Clean Beauty Research On The Dangers of Ingesting Lip Balms

Clean Beauty

Lip products, such as lip balms, lipsticks, and lip glosses, are widely used by people of all ages. They are ubiquitous.

Here’s the scary bit that most people don’t know — studies have revealed that the average consumer ingests 24 milligrams of lip product on a daily basis.

While the amount ingested each day may seem small, it’s important to consider the ingredients in these products, whether or not they are safe to ingest, and whether they may be cumulative in the tissues of the body over time.


A study published in the Journal of Toxicology in 2011 found that the average person ingests about 24 milligrams of lip product per day (Jäger, Rippke, & Schlumpf, 2011). This amount obviously depends on the type of product used, and how frequently it is applied.

Another study, published in the journal Contact Dermatitis in 2016, found that people who apply lip balm frequently may ingest up to 87 milligrams of the product per day (Fiume & Fiume, 2016).

If you care about your health and wellness it’s crucial to consider the ingredients in the lip products you use. Many contain ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, and artificial flavors and colors, which have been linked to health concerns such as endocrine disruption, cancer, and reproductive and developmental problems (Harvey & Everett, 2004). In addition, some lip products contain lead, which is a toxic heavy metal that can accumulate in the body over time and is a known neurotoxin.


One of the most concerning ingredients in commercial lip products is phthalates. Phthalates are a group of chemicals used to increase the flexibility and durability of personal care products. Some studies have suggested that phthalates can accumulate in the body over time, although more research is needed to fully understand the potential effects.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2015 found that phthalates can accumulate in the body and may be associated with reproductive and developmental problems (Meeker & Sathyanarayana, 2015).

lip balms

Another ingredient of concern in lip products is parabens. Parabens are a type of preservative commonly used in cosmetics and personal care products to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. Studies have found that parabens can be absorbed through the skin and can be detected in urine, blood, and breast milk. A study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology in 2004 found that parabens can accumulate in human breast tissue, although the study did not investigate the long-term effects of this accumulation (Harvey & Everett, 2004).

lip balm brands to avoid
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While the use of lip products is widespread, it is crucial to be aware of the potential health risks associated with some of these products and to take steps to minimize exposure.

By choosing lip products made with natural, safe ingredients, we can protect ourselves and ensure that we are taking care of our health and well-being.


Jäger, A., Rippke, F., & Schlumpf, M. (2011). Lipsticks and lip balms. Journal of Toxicology, 2011, 20.
Fiume, M., & Fiume, A. (2016). Lip balm use in the general population. Contact Dermatitis, 74(3), 145-150.
Harvey, P. W., & Everett, D. J. (2004). Parabens and human breast cancer. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 24(2), 165-169.
Meeker, J. D., & Sathyanarayana, S. (2015). Phthalates and child health. Current Opinion in Pediatrics, 27(2), 208-213.