If you have ever suffered from dry or chapped lips and have experienced first-hand the pain and agony that results thereafter, then it’s likely that the idea of a chapstick or Lip Balm has crossed your mind.
There are so many Lip Balms on the market today, with the most common brand being ChapStick, which has resulted in people using the term to refer to all lip balms brands.
The idea of applying lip balm doesn’t appeal to most men since most think that it makes them appear “unmanly.” However, your lips need to be taken care of if they are to look and feel good. Cracked or chapped lips are the last things you want, not because they look unsightly but because they can be painful.
A good quality lip balm needs to moisturize, nourish, and at the same time repair damaged lips. This guide is meant to help you have a better understanding of how chapsticks work and why you need one, as well as the ingredients that you need to consider when buying one.
What Is a Chapstick for Men
Chapstick is a type of lip balm and it happens to be the brand name of lip balms created by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. It is one of the most popular lip balms, so most people use the term to refer to all forms of lip balms generally.
Lip balms are waxy substances applied to the outer lips to relieve dryness, cracking, and chapping. Sometimes lip balms can also be used to soothe lip conditions such as cheilitis, stomatitis, or cold sores.
Most lip balms are made with waxy substances like beeswax, petroleum jelly, and carnauba wax. Some lip balms will, however, contain other ingredients such as flavors, fragrances, dyes, and other ingredients that help them stand out in the market.
We will be discussing further the ingredients used in lip balms, including the ones to avoid. Generally, lip balms can be purchased anywhere, be it in a supermarket, a cosmetic shop, your local drugstore, a make-up store, or online shops like Amazon.
Benefits of Using Chapsticks for Men
Chapsticks have been in existence since the 1820s. They have gradually shifted from products meant for women and now men are using lip balms just like women. With that in mind, here are the known benefits of using lip balm as a man.
Skin on Your Lips is Different
The skin on your lips tends to be thinner than the rest of your face hence prone to more damage if proper care is not taken. Just like you would nourish your face with facial cream, your lips also need that kind of nourishment that can only be derived from a lip balm.
Heals Damaged Lips
Just as a moisturizer helps get rid of split ends on your beard, if your lips get damaged, the best way to correct the situation is to use a lip balm that contains the right ingredients. The skin on your lips tends to be delicate; therefore, keeping it hydrated will help the skin repair. While you might be comfortable walking around with damaged lips, the pain that results from that is nothing to laugh about.
Lips Look and Feel Good
Just like when you use the best dark spot corrector for men to look good, lip balm helps your lips not only feel but look good, healthy, and plump. While that might not be at the top of your priorities, at the end of the day, we all aim to look good, so why not care for your lips while at it?
Coupled with a body spray ideal for daytime wear, a good lip balm can leave you feeling confident.
Short History of Chapsticks for Men
Before chapsticks ever existed, people were always looking for ways to treat chapped and irritated lips.
By 1829, it was common knowledge that wax could act as a possible solution to dry lips ever since women rights activist Lydia Maria Child claimed that placing earwax on the lips could treat chapped lips.
It is unknown whether anyone managed to come up with more hygienic balms, but according to records, if there ever was, these were sold in metal cases that needed to be applied by hand.
It was not until 1880 when physician Charles Browne Fleet invented the first lip balm in the form of the stick we know today. He marketed the lip balm as ChapStick and it resembled a “wickless candle that was wrapped in tin foil.”
He tried selling the product around his hometown of Lynchburg, Virginia, but the venture proved unsuccessful. However, he would go on to invent laxatives before starting his own company, C.B. Fleet, which still exists to this day.
On lip balm issue, however, in 1912, he sold the rights to ChapStick for $5, which translates to $135 today to John Morton, who also resided in Lynchburg. Morton and his wife would improve the lip balm, which proved a success and the sales allowed them to start the Morton Manufacturing Corporation.
In 1935, they sought the services of commercial artist Frank Wright Jr. to create the ChapStick logo, which is the same one still being used to date. They paid $15 for that, which, if adjusted for inflation, translates to $284 today.
