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Free Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

January 5th, 2009

This year one of my goals is to detox our personal care routines. It all started a couple months ago when I was thinking about what was in my chapstick as I put it on for the 15th time that day. I wondered what exactly my body was absorbing from it, so I started reading up on the toxins in shampoo, soap, lotion and other personal care products and the problems they can cause. Scary stuff I must say. The next time I was at the store I picked up a tube of Burt’s Bees Honey Chapstick. Now that I’ve been using Burt’s Bees for several months I noticed that it actually works, I’m not constantly putting on chapstick. I use it in the morning and I don’t need it again until right before I go to bed, unlike the other kind that I felt like I was constantly using.
So what are the ingredients in Burt’s Bees Honey Chapstick: beeswax, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, lanolin, symphytum officinale (comfrey) root extract, flavor, honey, tocopheryl acetate, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, tocopherol. I know what each and every one of those ingredients is and it’s much better than the ingredients in my previous chapstick.
So what were the ingredients in the previous Chapstick I was using: Octinoxate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone, White petrolatum, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, alumina, arachidyl propionate, artificial flavor, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), cetyl alcohol, colloidal silicon dioxide, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, ethylhexyl palmitate, isopropyl lanolate, isopropyl myristate, lanolin, medium chain triglycerides, methylparaben, mineral oil, octyldodecanol, oleyl alcohol, paraffin, phenyl trimethicone, polyhydroxystearic acid, propylparaben, saccharin, silica, titanium dioxide, vitamin E acetate, white wax.

Here are a few of the problems cause by some of the ingredients in my previous chapstick (and these are only the ingredients that I could find information on, who knows about the other ones):

Petrolatum: lung irritant upon inhalation; derived from petroleum; non-biodegradable environmental toxin.

Saccharin: suspected human carcinogen; causes liver, kidney, and bladder damage in animals, as well as reproductive damage and birth abnormalities.

BHT: endocrine disruptor, skin and lung toxicant at low doses; causes death, liver and stomach cancers, thrombosis, fibrosis and liver and brain damage in animals; strong skin and eye irritant.

Methylparaben: skin and eye irritant; endocrine disruptor linked to breast and ovarian cancer; environmental contaminant

Mineral Oil (liquid petrolatum): causes blood and skin cancer formations in animals; eye and skin irritant; derived from petroleum; non-biodegradable environmental toxin

Paraffin: petrochemical bleached with carcinogen acrolyn; releases carcinogens benzene and toluene upon heating; causes kidney or renal system tumor in animals; environmental toxin

Propylparaben: skin and eye irritant; endocrine disruptor linked to breast and ovarian cancer; environmental contaminant

Silica: linked to esophageal cancer, renal disease, pulmonary fibrosis, mesothelioma, sarcoma, rheumatoid arthritis, and bronchitis; strong nasal and lung irritant; wildlife toxicant; accumulates in the human body

So what’s wrong with putting all these chemicals on your lips or the any other parts of your body? First of all, your skin absorbs the chemicals from products you use (60-90% of them scientists say). If you don’t believe it think about those drug patches, one tiny patch and you body absorbs a weeks worth of drugs. Spend some time educating yourself on the ingredients in your personal care products and their possible side effects. Be careful because even some green, natural, and organic products contain many harmful chemicals. Where do you find information on these chemicals? The best book I have found is Julie Gabriel’s The Green Beauty Guide: Your Essential Resource to Organic and Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, Makeup, and Fragrancescheck it out of the library and read through it. You’ll be headed to the store to buy her non-toxic recommendations in no time!
She includes a glossary of many of the toxic chemicals often used in products along with a reference guide for non-toxic products to try. She also includes a bunch of recipes for homemade non-toxic beauty products, I’m excited to whip up a few. Head on over to her a website and a blog, for even more information and recipes.
In order to encourage you to detox your routine I’m giving away the Burt’s Bees Mixed Lip Stash Pack shown above. Just comment on this post and I’ll have a random drawing in a few days to determine the winner. Good Luck!

