During the colder months, people stock up on lip balm. However, you can get chapped lips any time of year, especially if you are out in the hot sun a lot. Who came up with lip balm? What are the best ingredients to look for? These questions and more will be answered in the nine most interesting lip balm facts:
1. Before commercial lip balm, people tried lots of other substances
In her book The American Frugal Housewife, Lydia Maria Child had an interesting lip balm suggestion: earwax. She acknowledged that her readers might laugh at the idea, but insisted on its effectiveness. No word on how common this method was, but recently, the Nets coach was caught on camera using ear wax for his chapped lips. People were horrified.
2. Charles Browne Fleet first came up with lip balm as we know it
In the 1870s, someone else registered the Vaseline patent, but it wasn’t strictly for chapped lips. In the 1880s, physician Charles Brown Fleet invented ChapStick. His original vision looked a bit like a candle wrapped in tin foil, and it didn’t sell well. In 1912, a town resident bought the rights from Fleet for $5 and turned the product into a success.
3. ChapStick is lip balm, but not all lip balm is ChapStick
Like Kleenex, ChapStick has become a generic term for all lip balm. There are many other popular brands, like Carmex, Blistex, and Burt’s Bees. Another popular brand, Eos, stands out from the pack with a distinct round container.
4. ChapStick played a crucial role in the Watergate scandal
President Nixon bugged his political opponents and got caught, leading to his resignation. Some of the bugs were discovered in empty ChapStick containers, so they blended into an office setting.
5. There are a lot of things that can dry out your lips
If you find yourself always dealing with chapped lips, there’s a reason. Licking your lips, washing your face with scalding hot water, and staying out in the sun too long can cause issues.
6. Not all lip balms are good
Lip balms with flavors and fragrances often don’t help very much with chapped skin. They can even make the chapping worse. Menthol or peppermint additives are added for a cooling effect, but they are often irritating. Dermatologists recommend finding a brand without added colors or fragrances.
7. Beeswax is considered one of the best ingredients
Beeswax is a common ingredient in lip balms and the main ingredient in Burt’s Bees. The substance seals moisture into your lips and stays there for a long time, so you don’t need to constantly reapply.
8. Lip balm can expire
Lip balm isn’t food and it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it can still expire. Burt’s Bees and ChapStick recommend throwing your lip balm away after a year. For other brands, if it’s meant to protect from the sun, a year is about as long as it will work. If the lip balm looks or smells odd, definitely toss it. Bacteria can accumulate on lip balm.
9. Companies sometimes go crazy with flavors
Interesting lip balm flavors include bacon, coffee, French fries, dill pickle, and classic soda pops. As novelty products, these lip balms probably aren’t the best solution for chapped lips.
Your skin is your body’s biggest organ and vulnerable to the most damage from the elements. What’s the best skincare routine?