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Why You’ll Want to Stop Putting Lanolin and Petroleum on Your Lips

The cold days of winter can be the most challenging weather for our skin. The dry heat inside and the elements outside cause our skin to lose moisture. The skin on our lips, which is thinner and more delicate than other areas of our bodies, becomes most susceptible to dehydration, chaffing and cracking during this dry season. It’s not surprising anymore that women are turning to nipple balm to sooth their dry and cracked lips. Now, the question is what’s in your nipple balm? Today we’ll discuss two common ingredients that you may not want to put on your lips: lanolin and petrolatum.

SOS Is Vegan, Safe For Babies And Safe For You

Before shedding light on these dubious ingredients, we’d like to tell you about our new Skin Ointment Salve, or SOS. Originally called NippleBalm, we intended to help nursing mothers with a food-grade, baby-safe balm to help with chaffed and otherwise irritated nipples. They were asking for a product that helped heal and protect, but that they did not have to worry about wiping away and wasn’t full of preservatives and other chemicals. Guess what? They all wrote and told us they were also using the balm on their lips, elbows, knees and hands! Intuitively, we knew nipple balm is safe for grownups because it’s safe nursing babies. Never did we dream the recipe was more universal. So we changed the name to SOS.

INTRODUCING PREVISE ZEROFRAGRANCE SKIN OINTMENT SALVE

SOS is our new multipurpose balm to fight soreness associated with cracked, dry, and damaged skin anywhere on your body. We recognize that skin may become dry and brittle due to age, weather, medical concerns, pregnancy, breastfeeding and activity. Our new SOS may be applied to lips, hands, feet, nipple and other areas of the skin. The natural emollients in SOS help lock in moisture to allow the skin to repair itself. However, unlike the majority of ointments and nipple balms, SOS is lanolin-free and petroleum-free.

 

Let’s begin with lanolin aka wool grease. If you’ve ever gone a few days without showering, you know the greasy build-up that accumulates in your hair. Imagine never showering and living in a steamy room. The greasy build-up would be pretty disgusting, right? Now, imagine a sheep in a heavy wool coat going through a similar no-bathing experience, and its oil-soaked coat hasn’t been cut for a full year. The greasy substance that builds up in the sheep’s coat is lanolin and it’s extracted when the wool is removed from the sheep. The lanolin must be purified to remove dirt, sweat, dust, pollen, fecal matter and pesticides. After the refining process is complete lanolin is added to cosmetics, skin care products and lip care products. Finally, unsuspecting consumers pay to smear the wool grease on their faces.

There are other reasons why you may want to stay away from lanolin:

  • Although lanolin is listed as an approved substance by the EPA, multiple studies have found lanolin samples to contain several types of pesticide residues , some that could accumulate in fat tissue, and some could accumulate in the milk of breast-feeding women. Yes, there are pesticides in lanolin. In the U.S. a total limit of 40 ppm (or mg/kg) total pesticides was set for lanolin for general use, with no individual component limit greater than 10 ppm.
  • Lanolin can also be an allergen. If you or your child has an allergy to wool, do not use lanolin-based cream. Always check with your doctor to verify if a lanolin-based cream is safe for you and your baby.

Petrolatum is yet another dubious ingredient in many lip balms and other beauty products. It comes from crude oil, which is the poster child for unsustainable substances whether you use it to fuel your car or protect your lips. Before you reach for a lip balm with petrolatum, consider these facts:

  • According to the Environmental Working Group, there’s petrolatum in one out of every 14 cosmetic products on the market, including 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils.
  • Although petrolatum is considered a safe substance, there is a risk of contamination from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil and its by-products. While no studies have ever shown a direct link between petrolatum and cancer, the European Union put numerous grades of petrolatum on a list of dangerous substances.
  • If you choose to use a balm, containing petrolatum, please take note of the other ingredients in the balm. Because petrolatum traps moisture and water-based ingredients under the skin, it can essentially “trap” non-comedogenic ingredients used together with petrolatum under there, causing stronger allergic reactions. Be sure to avoid ingredients like lanolin, coconut oil, squalene, mineral oil, and isopropyl myristate when using petrolatum.

When you need to heal your dry, cracked or damaged skin this winter, we hope that’ll consider our ZeroFragrance Skin Ointment Salve in lieu of products made from wool grease or petroleum. Use SOS on your hands, lips, nipples or wherever your skin needs some TLC.

Previse was born in dermatology and the science of skin’s physiology. Our bio-healthy company uses sustainably sourced ingredients from the sea and the farm blended together to deliver ultimate potency while fully respecting our natural surroundings. At Previse we borrow what nature creates and return what we borrow in good faith.

 

If you’d like to share your strategy for keeping your lips hydrated during winter be sure to leave your comments in the reply section below. Or… send your story to [email protected] We’d love to hear from you.

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