28 Jan Lip Balm & Chapsticks | Fatal Conveniences™
Are you among the nearly 66% of the population that uses lip balm or chapstick every day? If you are, you may actually be drying your lips out more instead of moisturizing them. Although you think you’re doing something good for your skin, you’re contributing to a vicious cycle of dry lips.
Welcome to Fatal Conveniences™
This is a bite-sized segment that parallels The Darin Olien Show. In these segments, we get into society’s Fatal Conveniences™. I define these as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to. These things save us time and trick us into thinking they’re actually good for us. But it’s those same things that are breaking down our health, and the health of the environment around us.
I’ve spent most of my adult life obsessively researching these “conveniences.” On every show, I pick one topic, and we dive into it. My goal is to make you more aware of these traps so that you can push back on them. Remember, it starts with you and the choices you make.
So, if you’re willing to look at your world from a different perspective and make little tweaks that amount to big changes, then this segment is for you.
Americans spend $200 Million on Lip Balm and Chapstick every year.
You probably have some lip balm within arm’s reach right now. You can find tubes of lip balm in every bathroom, nightstand, kitchen junk drawer, purse and jacket pocket of pretty much every American household. We’ve been obsessively buying this stuff for almost a century. We think it helps moisturize the sensitive skin on and around our lips, but does it?
The truth is, layering waxy substances on your lips creates a moisture barrier. So although they may feel soft and moisturized, you’re preventing your body’s natural process of shedding dead skin and creating new, healthy cells. Then when your lip balm or chapstick wears off, your lips feel dry, and you apply more. This essentially stops your lips from regenerating new skin.
You need to let those lips breathe! But hey, I know certain conditions call for some sort of protection or healing for your lips. But you need to be aware of which ingredients are going to do more damage than good. I’ll give you some healthy, safe alternatives, as well as tips for things you can do to keep your lips moisturized naturally. So, ditch that Cherry ChapStick, guys, and listen up.
Other info in this episode:
- The history of lip balm
- The history of ChapStick
- The Lipsmackers campaign to invade pre-teen purses
- Lazy Lips
- The dangers of menthols and cooling agents on your lips
- The danger of parabens
- What to use on your lips instead
- How to avoid dry lips in the first place
Links & Resources:
Axiology Blog: What’s in a Color? Understanding the Dyes and Pigments in Your Cosmetics
American Academy of Dermatology Association: 7 Dermatologists’ Tips For Healing Dry, Chapped Lips
Healthline: 5 Easy DIY Treatments for Chapped Lips
Mayo Clinic: Chapped Lips: What’s the Best Remedy?
Masterpiece Skin Restoration: 8 Ingredients in Lip Balm & Cosmetics That Cause Allergies
Aloe Force – The aloe vera gel I’ve been using on my lips for years!
Darin: It’s that time of the week for another fatal convenience. This is a bite-size segment that addresses some of society’s fatal conveniences and the steps you can take to avoid becoming a victim of them. I define fatal conveniences as the things we may be doing because the world we live in makes us believe we have to, tap water, shampoo, sunglasses, food. I dive into the hidden truths behind some of our everyday choices that could not only be harming us but even killing us, so let’s dive in.