In 1963, the manufacturing company sold Chapstick to The A.H. Robins Company, which developed flavored ChapStick and other medically beneficial variants of the product over the next three decades.
The company was then in 1988 purchased by American Home Products that would change the name to Wyeth before being acquired by Pfizer. ChapStick was then sold to Fareva Richmond, which is the same company that makes ChapStick for Pfizer.
How Do Chapsticks for Men Work
Chapsticks are usually a waxy substance that is used to coat the lips. They contain ingredients that act as moisturizers to relieve dryness and lip chapping while keeping the lips hydrated.
Lip balms also work by repairing any damage on the lips. Lip balms that contain SPF work by hydrating and moisturizing the skin on your lips to prevent any sunburns when you step outside. The ingredients in lip balms create a barrier between the environment and the skin, which helps hold moisture so that lips remain smooth and soft for a long period.
Pros and Cons of Using Chapsticks
- Lip balm is mostly used to relieve chapped and cracked lips.
- Lip balm gives your lips a glossy effect after application, which can be rather alluring, especially if you are on a date.
- Lip balms also come in different flavors and scents; hence it is easy to find a scent that blends well with your cologne.
- Lip balms, especially the ones that have SPF, are important in preventing sunburns on the lips, leading to skin damage in the long run.
- In as much as lip balm is important, some products might end up worsening your lip chapping if they contain allergens.
- Some lip balm brands also cause the lips to look drier than normal. This is especially when you use lip balms containing ingredients such as salicylic acid, menthol, and phenol.
- Some lip balms contain harmful ingredients like petrolatum, dyes, phenol, paraffin, and parabens, some of which are cancer-causing agents.
- There is also a possibility that you might develop an infection after applying lip balm. While most lip balms come in the form of sticks that you can apply directly to your lips, some are applied by hand. If you have dirty hands, then the germs and bacteria can gain access to your mouth, which is what causes the infections.
Types of Chapsticks
Stick chapsticks are the most common and what comes to mind when someone talks about lip balms. Just as the name suggests, they come in the form of sticks and resemble lipsticks.
The fact that a stick lip balm looks like lipstick might put you off because you think it would rub on your masculinity. But before you dismiss the product, you need to look at the benefits. The biggest is that such a lip balm is easy to carry around and you can whip it out of your pocket fast, apply it and hide it again in seconds.
Squeeze lip balms come in small tubes like the ones used for toothpaste. Such lip balms are great since they can be passed off as something medicinal. When you apply it even in public, people will just assume that you are using it to treat something and not use it as a beauty product.
However, such lip balms have on disadvantage and it’s that they take longer to administer since there is a lid you need to unscrew and it’s easy to extract more than you need.
Tin lip balms, just like the stick ones, are quite common. They come in a small tin with a lid that you flip off, run a finger over the product before applying it to your lips.
Like stick lip balms, this form might also raise eyebrows, but luckily, it can also be passed off as treatment, and not to mention such lip balms are clean and easy to use.
Ingredients to Look for in Chapsticks for Men
There are so many factors to consider when buying a chapstick, but the most important is the ingredients. Just like a toner can remove excess skin oil, the ingredients in a lip balm play an important role in determining whether your chosen lip balm can provide the kind of moisture that your lips need.
Ingredients also determine whether your lip balm will exfoliate dead skin cells, repair and replenish damaged lips, soothe and heal irritated or raw lips and protect against the elements.
Besides all these, the ingredients also determine the form of the product, such as whether the lip balm should be applied as a stick, from a tin or a tube, its feel, taste, and scent.
With that in mind, here are ingredients that you should look out for when you are buying a chapstick.
Thanks to its molecular structure, lanolin is a great moisturizer and mimics the natural oils produced by the body. It also contains a high-fat content making it effective for creating a breathable barrier meant to help retain the moisture in the lips to keep them hydrated.