Here’s to a non-toxic 2009!

I’ve also heard many people love the Yes to Carrots brand of chapsticks as well. Do you have a non-toxic product you love?

24 Comments to “Free Burt’s Bees Lip Balm”
  1. lee on January 5, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Yikes, I’ve been using Chapstick since I was a kid. I grew up in the Andes and it was absolutely necessary and now I’m addicted to it. After reading about the ingredients I better switch to Burt’s Bees Lip Balm.

    Reply to lee's comment

  2. rachel on January 5, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Oh! me me me please! It’s dry in Phoenix and we need chapstick here!

    Reply to rachel's comment

  3. MeghanO on January 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I keep Burt’s Bees in just about every pocket of my pants, jackets, and purses, so it would be unfair for me to win. They also have great tinted lip balms for a splash of color. Love them!

    I love their carrot lotion, but the smell makes me a wee bit sick after using it too often.

    Reply to MeghanO's comment

  4. steve carr on January 5, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Not that I need the freebie, but Kelly hooked me onto Burt’s Bees a few years ago and a keep one in my car, one on my bedstand, and one in my computer bag.

    After writing this, I’m starting to question my masculinity . . .

    Reply to steve carr's comment

  5. Carol on January 5, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    Interesting … it’s an area I haven’t given a lot of thought to. Neither of us uses a lot of personal care products, but it is something to look at in the future.

    (I guess I should clarify. We do use soap. :) But I use makeup about once every three months, and we don’t use perfumes or gels or other stuff.)

    Reply to Carol's comment

  6. n. on January 5, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I love the Burt’s Beees lip balm and hand salve in metal tins. Not only do they work and are toxin free but they are also plastic free.

    Eventually I’d like to try to make lip balm myself just to see how hard it is, if I do I can always reuse the tins I already have.

    Reply to n.'s comment

  7. Kelly on January 6, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Sounds like an easy “green” change to make! I am in…will be getting a tube of Burts Bees in the very near future – thanks for the suggestion Susy!!

    Reply to Kelly's comment

  8. Becky on January 6, 2009 at 11:05 am

    With how often I used Chapstick (at least 20 times a day) I think it’s pretty safe to say I’ll be dead in about 3 years. haha! Sadly, even knowing all of the bad things it puts into my body, I’m not so sure I’m ready to switch yet. . . . I’m willing to give it a shot though. I’ll pick up a tube of the Burt’s and give it a week of only using that instead and I’ll let you know!

    Reply to Becky's comment

  9. kristin on January 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    I carry Chapstick in my purse, but I tend to use plain old petroleum jelly at home. Which is better than Chapstick, right? I can only hope.

    Reply to kristin's comment

  10. Wendy on January 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    So am I exempt if I’m related to the author of the blog? I’d love another stick of this! I picked up a stick of this in the fall and I also noticed that it actually works and I put it on much less than my previous chapsticks! I have the peppermint and when I put it on the kids always think I’m chewing gum! :0)


    Reply to Wendy's comment

  11. Susy on January 6, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Friends and family are in Wendy, so you may be in luck! I have to figure out how to do a random choice. Perhaps I’ll see if I can get the Chiots to pick one. HM, perhaps numbers on dog biscuits hidden about the house and then whichever one she finds first will be the winner.

    Reply to Susy's comment

  12. Stephany on January 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I like my own, it usually has sweet apricot oil, beeswax, honey and some essential oils. LOL Burts Bees is good stuff though. It was their diaper ointment I was attempting to approximate when I made my first batch of ointment.

    Reply to Stephany's comment

  13. Jimmy Cracked Corn on January 8, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Interesting. I’ve seen that product in stores (I think) but never paid it much attention. It sounds like a very healthy alternative, especially if I can get my boys to use it.