Darin: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the show. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your navigator, your pilot today for another installment of Fatal Conveniences. I hope you’re getting a lot out of these things. Now, listen, when we reveal these things, we always want to give you an out. We always want to give you an alternative. We always want to give you an option away from the toxic one that we’ve exposed here. So don’t let this take you down. This is to lift you up. This is to take away toxins from your life. I know there’s a little bit of a crazy part when you realize that so many products do not have your best interests and are toxic to you, and I understand that. Believe me, I have dealt with this all the way back to my father being one of the first people that I ever heard of having chemical sensitivity, and that was because of our modern-day environment, not looking into, not testing all of these products that we’re using on a consistent basis. That is the genesis of fatal conveniences. This is to empower you, but you can’t be empowered if you don’t have the awareness if you don’t have the knowledge. This is about you, all of you that care about yourself, your life, your children, your family, your spouse, your lover, all of those things. This is for you to empower you to have more to give to the world to lessen the toxic exposure. The more you implement these things, the more you will have freedom, more opportunity, more possibility. And the less you’re exposed to these now, the more that’s gaining you in the future so that you’re not a victim of these things added up over time. So this next fatal convenience is lip balm, chapstick. All of these kinds of things that are so easily almost addictive because as we’ll find out in this episode, there is an absolute mechanism that’s necessary for the skin of the lips to go through the natural process. And if you always are dependent on lip balm, on beeswax, on whatever, to always put on your lips other than certain circumstances, that makes sense but always using these destroys the lips and the respiration within the skin and we’ll find out. So listen, you find these everywhere from the kitchen drawers to night tables to in your desk bathroom drawers. They’re everywhere. They’re in all of the female purses, it seems like. And it is something that we absolutely always know where they’re at because we all at some point need them. And, of course, we all go through chapped lips, dry lips. And I always notice this when I’m super busy or on a trip and I haven’t consumed enough water. The telltale sign for me of dehydration, like severely dehydrated for me is my lips are dry. And when you go to a different environment too, I was just in Arizona and I was super busy filming a bunch of stuff with this great company, Footprint. And man, my lips were so bloody dry because of number one, I didn’t hydrate. Number two, I was in a different environment. It was drier and I was just busy. So my lips were super dry. don’t know if you like it. I like to get a little history of this stuff. So it looks like that the ancient Egyptians, Cleopatra herself in 40 BC used beeswax and natural oils from plants and sometimes even animal fat for her skin and her lip care. There you go. I’m going to leave off the animal fat part of it, but there’s definitely some natural oils and things that you can use for your skin that are better than some of these other things. And we’ll get into that very, very easy fixes with this whole thing. And in 1880, Charles Brown Fleet, a physician and pharmacological thinker in Virginia in the USA, and I’m sure other people over the years have done that since Cleopatra, but in terms of the invention, James Brown Fleet was really the first person that used basically candles without the wick. Wrapped tinfoil around them, and then that’s what he used, but it never really caught on. But then in 1912, Fleet’s friend, John Morton bought Fleet’s lip balm formula. Yes, there was a formula for only five bucks. He came with the idea with a new packaging, melted it with a few other ingredients, compressed it into this brass tube, great idea, which they still have these cool brass tubes. And then he created the modern-day chapstick. I think he trademarked the word chapstick, one word, all at that time. In the 1937 Carmex, which was basically focused on cold sores, came out. And then in 1947, Blistex came out and was founded by Charles Arch, and it was medicated with external analgesics, numbing agents, and we’ll come to find out that this is a really bad idea for the incredibly sensitive skin of the lips. In 1937, flavor started coming into it with this invention in this trademark called Lip Smacker, and that was targeting young girls. And they added in coloring and all of that stuff. And then 1975, lip balm and marketing tools promoted with other products like Dr. Pepper. And so Dr. Pepper and Lip Smacker were like this cool branded movement targeting young people and young girls. In 1991, Burt’s beeswax, great company, was created by Roxanne Quimby. She perfected it from a recipe that she found in this old farmer’s journal, which became rapidly a bestseller in 1912. You know, there was a new egg-shaped thing by EOS. And then in 2018, cannabis came into the world of putting things on your lips. And of course, then try to have a transdermal effect of THC and CBD oil. So those, are some of the kind of the starting points and then the maturation of where things are going. Interesting delivery system potentially, but there are some very sensitive things we need to think about for the skin. Americans now spend over $200 million on lip balms every year. Think about that. Wow, more than 86,000 tubes of lip balm are purchased in a 24 hour period. We are addicted to lip balm. 65.9% of