Lanolin is made from sheep’s wool hence not a vegan option, which would explain why most people are allergic to it.
According to some experts, this could be due to the increased moisture since the substance is used in many skincare products. It is, however, a great ingredient that you should consider when buying lip balm. However, after use, you begin breaking out, then discontinue use and consider going for lip balms with other ingredients.
Beeswax is another non-vegan ingredient that is used when making lip balms and other skincare products. It works like lanolin due to its ability to hydrate and soften lips after use and establish a protective barrier that locks in moisture for a longer period.
It is also rich in nutrients that are good for the skin and it also works well as an antioxidant. Though uncommon, some people have skin sensitivity when they use beeswax, so that’s something you need to look out for. If you don’t want to use beeswax lip balm, candelilla wax is a great vegan alternative.
Name aside, hyaluronic acid doesn’t behave like acid, so there is nothing to worry about. It is a naturally occurring molecule produced by the body and that is effective when used on the skin. This ingredient is used in lip balms due to its ability to hold 1,000 times its own weight in water.
This makes it a great moisturizer that will keep your lips hydrated and plump all day long. When used on the skin, it is absorbed into the body and, in the long run, will boost the overall health of your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is also believed to contain anti-aging properties, which is one of the reasons why a lip balm containing this ingredient is not always a bad idea.
Most quality lip balms will contain at least one natural butter or oil. Shea butter is one such product used in so many beauty products, including men’s grooming products. It is made from the nuts of the shea trees and it’s rich in fatty acids, which work as moisturizers while helping in skin regeneration. Shea butter is also an anti-inflammatory that helps soothe cracked and chapped lips while protecting them against the elements.
Another benefit of shea butter and probably why you might consider a lip balm that contains this important ingredient is that it helps protect against the harmful UV rays of the sun and why it’s used in sunblock.
When you are using any products with shea butter, you need to consider your skin type since some skins don’t take well to it, which leads to blockage of pores. However, this is not something to worry about when it comes to lip balms.
Cocoa butter is a fat extracted from cocoa beans and is similar to shea butter in so many ways. A product will either contain shea butter or cocoa butter or both. All in all, it works by moisturizing the lips and revitalizes them as well. The only difference with shea butter is that cocoa butter doesn’t help block out UV rays and is often used instead as a tanning agent.
If you are using a product that contains cocoa butter, you still need to use some sort of sunblock. Sunscreen prevents sunburns and nourishes skin, which is important for healthy and youthful-looking skin.
Coconut oil is a potent ingredient when used in lip balms. It is made from coconut palm fruits and it’s used as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps promote the healing and repair of damaged lips while promoting the production of new collagen in the process.
For people prone to acne and other kinds of breakouts, coconut oil is comedogenic, which means that it blocks pores, increasing your risk of breaking out even further and developing blackheads. Because of that, lip balms that contain coconut oil are best suited for people who have normal or dry skin.
Sugar or Green Tea
The reason why green tea and sugar have made it to the list is that they act as exfoliants to remove dead skin cells from the lips, which is something you need if you want soft lips.
Ingredients to Avoid in Chapsticks for Men
In as much as ingredients are important when you are buying a chapstick, the kind of ingredients contained in the product matter. The following are ingredients that you should avoid in a chapstick because these are more likely to do more harm than good.
Castor oil is used as an ingredient in many lip balm brands. Castor oil is packed with fatty acids and therefore doubles up as a cleanser, conditioner, and moisturizing agent.
However, further research has pointed out that many people are allergic to the ricinoleic acid contained in castor oil, which is the main cause of chapped lips among people who use such lip balms.
However, if such a lip balm works for you, there is no reason not to use it. If not, discontinue use and consider other ingredients.
Most people will go for lip balms containing vitamin E since it is a known antioxidant that helps heal dry and cracked lips while fighting flakiness and dryness at the same time.
While that is all good, too much vitamin E can actually cause more harm than good. For instance, many people are allergic to high amounts of vitamin E, which causes them to develop contact dermatitis, which shows up as chapping on the lips.
