Between eating, drinking, talking, yawning, smiling, frowning, and every emotional expression in between, lips are probably the face's most active part. Yet, I don't typically consider the lips when calculating my skin's cosmetic intake. I smear on whatever balm, stick, or gloss is stuffed in my purse or waiting on my bedside table.
When I wrote about my beauty regime before bedtime
, a reader asked why I left out my lips. It's a rather good question, considering that I physically cannot turn off the lights to go to sleep without first coating a layer of moisture on my lips. I do my homework before shopping for a lip product and try to spare my pout from unnatural nasties. I also play favorites, so much so that I could be accused of lip balm addiction. A new favorite has recently entered the rotation, making its way onto my lips day and night.
is my mouth's flavor of the month. It is unique in more ways than its shape: an oblong stick with a large applicator head and a one-handed slider (in the form of a bumblebee). This vessel makes Lypsyl ideal for moisturizing on the go, with one hand holding a phone, bag, drink, etc. The balm glides on smoothly and conditions fully with a single swipe. There is little sheen and zero color, making Lypsyl a lovable moisturizer for dainty and manly lips alike. While the immediate effects include a slippery surface and a minty tingle, Lypsyl's long-lasting hydration does not disappear from a mere lick of the lips. I could still feel its comforting presence a full hour after application.
What makes Lypsyl a superior lifeline for your lips? Encased in extremely thin, tender, vulnerable skin, the lips are low in melanin and prone to chapping. Lip cancer from sun damage is the single most common form of oral cancer. As the mouth's gatekeepers, the lips pose a precarious entryway to the body, making safe ingredients a must. Lucky for lips, Lypsyl's formula is loaded with hydrating components and therapeutic properties.
Organic shea butter
, which is considered a Natural Moisturizing Factor, helps heal, soothe, and regenerate skin. Its moisturizing benefits are two-fold: Not only does it help the lips retain moisture by forming a barrier on the skin's surface, but it also reduces the appearance of dry flakes on the skin. Swedish beeswax also protects by building a barrier over the lips, while coconut oil contributes additional moisture. An extract from the South American fruit shrub Bixa Orellana
, endowed with various anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, gives skin a "sunny" glow and may function as an antioxidant due to its high carotenoid content. Vitamins A and E heal cracked and irritated lip skin. Ceresin, a binding wax, holds it all together.
Nothing not to like on that list. However, the leading three ingredients (mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin) gave me pause, since they so starkly diverge from the rest of the all-natural formula. Mineral oil and petrolatum, or soft paraffin, are cheap petrochemical byproducts from oil production. As such, they need to be refined. It is feared that some methods of production present hazardous, toxic, or carcinogenic components. But cosmetic-grade petrolatum
and mineral oil must meet precise specifications requiring all contaminants to be removed.
The Environmental Working Group considers mineral oil, petrolatum, and paraffin to be low hazards. Ultimately, the specter of danger associated with these emollients is no match for their benefits. Mineral oil softens the skin by holding in water, while petrolatum essentially melts into the skin, filling in gaps in the lipid barrier and preventing skin from losing moisture to evaporation.
Lypsyl may not be for everyone. Nay-sayers might include organic purists, SPF sticklers, and alligator lips. But this lightweight drugstore balm is one of the best beauty buys on the market. At around $3, Lypsyl surpasses the conditioning power of more high-end lip moisturizers for only a fraction of the price. Lypsyl's sleek glide and silky feel reminds me of Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick
, which retails for about $14. Both deliver a soft, nourished pucker. But Lypsyl makes the experience more fun, less costly, and equally enjoyable.
Ingredients in Lypsyl Original Formula:
Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Ceresin, Beeswax (Apis Mellifera), Flavor, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit (Organic), Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E Acetate), Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A Palmitate), Bixa Orellana Seed Extract