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Many people undergoing chemotherapy will experience oral problems that affect the mouth, salivary glands, and lips. Various lip balms are available that may help soothe dry and cracked lips resulting from chemotherapy.
People undergoing chemotherapy experience a range of side effects from the treatment. Some people will get a dry mouth and lips, which can be sore and uncomfortable.
In this article, we look in more detail at lip balms suitable for people undergoing chemotherapy. We provide a list of specific products to try and suggest some alternative treatments.
As well as killing cancer cells, chemotherapy
Side effects that affect the mouth may include mouth sores, problems with the salivary glands, and a dry mouth.
During chemotherapy, a person’s lips may become dry and cracked. They can try using a moisturizing lip balm to relieve this side effect.
A person should apply lip balm several times throughout the day to get the best results.
A person should consider a few factors before purchasing a lip balm. These include:
- Fragrance: A fragrance-free lip balm is usually best, as fragrances can result in skin irritation and reactions. They may also cause additional dryness in the lips.
- Ingredients: People may wish to look for soothing and hydrating ingredients, such as petroleum, beeswax, or ceramides. In a 2020 study, researchers applied a natural lip balm — comprising beeswax, almond oil, virgin coconut oil, honey, and distilled water — to a glass slide and tested it for safety and irritation. They discovered that these natural ingredients are safe to apply to the skin on the lips.
- Small packaging: A person may wish to purchase a handbag-sized product so that they can easily carry it around with them.
A wide variety of lip balms is available to purchase online. Below, we look at 10 of the best products for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information is research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Burt’s Bees Lip Balm uses beeswax, vitamin E, and a hint of peppermint oil, with each tube containing 0.15 ounces (oz). This product nourishes, softens, and moisturizes dry lips.
The company uses all-natural ingredients and produces naturally flavored products that are cruelty-free. However, this lip balm is not vegan-friendly due to its use of beeswax as an ingredient.
The product has 4.9 out of 5 stars from more than 35,000 user ratings on Amazon.
Vaseline Lip Therapy Stick
Each of these sticks contains 0.16 oz of lip balm. It is available in four types:
- aloe vera
- cocoa butter
- rosy lips
The main ingredient is pure petroleum jelly, which helps soothe and hydrate dry lips. The rosy lips product also provides a slight lip tint.
The petroleum jelly is made from oil, so it may not be suitable for people following vegan diets. The product may also not be cruelty-free.
The product has 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 2,500 ratings on Amazon.
Eco Lips Bee Free Plant Pod Vegan Unflavored Lip Balm
This eco-friendly product is suitable for people following a vegan diet. It is unscented, which is good for those with sensitive, dry skin. However, the company also offers lemon-lime, superfruit, and sweet mint variations of this product.
The lip balm is plant-based and plastic-, cruelty-, and gluten-free. Instead of beeswax, it contains candelilla wax. It also contains certified organic and Fair Trade cocoa butter and coconut oil. Each stick provides 0.15 oz of product.
The company states that it manufactures its products using renewable energy.
Susan’s CBD Hemp Lip Balm
This product contains 100 milligrams of hemp CBD isolate per 0.15-oz tube of lip balm. Hemp comes from the cannabis plant but does not cause a “high.”
The product also contains beeswax, vitamin E, and various essential oils, such as coconut, sweet almond, and avocado. While these ingredients help soothe chapped lips, CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with healing.
However, the product is not suitable for vegans.
Le Labo Lip Balm
This product is unscented and contains 15 milliliters of balm in a squeezable tube.
It is plant-based and contains shea butter, olive oil, and jojoba seed.
It is paraben-free and has no artificial colors.
Defiant Beauty Lip Balm
This fragrance-free product contains almond oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter for dry lips.
The company recommends that people apply it every half hour when undergoing cancer treatment.
The company is based in the United Kingdom, so shipping may be costly for those living in the United States.
Palmer’s Coconut Oil Lip Balm
This coconut-flavored lip balm also has an SPF of 15 to protect the lips from UV exposure.
The main ingredients are coconut oil, Tahitian Monoi, and sweet almond oil.
These ingredients nourish and rehydrate the lips.
The ingredients are plant-based, raw, and natural, so the product is suitable for vegans.
Badger Balm Classic Lip Balm
Badger Balm products are available in various flavors. However, people undergoing chemotherapy may become sensitive to chemicals, including scents, so the unflavored balm may be the best option.
This lip balm contains organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, and rosemary to moisturize dry lips.
It has a light texture and a shiny tint, and it is antioxidant-rich.
The product is organic but not suitable for vegans.
Booda Butter Original Lip Balm
This vegan-friendly formula is unscented and uses raw and natural ingredients.
It contains certified organic oils, including coconut, sweet almond, jojoba, and olive. It also contains wildcrafted candelilla wax.
These ingredients can help soothe and nourish dry and chapped lips.
The product is handmade and free from gluten, soy, and beeswax.
Moroccan Magic Manuka Honey Lip Balm
This formula uses Manuka honey, which may restore and protect chapped lips.
It also contains organic cold-pressed argan oil, essential oils, and herbs.
The product is nontoxic and cruelty-, gluten-, and paraben-free.
However, it does contain tree nuts and is not suitable for vegans.
A few alternative ways that a person can look after and prevent dry lips during chemotherapy include:
- Drinking water: A person should drink plenty of water, as this hydrates the lips and skin.
- Avoiding irritating the lips: People should avoid damaging their lips further by licking, picking, or biting them.
- Using natural products: Some natural products, such as aloe vera, coconut oil, and green tea, can hydrate and soothe the skin.
- Exfoliating the lips: A lip scrub can help get rid of dry or chapped skin.
- Avoiding the sun: Sun exposure can make chapped lips worse.
- Using a humidifier: This device can help keep the airways clear and reintroduce moisture to prevent chapped lips.
During chemotherapy, people may experience various side effects, including dry or chapped lips. These symptoms can be sore and uncomfortable.
Lip balms can soothe, moisturize, and rehydrate the lips. A person should look for natural ingredients and, ideally, an unscented product.