To avoid all these, it is worth noting that vitamin E occurs naturally in other lip balm ingredients, which means that you don’t need to buy a product with additional vitamin E.
Some professionals will advise against the use of lip balms that contain petroleum jelly since it is made from refined petroleum, which is likely to get contaminated with cancer-causing agents during the refining process.
However, the main reason why petroleum jelly is not good for your lips is that it prevents your lips from getting the right amount of oxygen they require to remain healthy.
You have probably seen warnings about using products that contain parabens, which are preservatives that are used in skincare products.
Parabens tend to react negatively with the skin, but that is not even the main issue. Parabens have been found to interact with the endocrine system’s functioning, which can best cause hormonal issues and worse cancer and reproductive disorders in the long run.
Flavors and Fragrances
Most men are not so much concerned with a lip balm’s fragrance or flavor. However, some men like a little fragrance that complements their cologne or masks out the odor of the other ingredients in the lip balm even though some affordable colognes last long such that you don’t need to add anything else.
There are so many masculine flavored and scented lip balms on the market today and you should go with what suits your preferences.
Here is a downside, though; some flavorings and fragrances that are added to lip balms can end up causing more harm than good by causing chapping of the lips, among other reactions. What it all comes down to at the end of the day is “natural vs. artificial.” It’s a good idea to avoid artificial additives, although natural ones can have negative effects as well.
The so-called “cooling” ingredients such as eucalyptus, peppermint oil, menthol, and camphor are among the biggest nuisances. This is not to say that you should avoid all flavored and scented lip balms. But you need to know that they can end up worsening your lip issues and should be among the first suspects if you experience a bad reaction after using a lip balm.
How to Choose the Best Chapsticks for Men
Lip balms and chapsticks are mostly advertised for women, so most men don’t use them as much. In fact, some men hold on to the belief that using a lip balm makes you less manly. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This might come as a surprise, but men need lip balms even more than women. If you have used lip balms in the past, did you stop considering what you were buying? If you are like most men, the chances are that you picked the cheapest lip balm on the shelf.
After all, lip balms are not a priority for men. However, just like with other grooming products for men, here are factors that you need to consider next time you buy a chapstick;
So you have picked up all the essential beard care products that you need to look good, but one thing remains; your lip!
They need as much care as the rest of your body, especially if you have a date lined up. No woman wants to be kissing cracked and chapped lips, which is why you need to get a good quality lip balm for yourself. But what really translates to the world’s best lip balm for men? The ingredients!
A good lip balm is one that contains the right ingredients in the right amount to repair, replenish, and protect your lips. With that in mind, some of the ingredients that you need to consider include sugar, natural oils, aloe, vitamin E, and green tea. There are others like coconut oil, shea butter, lanolin, beeswax, and hyaluronic acid, but we will discuss the first ones.
Sugar might seem like an odd ingredient in lip balms, but it is a necessary component. This is because sugar is an important ingredient in the exfoliation process of dead skin cells, to say the least.
Just like the skin on your face needs oils to remain healthy, that on your lips requires natural oils as well. Natural oils are easily absorbed into the skin without stripping away any protective layers. They also contain fatty acids that moisturize and protect the skin on your lips. Additionally, they also contain natural antioxidants that help protect against the elements. Some of the oils you need to consider when buying a lip balm are hemp, coconut, almond, avocado, and sunflower oils.
Aloe vera is used in many beauty products thanks to its soothing properties and it’s an important ingredient if you have inflamed or irritated lips.
When it comes to vitamin E in beauty products, you need to remember that some people tend to develop allergic reactions after use.
If you always have irritated lips that get more irritated after applying lips balm, then the chances are that you fall in this category and your need to change your lip balm. However, if you don’t have any reactions, vitamin E in lip balms is great when repairing the skin on the lips and keeping them hydrated.
