Regardless of what season it may be, moisturizing and taking care of your skin is always important. However, keeping the skin of your lips healthy and moisturized as well is just as important as making sure your general skincare game is on-point. With the arrival of clean beauty and a steady rise in products that are created with all-natural ingredients in mind, it would be wise to look into what your lip products are made of as well. If you’re looking to keep your lips moisturized all day every day, consider investing in natural or organic chapstick.
We know what you’re thinking–don’t get natural or organic chapstick confused with natural lip balm or natural lip gloss. They are all amazing products on their own, with distinct ingredients and benefits for your lips. But what is natural chapstick, exactly? Here is everything you need to know about your new lip care go-to item perfect for indoor and outdoor use.
We will be covering the following topics:
- What is Chapstick?
- Chapstick Ingredients to Avoid\
- What is Natural Chapstick?
- Reasons to Use Natural Chapstick
- What is Organic Chapstick?
- Reasons to Use Organic Chapstick
- How to Make Natural/Organic Chapstick
What is Chapstick?
The word “chapstick” comes from the words “chapped” and “stick.” It is literally a tube or stick of wax created to help keep your lips moisturized. Chapstick variants come in tiny plastic tubes that resemble that of lipstick or lip balm tubes. A mechanism at the bottom twists to reveal the wax stick which you then apply to your lips whenever moisturization is needed–exactly like you would do with a regular lip balm or lipstick tube.
Chapstick was originally invented in the late 1890’s in Lynchburg, Virginia by an American physicist named Doctor Charles Brown Fleet, or Dr. C.D. Fleet as he is mostly credited. Although he was a remarkably talented inventor who loved to discover new, innovative products, he was actually more of a scientist than a savvy businessman. Failing to find ways to make his new invention profitable, Charles Brown Fleet begrudgingly sold his chapstick formula to his friend, John Morton, for just five dollars!
Then named “Chap Stick” by Fleet, he presented the product to John Morton and his wife in a flat, circular tin package, which meant that the user had to open it up, lightly dab the wax, and apply it to their lips. It definitely was a bit more difficult to use than a regular lipstick tube!
The Mortons decided to improve on this package. Luckily for John Morton, his wife had the perfect idea to mold the wax into a tube instead of a circular swath. The cherry on top would be that it would fit a plastic tube and could then be applied like lipstick!
From the Morton’s humble home kitchen, the couple would eventually expand into factory-scale production–they then expanded even more and became The Morton Manufacturing Company. The product was an instant success, and soon enough, the Mortons were being courted by other investors. They eventually sold all assets and rights of the company over to a pharmaceutical company named A.H. Robbins, based in Richmond, Virginia. Under the new leadership of this company, the ChapStick brand expanded to include more flavors of ChapStick than ever before, natural ingredients, enhanced hydration elements, and added sun protection factor. Currently, the ChapStick brand is affiliated with the pharmaceutical company, Pfizer.
Chapstick Ingredients to Avoid
Even though different kinds of chapstick products have been on the market longer than you and I have been alive, the reality is that certain products may not be right for everyone. Certain ingredients may react negatively with your skin, and it’s best to discover which ingredients to avoid when shopping for or making your own natural chapstick. It’s best to take note of these ingredients especially if you have had mild to severe skin allergies or conditions in the past.
Here are some questionable ingredients we found and their effects:
This ingredient is actually a skin irritant, as reported by Natural Savvy. What’s questionable about this ingredient is that even though it is really meant to moisturize your skin, it effectively dries out your skin over time. This ingredient has been known to create fissures in not just your skin, but your hair as well, so be careful!
Examples of humectants include Glycerin and Hyaluronic Acid. Make sure that if your chapstick contains humectants, it must also have occlusive agents like shea butter or beeswax to balance out its effects. Otherwise, these humectants may cause your skin to further dry out especially if you live or traveled to an environment that already has a pretty dry climate. This is an ingredient you should especially avoid if you travel a lot, since its properties might not necessarily agree with swift, rapid changes in your environment.