    Reply to Jimmy Cracked Corn's comment

  14. Maureen on January 8, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Found your blog thru a comment you made on Freedom Gardens….I will definitely be back. Love Burts Bees, my husband was the first in our house to start using it and I am a convert.

    ps. your photos are beautiful!

    Reply to Maureen's comment

  15. Lucy on January 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    I’ve been trying to “green” my personal care products as well. It’s amazing what chemicals are in make-up and skin care products. I found this site to be very helpful:

    Reply to Lucy's comment

  16. Susy on January 10, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Thanks for the site Lucy. I have that open in my browser most of the time. I’ve enjoyed looking up the products I use on there (and the ones I’m thinking about using).

    Reply to Susy's comment

  17. Jeremy on January 12, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Great post. I’d love to get you some of our lip balms to sample and review. If you are interested, drop me a line and we’ll get them out to you.

    Reply to Jeremy's comment

  18. Susy on January 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    We have a Winner #5. You can still comment on this post, but you won’t be in on the prize – sorry.

    Reply to Susy's comment

  19. Carol on March 27, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I know this is an old post, but I don’t have your email address. You probably already have a great shampoo solution, but I wondered if you have heard of this company: They have shampoo bars, lotion bars, etc. and they’re local-ish (probably more for you than for me). I haven’t tried them, but they look interesting.

    Reply to Carol's comment

  20. samantha on April 13, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    i really think this is a good idea, starting the whole “detox wave”. i have never tried this but its sounds like you enjoy it! i have perticularly dry lips and so far nothing has worked very well. its so annoying having to keep reapplying chapstick. having to worry are you kiss ready or going to hurt someone with your dry scratchy lips!

    thanks for the chance!

    Reply to samantha's comment

  21. Renee Snook on September 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    I was quite shocked after reading your article about the ingredients in lip balm and what it can do to your body. We are currently “going natural” with our ways of thinking, cooking and living our lives. With that, we are also adopting a child from Ethiopia. Your article has made a huge difference in our ways of thinking especially with a new life coming into the family. We certainly want to give our new daughter every opportunity we can possibly give her and now that will extend to the better choices in personal care products that we will be using on her (and ourselves). Thank you for sharing such important information. Here’s to living a better, more “healthy and natural” life!

    Reply to Renee Snook's comment

  22. Marie Winter on October 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Acrolyn is a carcinogenic used to bleach paraffin candles. It also acts as a solidifier in veg and soy wax candles. This is the same ingredient found in many petro-chemical based lip products. I recently discovered some fabulous beeswax candles made in Canada: Pheylonian Beeswax Candles. Look them up at http://www.philoxia .com. And don’t buy the cheap imitations. By law, there can be as little as 10% beeswax in a candle for it to be sold as 100% beeswax. (Of course, the rest is paraffin). Burning paraffin candles emits deadly chemicals, fluoro carbons and dioxins. Look up “paraffinoma” on the web. It is a yucky cancer caused by exposure to paraffin.

    Reply to Marie Winter's comment

  23. darlene on January 11, 2010 at 10:04 am

    My husband has been using chap stick all his life About a year ago he started coughing and very short of breath. This has been going on for a year now and getting worse each day.He is now on short term disability. We have been to 6 different doctors no one knows what is wrong. The last doctor we are at now thinks it may be from using chap stick. He has a lot of dark spots on both lungs. They have done biospy 3 different times and his lungs has collaspe twice. We do not have a solid answer yet all the doctors keep telling us that its a rare lung diease and could be from using chap stick. As of now no answer to what it may be with no treatment.

    Reply to darlene's comment

    • Susy on January 11, 2010 at 10:11 am

      Isn’t it amazing that something we see as so benign could be so bad for us. I’m sad that the agencies that are supposed to keep us safe from these things are not doing their job. So sorry for your husbands illness from chapstick, thanks for letting know of the dangers!

      Reply to Susy's comment


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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