There is a reason why green tea is the second most-consumed drink on the planet after water. It has so many benefits, including anti-aging properties. When used in lip balms, it helps to reduce inflammation on the lips. Just like sugar, it is also an exfoliating agent.
Sun Protection Factor
Why should you care about protecting your lips from the sun? Direct sun and glare tend to burn the thin, delicate skin on the lips, leading to a terrible sunburn.
When you are buying lip balm, an important factor to consider is the sun protection factor, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Even if your lips don’t get to the point of burning, too much sun exposure will dehydrate and age them significantly.
It’s the same reason you would consider lotion for the body with SPF effect even if it’s mild! Daily exposure to the sun will gradually age your skin, which is the last thing you want. And like I earlier mentioned, nobody wants to be kissing badly burned lips. But why not use normal sunblock instead?
Well, you can, but sunblock tends to be greasy, doesn’t react well to the skin on the lips, and not to mention tastes really horrible.
Form and Type
Just like with other skincare products, you have a choice when it comes to lip balms. Lip balms come in either stick, squeeze, or tin form. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and whatever you choose depends on your level of comfort.
Stick lip balms are quite common and come in the form of sticks that resemble lipsticks. Such might raise eyebrows when you are using them, but many benefits overshadow that. The packaging means that they are easy to carry around as well as use. In fact, people may not even notice that you are using a lip balm if you do it the right way.
Squeeze lip balms come in small tubes like toothpaste. Such make it easy to pass them off as medication if you are concerned about what people will think. However, they take longer to administer and there is a chance that you might scoop out more than you need.
Tin lip balms come in tins like the ones used to hold beard balms and waxes. They can attract attention when being used, but luckily they can also pass as treatment. Besides, they are clean and easy to use, and scooping out more than you need is low since all you need is to run a finger over the product and apply it to the lips.
Like with every other product, it all comes down to price. All other factors aside, you need to make sure that you are getting value for your money. You also want to go for a product that will not cause any harm. A few dollars are enough with lip balms to get a product that can heal, protect, and enrich your lips.
Lip balms also tend to last very long, so a few dollars is an excellent investment when you look at it that way. So, while you don’t want to overspend, even the most expensive lip balms will not feel like a large purchase since they will last as long.
When it comes to beauty products, it’s always a question of whether to go for natural or artificial ones.
Lip balms made of natural ingredients are more ideal since they tend to be safe and work better, especially when you are talking about products meant to condition and moisturize your skin. A majority of artificial ingredients, on the other hand, end up doing the opposite, which is drying out the skin further and causing irritation.
Therefore, when you are buying a lip balm, try as much as you can to go for one that contains the most natural ingredients, even if that means spending a little more. Your lips will thank you later when you are not battling irritation and inflammation.
How to Apply Chapstick for Men
Applying Lip Balm From an Applicator
Step 1 – Uncap the container
Depending on what type of lip balm you have, there are different ways of retrieving the lip balm. The most common type of lip balm comes in the form of a stick. For such, use the dial that is usually located at the bottom of the stick to raise the balm above the brim of the stick by a few centimeters.
For gel lip balms, squeeze a pea-sized amount of the balm through the tiny whole. Liquid ones come with a doe-foot applicator.
Step 2 – Apply the balm to the lips
Don’t overdo it! A thin, even coating on the lips and areas outside the mouth is enough to keep the lips moisturized for an hour or two. Too much application will lead to an overly glossy appearance.
Step 3 – Draw in the lips to spread the balm
Draw in your lips such that they appear “hidden” in your mouth to spread any excess balm over the areas near the mouth that are likely also to get dry and cracked.
Applying Lip Balm With Fingers
Step 1 – Start with clean hands
Use soap and water or an antibacterial gel to clean your hands first before you begin any application. This is to avoid transferring any bacteria and germs you may have on your hands into your mouth.
Step 2 – Scoop out a little lip balm and then apply it to your lips
This is especially when you are using lip balms that come in tubes or tins. For tin lip balms, run your finger over the product and then apply it to your lip and spread it evenly.
