Carcinogenic Ingredients in Lip Care

Why do our lips dry out so quickly?

Lips dry out particularly quickly in winter. This is because they have no sweat glands and only a few sebaceous glands. That's why our lips need a little help in winter and there are plenty of lip balms available - but you do need to keep a close eye on the ingredients!

Conventional products often contain cheap fillers, such as paraffin, petroleum derivatives, or even ingredients suspected of being carcinogenic.

There are already a few studies on the subject, and time and again you find that the major manufacturers are still using questionable ingredients. Many of the well-known brands still rely on mineral oil-based main ingredients.

And these aren't always easy to spot, as the ingredient list does not necessarily have to include the word mineral oil for it to be in the product.
In addition, many products even contain hormone disruptors.

The same applies to lipsticks, and here you have the additional issue of colourants, meaning that substances such as titanium dioxide can find their way onto your lips. According to studies, titanium dioxide is not considered safe to use as a food additive and is therefore not a good choice for lip care.

Each of us swallows up to 4 lip balms a year!

This is a particular issue when it comes to lip care because a small amount of it inevitably gets swallowed. If you use lip balms and lipsticks regularly this can add up to 4 whole sticks in a year!

These ingredients are lip care no-gos:

Mineral oil-based ingredients:

  • Cera microcristallina (microcristallina wax)
  • Ceresin
  • Mineral oil
  • Ozokerite (= solid kerosene)
  • Paraffin
  • Paraffinum liquidum
  • Vaseline
  • Petrolatum


  • Hydroxycitronellal
  • Isoeugenol
  • Synthetic beeswax
  • Titanium dioxide

Mineral oil-based ingredients reduce the natural regenerative ability of the skin. Although they have a nourishing effect, long-term use makes them addictive. After you stop using them the lips have a difficult time getting used to maintaining the barrier function on their own,

What's more, Stiftung Warentest has found traces of MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons) in mineral oil- and paraffin-based ingredients.

If ingested, these can accumulate in human tissue and the liver and cause organ damage. Even if the absorption of MOSH & MOAH seems to be harmless through the skin some lip balm does end up getting swallowed. And we still don't know what exactly these substances do in our bodies. They could be carcinogenic.
These ingredients have also been found in synthetic beeswax.

Synthetic beeswax is a complex reaction product of a mixture of acids and alcohols that mimics the composition of natural beeswax. It consists mainly of alkyl esters, fatty acids, and alkanes.

Isoeugenol & hydroxycitronellal are strong allergens that should be avoided in lip care. There are allergen-free lip balms available for everyone who wants to be on the safe side.

Allergen-free lip care by Hands on Veggies

It's always worthwhile taking a good look at the ingredients list when you buy lip balm.

There is another option: lip care can be high quality, vegan, and prebiotic

Our range of organic lip balms offers the alternative you've been looking for! In 2022 these products were even awarded the PETA Vegan Beauty Award for the best lip care.

Our lip balms are all vegan and contain inulin, which is a prebiotic ingredient that nourishes the microbiome of the lips - yes, even lips have a microbiome - keeping your lips healthy.

Plus, many products on the market are not vegan because they often contain beeswax or even honey. We prefer to rely on 100% plant-based ingredients, such as castor oil or candelilla wax and let the bees keep their honey!

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