Last week, one of my friends came to me with a dilemma: her lips were insanely chapped. Beauty editor Steph to the rescue! With zero hesitation, I knew exactly where to guide her: to Frank Body's Lip Balm, a tiny little tube packed with an addictive coffee-scented, naturally-sourced lip savior that I can't get enough of.
I know plenty of people swear by Glossier Balm Dot Com, Aquaphor and even Vaseline, all of which I myself have been known to use and love. But — spoiler alert! — those formulas are all based on the same main ingredient: petroleum jelly, a.k.a. petrolatum, a.k.a. "mineral grease" (if you want to make it sound extra-gross), which is a mixture of hydrocarbons derived from crude oil, which technically makes it a natural ingredient. But it's a controversial one. (Duh, it's derived from crude oil.)
Paula's Choice rates it as "good," deeming it "one of the best ingredients for dry to very dry skin, including around the eyes," also explaining that the version used in beauty products "is highly purified prior to being used in cosmetics, so there's no risk of exposure to unwanted chemicals." But the Environmental Working Group isn't so sure. The watchdog agency says it has a "moderate" overall hazard and could potentially be associated with "organ system toxicity," which, TBH, I do not understand, but it obviously doesn't sound good. So if you should decide that you'd prefer to avoid a petroleum-based product (or even if you couldn't possibly care less about all of this), Frank Body's non-petroleum version is a solid option.
Like Balm Dot Com and Vaseline, it's has a thick, salve-like texture, but in Frank Body's case, it's the result of lanolin, a natural emollient scraped from shorn wool (so no, it's not vegan — and it might skeeve some people out). It's nice and cushiony, but not sticky or greasy, and the sweet coffee scent (which comes courtesy of Arabica coffee seed oil right there in the formula) is seriously good. It's also spiked vitamin E, coconut and grapeseed oils, so it's moisturizing AF. My sole complaint is that it doesn't contain sunscreen, so just be sure to keep that in mind.
I've found it to be the fastest, most reliable way to super-soft, supple, not-the-least-bit-red-or-flaky lips. And my friend? I sent her a quick Gchat just before writing this. "They're totally back to normal. The Frank Body has been a Godsend... Like, they have not felt this normal in months," she wrote. "All thanks to you!!" Please, folks, I'm not in this for the glory. Don't call me a hero.
Frank Body Lip Balm, $9.95, available at Ulta.
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