our face. Those products are made with agents that fill in pores and fine lines and wrinkles which results in your makeup going on more even. The same can be said about using a lip balm before you apply your lipstick; especially if you’re using mattes and or red tones.

Not only do lip balms contain hydrating ingredients and elements which help to prevent water , they also give your lips a fuller, more plump appearance. Active ingredients used in lip balms can include SPFs, shea butter, lanolin, petroleum jelly, coconut oil and beeswax as well. Medicated formulas usually include active ingredients such as  menthol and camphor. These ingredients help to help calm and soothe irritated lips (and these are also why your lips might have a slight tingling and chilly sensation when you use medicated lip balms).

Also, did you know lip balm can be used for things other than healing chapped lips? This little multi-tasking product really can and does work for you in so many ways. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your lip balm:

  1. Use it to massage your cuticles, especially when they’re extra dry. Since lip balms can be a little sticky, I would do this before bed, or right before you put on gloves if you work outside. The healing and moisturizing elements in the lip balm will help make your cuticles super soft and pliable. This can be especially useful if you work in an environment where you’re exposed to skin drying chemicals (like a nail salon or assembly line setting). Cuticle oil is amazing, but there is nothing like putting some lip balm on your cuticles right before bedtime and letting the compound work its magic while you sleep.
  2. Speaking of fingers, you can also use lip balm on your fingertips and toes. Speaking of, I would keep the tube you use on your  hands and toes separate from the one you use on your lips. Why? Because you could be transferring bacteria to and from your lips and cross contaminate your tube if you use the same one. Lip balm is generally inexpensive, so grab some basic formulas on sale and keep one for your lips and the other for your fingertips. You can also rub some on your knuckles if they tend to crack and bleed during the fall and winter months (as mine tend to do), or in-between your fingers as well.
  3. You can use balm instead of eyebrow gel in a pinch. I would use the beeswax formulas for this; I mean, after all, most eyebrow products have a wax product in them and this is basically the same thing. Plus, it will hydrate and moisturize your eyebrow area, including the hair follicles. Don’t over do it, though; you don’t want to clog up your pores.
  4. If you’re suffering from allergies or a cold, dab some lip balm to your nose after using a tissue. This will help cut down on redness, blistering and dry skin. There’s nothing worse than having a scaly, red nose after you’ve been dealing with a cold.
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