Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm Review and Pictures

We've come to the second part of the My Beauty and Skincare Travel Essentials series. My first post was on the La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Fluide Extreme, which is my HG sunscreen. Today's post will be on the Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm, my HG lip balm and go-to travel essential to prevent chapped lips!

My Beauty and Skincare Travel Essentials Series

Part II: Lip balm - Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm

I hope everyone knows why lip balm is on my list of travel essentials. Apart from helping your lips to stay moisturised and chap-free to ensure maximum comfort on your trip, it also acts as a good base for any make up you intend to apply on your lips. When visiting countries with a cold/dry climate, it's natural for your lips to start flaking. This is not only uncomfortable, but also works against the  lip products you put on, especially lipgloss and matte lipstick, which accentuate any irregularities on your lips. While lipgloss tends to highlight the dry bits of skin on the lips, matte lipstick tend to be a little drying, causing more dry skin to clump together in an unsightly manner.

To avoid this, I usually use a lip scrub e.g. The Body Shop's Lip Scuff, which is decent and easy to use, and then wipe off the dry bits and apply lip balm to condition my lips. But when I'm travelling light, I like to bring multi-tasking products to ensure my baggage is kept to a minimum, so out goes the Lip Scuff. While lip balm can't exfoliate lips, you can apply it to the lips and wait for 5 minutes before wiping it off. This should get rid of the dry bits. Next, you should apply lip balm again before applying lipgloss/lipstick on top. This will ensure a smooth finish, et voila - smooth, kissable lips!

Now you know the merits of lip balm, you must be wondering why Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm? Why not other types of lip balm? First, I'll have to confess something - I used to be addicted to lip balm. There, it's out. I used to wear lip balm very often and reapply it every half an hour. I was addicted to the fruity and gourmet type of lip balm scents, and ended up with a stash of Paul Frank Lip Smackers, Maybelline Baby Lips lip balms, The Body Shop Cranberry Lip Shimmer, Nivea lip balm... The list goes on. Ironically, constant application of lip balm made my lips even drier. I used to apply lip balm before I went to bed, and woke up to dry, chapped lips. Now you're probably wondering why this was the case. Let me break it to you gently with a little list of lip balm myths which I've drawn up according to my research and personal experience:

Myths about Lip Balm and Lip Balm Addiction

1. You need to wear lip balm all the time to condition and protect the lips

This is a myth perpetuated by cosmetics companies that manufacture lip balm, and beauty advice columns that don't provide full information. Your lips are naturally moist, and lip balm helps to condition them or provide some sun protection. Dry lips is a condition that could be caused by a variety of reasons, and wearing lip balm is not a panacea. Lip balm can be used to quickly condition the lips before putting on other make up products for the lips, but it shouldn't be worn all the time.

2. Frequent use of lip balm moisturises your lips

No, no and no. In fact, wearing lip balm frequently can be very drying for the lips. There are two reasons for this: Firstly, lip balms that contain fragrances may dry out lips due to the chemicals required to produce the fragrance. Secondly, it has to do with how our body generally functions, via the means of homeostasis. For those of you looking at me like I'm speaking Greek, homeostasis is the way the body returns things to a state of balance. If you have oily skin and you blot your skin to take the oil away, your body will product more oil to compensate for the loss. Conversely, if you have dry lips and constantly put a layer of moisturiser (lip balm) on top of them, the body will slowly decrease the amount of moisture produced on the lips, thus drying them out even more. It's a vicious cycle. The more lip balm you wear, the drier your lips are, the more lip balm you'll need and the more often you'll have to apply it, ad infinitum. I discovered this only after my lips became extremely chapped after constant use of lip balm. It was a harrowing experience, to say the least, but there's a way out of this!