people use lip balm every day. And there are reasons that you shouldn’t do that. Did you know that Chapstick was used as a spy tool to hide tiny microphones during the Watergate break-in scandals? Hey, that is a fun fact, isn’t it? So what makes it convenient? Obviously, your lips are dry. You throw this on, you get the perception that you’re moisturizing your lips and it takes away a bit of the pain and the cracking. That’s the convenience. It “protects” your lips and it’s fairly cheap. Obviously, it’s easy to carry around, all of that stuff. We all know the convenience of it. However, there’s always issues with that. So the fatal side of this is for your lips is that most of this is wax and petroleum again. So here comes petroleum coming back in. And as we know and what we’ve discovered, petroleum is a really bad carcinogen, endocrine disrupter. But what this also does, the wax and the petroleum creates a watertight barrier that prevents the internal skin moisturizing signals so it doesn’t allow for the skin to repair itself from the inside out because you block the mechanisms. And this is from a board-certified dermatologist, Jessica Krant, MD, realizing that the normal evaporation through the surface, especially on dry, cold, windy days, keeps it from escaping and allowing for the softening of your lips, and keeps them feeling moist. So it interrupts this mechanism. The bottom layers of the skin of the lips naturally produce new skin cells. And each layer dies and dries out before reaching the top layer. So it’s kind of from the inside out, the signaling of the dry is essential for the lips to create new skin cells, to have them move up the mechanism to be replaced and the outer part. Applying lip balm to dry skin may feel better in the moment, but it also interferes with the signaling mechanism that tells the lower cells of the lips to start producing more healthy cells. As a result, when the balm wears off, the skin doesn’t have time to replenish the cells anymore because you’ve disrupted the signaling and then more lip balm is needed to keep the skin moist. Do you understand this is a vicious cycle? Joshua Zeigler, a New York-based dermatologist and director of the Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Medical Center says there are two potential issues that arise when using lip balm. The first is the actual ingredients in there are irritating the skin itself causing inflammation as well as loss of actual hydration. This, in turn, causes your lips to need more moisturizer, so you keep applying the product and it keeps into this vicious cycle. And it also becomes kind of this “lazy lips.” So the lazy lip scenario basically is your lips stop this cycle of naturally producing very rapidly, by the way, skin cells that are fresh and new to repair that which is being affected on the outside. So you have to let yourself have this little bit of uncomfortable if your lips are cracking and they’re going through this phase but trust the process. The formulas that create an artificial barrier to lock in moisture, but then when overused, can cause lips to become lazy because the skin doesn’t have to work to maintain its own hydration level. You have to go through the dry spell to get lips back to normal and work on their own again before applying another balm. This is directly from Dr. Zeigler. In other words, when your lips are used to continually being covered in lip balm, especially, petroleum and things that can’t hydrate and be transdermal, they feel very dry, they get more and more dry, and our instincts tell us to reapply, but that’s the lie. And all of these other things, you really want to avoid these cooling effect sides, menthols, and things like that that they’re now putting into lip balms. And that may feel, again, it’s the addiction cycle and the vicious cycle. You’re trying to mitigate the small amount of uncomfortable, but then you’re putting on barriers and menthols and all of these things, creating more inflammation, stopping the cycle for new skin cells to be applied as well as toxic exposure. And also, don’t lick your lips. So when you have these moments, there are some alternatives. I’ll give you some great alternatives to get through these little cycles at the end. A lot of natural ingredients, I’ll highlight more again, but there’s cocoa butter, fantastic coconut oil, shea butter, honey even, aloe. But there’s also glycerin that they throw in these things, which causes more moisture depletion as well as more irritation, as well as staying away from parabens. Parabens can penetrate the skin easily. And then they also create weak estrogen in the body potentially turning on the growth hormone receptors that support, unfortunately, breast cancer induction of cancer cells. This fact has been linked to breast cancer, like I just said, as well as influenced development of malignant melanoma in a form of skin cancer from these parabens. So really, guys and girls, stay away from children, keep parabens away from the sensitivity of the skin, especially the lips. Also, there are synthetic dyes that are showing up when you see something bright colored run from it. It’s a synthetic dye. Plant-based dyes, I don’t know why they’re doing that, that lowers, obviously, production costs and all of that stuff. But these things are a big indicator of bringing in heavy metals, especially lead into the body transdermally going right in. And of course, these things then are linked to cancer, allergies, reproductive and developmental disorders, neurological. How close are you to the brain when you’re putting this on your lips? Connected to muscle disorders, memory loss, all of these things. Other things you want to look out for is phenols and menthols, eucalyptus, camphor. They’re too intense for the lips. Stay away from the flavorings. Cinnamon, citrus, mint, peppermint