Propylparaben and Methylparaben
These ingredients are particularly risky, since they may impose a breast cancer risk due to their endocrine disruptive nature. This means that they are mimics or copycats of estrogen which could cause your body to experience hormonal imbalances. Although these findings have not been backed up by studies as of this writing, these parabens have been found in breast cancer tumors. According to Verily Mag, methylparaben has been found to block out the effects of Tamoxifen, a drug taken to battle the effects of breast cancer.
Ever wondered where allergic reactions to chapstick really come from? It’s highly likely that they came from fragrance ingredients. Why is this so? Because the FDA does not normally check fragrant ingredients, it is extremely possible for companies to make use of questionable ingredients while still getting FDA approval. According to the National Academy of Sciences, some of these ingredients could be synthetic compounds, toxins, aldehydes, sensitizers and more which aren’t regulated.
While it’s important to be wary of your chapstick’s fragrance ingredients, do not forget to check if your chapstick contains any artificial sweetening agents, such as saccharin. Like the ingredients mentioned previously, saccharin may cause undue allergic reactions especially for individuals who struggle to tolerate artificial sweetening of any kind. If you discovered that you’ve had allergic reactions to common artificial sweeteners like aspartame, avoid anything containing saccharin just to be safe.
Light Mineral Oil
Effects on the skin aside, light mineral oil is, first and foremost, an ingredient that makes use of non-renewable resources, which already means that your tiny tube of chapstick could have a carbon footprint larger than you initially expected. Light mineral oil can also be a contaminant to your body if it contains PAHs or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. A more environmentally-friendly alternative to light mineral oil can be found in bottles of organic essential oils.
You might know camphor as the ingredient that normally gives chapstick its waxy property. If you are a young child reading this article or are in the presence of small children, please note that camphor may cause unfortunate risks to young bodies. Medscape reports that children who ingest even small doses of this ingredient may be prone to vomiting, nausea, seizures, and agitation, due to camphor inducing central nervous system irritation as well as gastrointestinal irritation.
This waxy ingredient can also be found in candles and can cause several unfortunate side effects, including but not limited to nausea, headaches, respiratory issues, and more. According to Happy Wax, paraffin can contain carcinogens such as benzene and toluene–two elements which are linked to crude oil resources and are potential cancer-causing carcinogens in their own right. This is doubly dangerous when applied to an area that could lead to easy ingestion, like on your lips.
Dr. Tracey Lambert, owner of Skin Elegance, says it best when she notes that “if you’re trying to repair and protect your lips, why would you choose a product that contains harmful ingredients like parabens, artificial fragrance, mineral oils and a host of others that you wouldn’t want on your skin, let alone on your lips where they risk being ingested?!”
What is Natural Chapstick?
Luckily for us all, natural chapstick exists as a great alternative to regular chapstick, which could contain any of the questionable ingredients above. Unlike regular chapstick, natural chapstick seeks to moisturize your lips just as efficiently but with the use of all-natural ingredients such as beeswax, seed oil, and coconut butter. It is made of completely natural ingredients clearly stated in its packaging.
Reasons to Use Natural Chapstick
You know what they are made of
Most companies that advocate for clean beauty clearly state the natural ingredients that exist in their products, and do not tend to hide additional ingredients from the FDA in order to get approval. Expiration dates of these products are also clearly stated in packaging, so you know that you must use up all of your natural chapstick before the ingredients can turn detrimental to your skin. Because of the artificial ingredients infused in other brands of chapstick, you may not know just how harmful these ingredients are or if it’s time to replace your tube of chapstick. This is why natural chapsticks may be a safer option, especially if your skin is more sensitive and is more prone to allergic reactions.
Expiration dates remind you that your tube can’t be used forever
Because brands keep coming up with the latest beauty item to obsess over, your dresser at home can find itself cluttered with a lot of items from the last time you went crazy over an online sale. And because of all this, don’t be surprised if that crucial expiration date slips your mind!
Natural ingredients do have an expiration date, and most companies clearly state this on each packaged tube of natural chapstick. Hence, buying a tube of natural chapstick means you have one less reason to hoard!
You will be less prone to toxic accidents
If you live with small children or pets, one of your nightmares might be discovering that one of them went to town on your makeup collection and actually ate a whole tube of lipstick or chapstick! Yes, this makes for a pretty hilarious family memory, but can also warrant a trip to the emergency room if these items actually contained toxic ingredients. Although we still advise you to consult a doctor if a tube of natural chapstick is eaten by anyone in your family, they are less likely to suffer any unwarranted side effects because it’s made from all-natural ingredients.