3. Once you're addicted to lip balm, there's no way out

Like I said, I was addicted to lip balm and had to use it constantly to avoid chapped lips. How did I fight this addiction? As with all addictions, I simply had to stop and go cold turkey. It was very hard to resist the urge to put on lip balm, because in the first few days that I stopped, my lips were extremely chapped. To help them recover faster, I drank adequate amounts of water and applied a little vaseline when they were unbearably dry. Within a few weeks, my lips were looking much healthier and moisturised. Best of all, I didn't NEED lip balm after that! I now use it sparingly during dry/windy weather or to condition my lips before make up, but that's all. Avoid applying it too often.

4. All lip balms were made equal

Nope. Some were made with fragrances and chemicals that may be more drying for your lips in the long term. Moreover, those fragrances may be addictive, causing you to reach for your lip balm more often than is required. Of course, there are other lip balms that were made more naturally, without fragrances or drying chemicals which may cause chapped lips or addictions, or both.

This is where the Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm enters the picture. Soothing and natural, without colour or (much) scent, this no-frills, non-greasy, moisturising lip balm does the job well. Admittedly, the smell of beeswax takes a little getting used to, but everything else about this lip balm is great.



Notable ingredients include honey and vitamin E, which nourish dry lips. NB: Some people may be allergic to beeswax. Do a spot test on your inner arm before applying on lips.

How to be a Holy Grail Lip Balm aka Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm
  • Made of natural ingredients? Check. Most ingredients (shown above) are beeswax and plant oils. Moreover, Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm received a "Certified Natural Products" stamp, as shown on the packaging.
  • No noticeable fragrance? Check. Fragrances can irritate sensitive skin/noses and cause lip balm addiction. Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm has a beeswax scent but it's not that pleasant a smell, so definitely non-addictive.
  • Non-greasy? Check. Some lip balms/Vaseline tends to feel a little too sticky/greasy on the lips.
  • Moisturising? Check. Great for getting rid of dry bits of skin on the lips in the morning.
  • Colourless? Check. Not everyone likes colourless lip balms, but they're useful for when you don't want any colour on your lips until you put on make up. I do have a few tinted/coloured lip balms which I use on their own.
  • Easy and hygienic application? Check. Some lip balms come in little tubs which I have to stick my finger in to apply. Much as I love that kind of packaging, Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm's twist-up tube packaging is much more hygienic and easy to use, as it doesn't get anywhere else except your lips.
  • Non-expensive? Check. I don't want to pay an arm and a leg for lip balm, and the price range of Burt's Bees' products is very reasonable.

A few bonus points goes to the fact that Burt's Bees does not test on animals (see packaging for "No animal testing" stamp). The downside to this great product is that it doesn't have an SPF listed, meaning that you don't get sun protection from wearing it. There are other Burt's Bees lip balms that contain SPF, so you might want to consider that alternative. I'll do that once I've finished up this one!

Check out the Burt's Bees website for more information on all their products. I've tried their Burt's Bees Baby Bee Buttermilk Soap (gentle enough for use on babies) and loved the subtle scent and gentle lather. I've also heard good things about their Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream and will try it out once I get the chance.

Where can I purchase it and how much does it cost?

Most well-known beauty and skincare online retailers stock Burt's Bees products. Locally, you can get Burt's Bees products from Sephora at S$8.

Let's Break It Down

Product Name: Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm
Product type: Lip balm
Amount of product: 4.25g
Price per product: US$2.99 on Drugstore.com. S$8 in Sephora
Comments: My Holy Grail lip balm as it does not cause lip balm addiction, is natural, fuss-free, non-greasy, moisturising and non-expensive. Only drawback is the lack of SPF.
Where to buy: Drugstore.com and other major beauty/skincare online retailers. Your local Sephora.
To buy or not to buy: It's cheap, effective and good. Why not? I'll be looking out for the SPF version when I'm done using this one. NB: Some people may have an allergy to beeswax. Do a spot test on your inner arm before applying on lips.

Product approved 4.5/5.

Disclaimer: I was not paid, sponsored nor influenced by external sources when reviewing this product. My opinions as expressed in the review are 100% my own.

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .