Life in the Slow Lane

Life in the Slow Lane

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Addicted to Lube

I've been seeing little blurbs here and there on the internet about people who are desperate for chapped lip relief and pining for their favourite lip balm that always seems to be missing when they need it most.


Not all lip balm is created equal.

Over the years working as a film costumer I've spent a lot of time in the company of make-up artists and I've gleaned a lot of very interesting and helpful information about skin care products and the like. Industry secrets, so to speak.

For instance:

-do not spend a fortune on face cleansers-Cetaphil is simply superior to most fancy skin products. It is non-allergenic and fragrance free and super gentle. And fairly inexpensive. AND available in bulk at Costco.

-I've discovered that most make-up artists use Maybelline's Great Lash Mascara. Not some super fancy brand. I've occasionally seen an actress insist on Lancome or Dior but even the most fancy of actresses know that Great Lash is a great mascara. Soft black seems to be the colour make-up artists use the most. And it costs well under $10. Which is good when you should be replacing your old germy container every few months.

But the greatest cosmetic swindle I learned about is lip balm. Here is the thing, any lip care product that contains menthol is DRYING! In effect it makes your lips feel cooler (and less painful) in the short term but actually makes you dependant on the product overall. What happens with products that either cool or warm your skin (lip balm, sore muscle rub etc.) is they only override your nerve endings which distracts them from sending pain signals to your brain. The cooling/warming confuses your pain receptors for a short time.

So lip balm like Carmex, Burt's Bees and others that contain menthol (or feel cool on your lips when applied) just dry out your lips and make things worse. In effect you become addicted to them for the temporary cooling sensation they provide and the whole time they make your lips dryer and more painful.

So what could you use instead?

Petroleum jelly based products like Vaseline, Labello (what I use) and others that make your lips feel coated and slippery BUT NOT COOL!

So there you go. I never thought I'd ever write a beauty post but I thought I'd pass on the lube to you.


HAR said...

I'm super pissed about the amount of money I have been wasting on lip balm.
I guess Blistex is out because it cools your lips. It doesn't say on my lip balm what is in it!

Squirl said...

I always carry Blistex with me. Can't help it. But in the wintertime Vaseline seems to be the only thing that works.

opragal said...

Maybelline Great Lash rocks! But then again, I'm an old theater hand as well...

Ern said...

Total Cetaphil girl here!

And I never cared for Great Lash, but my favorite mascara is just as cheap: Covergirl Professional Remarkable Washable Waterproof. Seriously long name, but it really is washable with soap (or Cetaphil).

mrtl said...

Thank you for this public service.

alan said...

Plain old fashioned Chapstick for me...

I guess somehow that's appropriate!



lawyerchik said...

I'm still a Carmax fan, but then I have also used bag balm (not so great, but it does work). I have also used honey, though, which works very well, tastes good (!), and has a much more pleasant aroma.

kalki said...

I think you are right about the Burt's, although I use it. I have found it to be drying, but I thought maybe it was the tint. I really like the tint, though. Softlips works well for me as far as plain stuff goes.

I have been using Cetaphil ever since you recommended it over at my place. Love it!

Anonymous said...

so, any more tips, oh wise one?

Katie C