You can create your own chapstick at home
Thinking of saving yourself a trip to the grocery, beauty, or convenience store because all you need to buy is a tiny tube of chapstick? No problem! Because the natural ingredients found in natural chapstick are relatively easy to find, you can probably create your own tubes of chapstick right at home with ingredients available in the comfort of your own kitchen. Plastic tubes can also be bought in bulk online, which can encourage you to make more natural chapstick for your family and friends–or better yet, start your own beauty business!
What is Organic Chapstick?
To understand what organic chapstick is, we must then understand the difference between the words “organic” and “natural.” According to Medium.com, a natural product does not make use of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, but it is not exempted from making use of other artificial factors in its creation including, but not limited to, pesticides and genetically-modified organisms. Hence, not everything about a “natural” product may actually be completely natural.
The opposite is true for a product deemed “organic.” In order for organic chapstick to identify as such and maintain FDA approval, at least 95% of its ingredients must be organic. If you purchase a tube of organic chapstick and the brand declares that it is “100% organic” with FDA approval, this means that it did not make use of artificial ingredients at all in its creation.
In order to be completely assured of the kind of product you’re purchasing, check whether it identifies as organic or natural, check for FDA approval, and check the list of its ingredients on its packaging to find out whether any of these ingredients are actually detrimental to your skin or not.
Reasons to Use Organic Chapstick
You won’t deal with artificial ingredients
If you ever find your organic chapstick is only 95% organic, this will not be a cause for concern either. Because of the minimal percentage of artificial ingredients, you won’t be able to incur any of its harmful effects. But of course, ideally you would want to choose 100% organic chapstick just so you know for sure that all of the ingredients present are indeed organic.
Get all the benefits of natural chapstick with organic ingredients
Every benefit you will incur with natural chapstick follows with organic chapstick–it’s just that your ingredients are inevitably more attuned to clean beauty. Think of organic chapstick as the cleaner alternative to natural chapstick, but both are great alternatives to other beauty products that are more laden with artificial materials.
How to Make Natural/Organic Chapstick
As tempting as it is to buy natural or organic chapstick, especially with how easy it is to buy beauty products online these days, making natural or organic chapstick at home for yourself is simple! Here’s how you can start today.
1. Find the following materials:
- Chapstick tube containers (as many as you want)
- Essential oils
- Organic coconut oil
- Organic shea butter
- Medicine dropper
2. Melt (2) tablespoons of beeswax under low fire and a non-stick pan.
You can use a regular cooking pan, but you might spend a long time getting all that pesky wax off when you’re done! You can also try the double boiler method where you boil a pot of water and add a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the pot (but don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the boiling water). Make sure to monitor the beeswax melting so it won’t burn too much.
3. Add two (2) tablespoons of organic shea butter to the beeswax.
4. Add two (2) tablespoons of organic coconut oil to the mix.
5. Add 3-5 drops of essential oils using your medicine dropper.
Make sure to mix essential oils that smell great together! You don’t want to end up with a fragrance that doesn’t smell quite right for your natural or organic chapstick mix. When choosing your essential oil brand Milana Perepyolkina from Gypsy Energy Secrets notes that “when it comes to your lips, use only 100% pure, chemical-free, organic, sustainable, therapeutic-grade essential oils. What you put on your lips you put in your body.”
6. Wait for the entire mixture to melt again.
7. Using the medicine dropper, carefully add the mixture into each of your chapstick tubes.
Be careful while doing this! The mixture is extremely hot and may cause your skin to burn if not handled correctly.
8. Wait for the wax to dry under room temperature.
Please take note of the fact that the wax may not all dry immediately. Like other types of wax, the mixture you made for your natural or organic chapstick will solidify as it begins to cool. Do not be tempted to rush the whole process by placing each chapstick in the refrigerator or freezer. They just might not cool the right way!
9. Once dried, apply your natural or organic chapstick freely!
And you’re done! Wasn’t that easy? Give your chapsticks out to family and/or friends, or maybe start selling them! It’s entirely up to you and what you want to do with your newfound skill.