If your lip balm comes in a tube, squeeze out a small amount (usually a pea-sized amount) and spread it on your lips.
Does More Spending Mean More Quality
Since we are talking about products that you are applying to your skin, in some way, more spending does mean more quality.
The skin on your lips is sensitive and can get irritated when you use the wrong product. Lip balms that contain artificial ingredients will always be cheaper and what you might be tempted to go for.
There is only one problem with artificial products! Most of them end up doing the opposite and causing irritation and inflammation on the lips.
Instead, go for lip balms containing more natural ingredients than artificial ones since such work better and cause no harm in most cases. Lip balms containing SPF will always be priced slightly higher, and I suggest you consider them, especially if you spend a lot of time outside.
The skin on your lips, just like on the rest of the face, is prone to sunburn. Sunburn on the lips is not attractive and people don’t take too well to such.
Do’s and Don’ts When Using Chapsticks
- Do consider buying a lip balm that contains a sun protection factor if you don’t want your lips to burn when in the sun.
- Do consider going for a lip balm that comes in a form that you are comfortable with, from the stick, squeeze to tin lip balms.
- Do discontinue using a lip balm if it irritates after use.
- If you are prone to irritation on the lips, do avoid lip balms that contain fragrances, alcohol, menthol as well as vitamin E.
- If you have overly chapped lips, do consider using sugar or green tea to get rid of the dead skin cells.
- Do drink a lot of fluids to keep your lips hydrated.
- Don’t pick at your lips if they get flaky when you are using a lip balm.
- Don’t use lip balms that contain too many extraneous ingredients since these can cause allergic reactions and irritation.
- Don’t lick your lips even when they feel dry. This is because saliva is only a temporary solution and not a good one for that matter since when it evaporates, it leaves them drier than they were.
- Don’t over-moisturize! Some people tend to get addicted to chapsticks and use them every second they get. However, a few times a day is more than enough unless your lips are too damaged, in which case you should consider seeing a dermatologist.
FAQ About Chapsticks for Men
Can you get addicted to using chapstick?
While you may not develop an addiction to chapstick the same way, you would with alcohol and drugs, psychological addiction is possible. Chapstick addiction develops in allergic reactions since lip balm contains ingredients that may cause irritation and sensitivity in the long run.
This kind of addiction manifests itself when you find yourself using lip balm more than it’s necessary because your lips seem to need more balm after you have applied some already. This allergic reaction leads to a never-ending cycle of an application, which is referred to as lip balm addiction.
How long does an application of chapstick last?
How long an application lasts will depend on the product, whether you are eating or drinking, and how many times you lick your lips. All in all, a majority of lip balms should last for an hour to two at most after application.
Do chapsticks expire?
Yes, just like with everything else, chapsticks do expire, with most of them expiring after a year or two. Check the expiration date printed on your chapstick to determine how long you should use it.
Is there such a thing as using too much chapstick?
Yes, there is something like too much chapstick, and it’s called chapstick addiction. Most chapsticks are made with ingredients that can cause sensitivity and irritation in the long run. If you always find yourself needing more chapstick after an application, then you have already fallen into the category of chapstick addicts.
Do I really need to worry about putting on SPF lip balm when I go outdoors?
Yes, you need to worry about putting on SPF whenever you step outside. Unlike the rest of the body, the skin on your lips contains less melanin hence prone to sunburn more.
Chapsticks are usually marketed and advertised for women, which is why men might find it hard to use them. However, your lips, just as those of women, need to be moisturized. In fact, men might need lip balms more than women.
Lip balms work by moisturizing, soothing, protecting, and rejuvenating damaged skin. The last thing you want is to walk around with dry and cracked lips just because you think lip balms are “unmanly.”
If you are concerned about what people will say, lip balms come in so many forms. Squeeze and tin lip balms, for instance, are ideal for men since they can be passed off as treatments rather than beauty products.
However, when you put aside what people will say, your overall health is important and your lips need as much care as the rest of your body.
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