What's In It Wednesday: Chapstick
It's been a while since we've had a What's In It Wednesday feature, so this is long overdue! Today, we'll take a look at the ever popular ChapStick Lip Balm in Cherry. What is REALLY in this?
Let's take a look. It's a gross one, really. And quite unhealthy, I might add. When it comes to a lip balm, you are truly getting what you pay for (3 for $3.99 at Drugstore.com). There is nothing good about this product in terms of ingredients.
Here is the listing of ingredients from a tube of Original Cherry ChapStick:
Active Ingredients: Padimate O (1.5%), White Petrolatum (44%)
Inactive Ingredients: Arachidyl Propionate, Camphor, Cetearyl Alcohol, D&C Red 6 Barium Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, Fragrance, Isopropyl Lanolate, Isopropyl Myristate, Lanolin, Light Mineral Oil, Methylparaben, Octyldodecanol, Oleyl Alcohol, Phenyl Methicone, Propylparaben, Titanium Dioxide, Wax
We'll first talk about the fact that 44% of the entire product is White Petrolatum. This is actually banned for use in cosmetics in the EU (manufacturing or structural exception that allows the substance; source Cosmetics Database). Even worse, it may be contaminated with chemicals linked to cancer. So, unless a company can prove the full refining history in the EU, it cannot be used in cosmetics. In the US, though, anything goes.
What is Padimate O? It's actually a derivative of PABA. You all remember PABA, don't you? It used to be popular in sunscreens until it was discovered that it releases harmful free radicals which harm the DNA and can have estrogen properties. This is in here too. This is linked to cancer.
The other bad ingredients in this:
Camphor: This is perhaps the most troubling ingredient. How is that camphor is still used in these products when it is known to be toxic in children. In fact, Nancy Clark, the Assistant Commissioner of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) Bureau of Environmental Disease Prevention Program says, "Camphor products can be very dangerous for children...Be sure to keep these products away from them. Swallowing camphor or applying it in large amounts to a child can cause seizures."
D&C Red 6 Barium Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake -- Concerns about links between FD & C as well as "lake" (metallic) colorants and cancer have been present for years. I would avoid.
Fragrance -- This is a synthetic ingredient which is responsible for a large percentage of allergies in many sufferers. It can be very irritating to certain individuals, especially children and those with respiratory issues, headaches, and other illnesses.
Light Mineral Oil -- This is a very inexpensive bi-product of petroleum. It is, in fact, a liquid crude oil. It is a form of PETROLATUM (See above).
Methylparaben -- This type of paraben is a preservative agent against fungus. A very compelling study more than 7 years ago in the Journal of Applied Toxicology linked parabens to breast cancer as they may be hormone disruptive and lead to tumor growth. While the jury is still out on paraben safety, I personally find the links too strong and this home has been paraben free for more than 4 years.
Propylparaben -- See above.
Wax -- What KIND of wax? This is so vague! Is it beeswax? Wax from a crayon? Palm wax? This shouldn't be allowed on the label! Consumers have a right to know WHAT KIND of wax is in it!
The Bottom Line:
When you remember that 60% of what you apply gets absorbed into your bloodstream, it's a real risk when you're applying this to the lips. ChapStick may have been the original product of its kind, but it is among the worst.
Here are some Chic & Green Affordable Favorites:
This is, in my opinion, the best of the best. You can get 3 for $7 and it is so gentle and all natural. A favorite of mine from Aunt Nancy's on Etsy.
Vanilla lip balm from Made From Earth ($3.99) is another good choice.
My Nick likes this one from Prairie Dawn ($4)