can dehydrate the skin as well. And then the big one, petroleum jelly showing up this damn stuff like I did the fatal convenience on Vaselines a little bit ago. Here is petroleum jelly again. Can’t allow the skin to breathe, suffocating it and linked to cancer and allergic reactions as well as please also, chemical sunscreens are a really bad idea to apply to the sensitivity of the skin. This is allergic reactions, compromising the immune system, as well as staying away from fragrances and flavorings. Don’t put flavorings and synthetic fragrances on your skin and make sure it’s 100% paraben-free. And there was a study in 2010 where four patients with an allergic reaction, redness, and swelling to lip balm. The study showed that peppermint oil was the most likely cause of contact dermatitis. Avoid these flavorings, avoid these fragrances. It’s too intense for the skin. It may feel like, listen, I love peppermint oil, but don’t put it on your lips. It’s too intense for your lips. Your lips are very, very sensitive. Here is how you get out of it. Absolute indicator, you’re dehydrated. You know my love for water. You got to drink enough water, but you got to drink the right kind of water. It’s got to be structured water. It’s got to be clear and clean water and adding Himalayan crystal salt. So start slamming your water. It’s an indicator that you’re absolutely severely dehydrated. Try not to lick your lips. If you keep licking your lips, it’s just going to dry out more and more very quickly. It’s going to crack and bleed and then you’re really going to be hurting. Here’s another important thing. Breathe through your nose. If you are mouth breathing a lot, which most people are, you’re going to taking in that air, passing through the lips is really bad dehydrative effect on the lips. And then, of course, you’re going to have to be reaching out. So breathe through your nose. That’s why there’s mucus in the nose. It helps with that whole side of it. It doesn’t dry out the rest of the body, but through and passing in the mouth and breathing through the mouth absolutely does. You can also humidify, especially in the winter, potentially in a dry climate, you can use humidifiers. Put humidity back in the air where you sleep. Very good idea. And then when your lips are really having a hard time, stay away from acidic, salty, spicy foods that will irritate the hell out of your lips. So here is the solutions, really easy. Aloe vera gel is fantastic. Just make sure they’re not putting anything else in there. Aloe Force is a great company. I’ve used for over a decade. They have liquid you can drink and also aloe gel you can put right on your lips. That’s what I just did when my lips just went through hell in Arizona. And then coconut oil is a fantastic one. It still allows great moisturizer. You don’t want to again get dependent on it because you’re probably dehydrated, but this is a great one. It still allows for some hydration effect and doesn’t cut off the signaling. Also, a really interesting remedy that I didn’t think about, but I found was just taking a slice of cucumber and holding it on your lips for five minutes. So that’s a very moisturizing effect. There are minerals and there, the B5 that’s natural within the cucumber is very, very soothing. So I’ve got a lot of reliable sources in the show notes. This one’s an easy one. Just don’t buy regular lip balm, coconut oil, aloe vera, breathe through your nose. These are ways. And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. This one’s a good one. Keep your kids away from toxic lip balm and liberate yourself with yet another toxic exposure out of your life so you can cultivate more kickass energy to have the life that you want. Love you all.
Darin: Thanks for tuning in everyone. I hope that left you feeling inspired to take a closer look at the everyday choices you’re making and how they could be impacting your health and even the planet. If you want to learn more about life’s fatal conveniences, head over to fatalconveniences.com. You can sign up for the exclusive access to Fatal Conveniences episodes, news, insights, and more. And all this great stuff gets sent each week straight to your inbox, making it really easy. Now, that’s a convenience without the negative side effects. It only takes a few seconds to join. Just fill in the form and take that amazing step towards making better choices. Remember, small changes can have big impact. So, keep diving my friends, keep diving. And if you haven’t had a chance to check out the interview, I released earlier on the week, here’s what you missed:
Marta: It was a great relief to find that I didn’t have to obsess so much about my diet and about all the perfect foods I was supposed to be eating, all the app I was supposed to be downloading. In a way, the things I describe in Growing Young, they are simpler. It’s about taking a walk with your friends. It’s about being kind to people around you, about trying to be more optimistic. In a way more pleasurable and simpler. It involves less chasing, less running around trying to find the next best thing, and just kind of taking backward and connecting to the people around you and to yourself as well, which I find in a way rewarding. And even the fact that the things that make us in a way better as people. So becoming exactly kinder and more empathetic, more optimistic, less neurotic, they also help us stay younger and healthier.
Darin: This episode is produced by my team at Must Amplify, an audio marketing company that specializes in giving a voice to a brand and making sure the right people hear it. If you would like or are thinking about doing a podcast or even would like a strategy session to add your voice to your brand in a powerful way, go to www.mustamplify.com/darin. That’s www.mustamplify.com/darin.