Caring for your lips, and the Planet.

02.01.2008

Caring for your lips, and the Planet.

I was recently asked to write an article for the O'mama report, an online organic information site. If you've never heard of it, click the link below and check it out.

Caring for your Lips...and the Planet
Contributed by Steve Shriver of Eco Lips, Inc.

Lips ... what you do or don't put on them is pretty important stuff! Given the kind of abuse they take from the elements such as sun, wind, water, heat, chemicals and your tongue, they really do deserve some special attention.

Your lips, unlike your skin, don't have a moisturizing mechanism such as sebum built into them. Without proper care, your lips can burn, blister, even bleed. Not only is this unsightly, but it can cause major discomfort, and take weeks to heal, not to mention making you more susceptible to catching a cold or a flu bug. By keeping our lips protected, we reduce the likelihood of drying and cracking, which ultimately reduces the chance of infection. If you think about it, your lips are the last place you want to have an open wound – they are exposed to all type of germs.

We know that what we put on our lips goes directly into our blood stream. Therefore, we need to make wise decisions when we choose lip balms, moisturizers or lip sticks. We must not only choose healthy ingredients but products that are good for our environment and socially responsible at every level.

Here are some basic guidelines:

1. Choose organic over natural. Adding some plant ingredients to a product primarily made with chemicals is not really natural. Become discerning - our planet needs you to be.
2. You will need to read the ingredients list and label to understand the percentage of organic ingredients a company is using. Guidelines for organic bodycare products are still being developed in the United States.
3. Some products are misleading in their marketing claims and the way they present their products. Read the fine print, research their websites and check their facts.
4. One of the most important factors to consider is the top two or three ingredients. Organic botanical oils such as jojoba oil, and sunflower oil are excellent emollients which soothe and soften. Next you should see bees wax or plant wax. These ingredients should be organic too. They work synergistically with the oils to form a protective and moisturizing layer on the lips.
5. Stay away from all petrolatum products. They're not good for you or for the environment.
6. Preservatives can be natural and work just fine. Avoid parabens and other synthetic ingredients. Lead was just recently found in many conventional lipsticks in the US. Lead is extremely toxic especially for children.
7. Coloring! This is a big subject. Most coloring agents are synthetic so "buyer beware". Carmine, which produces red color in cosmetics may be natural but it is made from crushed beetles. Minerals are the latest way to color naturally and are lots more fun.
8. The best performing lip balms are the ones that are just soft enough to glide on smooth, but just firm enough to create a thick layer that stays on your lips longer.
9. Reading the label does not always help you figure out the safety of a product because companies have learned to hide certain ingredients by calling them other names or incorporating them into one ingredient name. Purchase only from reliable organic companies that are committed to their customers and to the welfare of the planet. Understand their mission and their politics. Your purchase can do far more than improve your lips; it can support a greater movement that champions a healthy and sustainable lifestyle for all!


click here to go the O'mama report