However not all balm and sunscreen as beneficial, and some even contain harmful chemicals.
Now on to the chemicals:
Not all labels are created equal
When you're shopping for protection for your skin and lips, be wary of products that promise to be "all-natural" or "green". Currently there are no regulations that limit the use of those terms and there is no consistent standard for what those words mean. The most reliable way to know if your lip and skin care products are safe is to read the ingredients labels.
Chemicals To Avoid in Lip Balms and Sunscreen:
Before purchasing a balms or screens, read the ingredients label. Look specifically to see if any of the following chemicals are listed. (and if they are, it's safe to say that that should not be your pick)
Petrolatum, Petroleum jelly and Mineral Oil
Technically, petroleum is a natural product because it comes from the Earth; but most experts agree that the petroleum is toxic to the human body. And if you're environmentally conscious, it's important to remember that petroleum is a non-renewable resource and increased demand can indirectly lead to environmental damage.
In many sunscreens and balms, you may see these chemical preservatives listed as Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, or, Parahydroxybenzoate. There is some evidence that paragons are linked to breast cancer. Parabens are also considered an "Unclassifiable Carcinogen" by many health agencies and they may cause skin irritations.
Oxybenzone is found in most sunscreens, and was reported to be linked to allergies, hormone disruption (which can cause to weight gain and moodiness - no thanks!), cell damage, and even low birth weight. - Unfortunately, since the majority of sunscreens sold in the US are shown to contain oxybenzone, it's really hard to get around it.
Artificial Fragrance (and…flavor?)
Beware of any ingredient that is identified as simply "fragrance" or even "flavor".
Companies are able to conceal the exact chemicals that contribute to the "fragrance and flavor" of a product because they are considered "trade secrets". While not all fragrances and flavors are toxic, avoiding any unknown chemicals in general is a good habit to practice.
Effective and Safe Ingredients
How can you be expected to avoid all these toxins while still protecting your skin and lips from the sun? There are green sunscreens and green lip balms available that are both safe and effective.
Some of the safe ingredients include zinc oxide or titanium dioxide which help with barrier protection against UV rays. Avocado oil and beeswax are also natural and safe ingredients with also help provide moisture without the need for petroleum byproducts.
Here's a list of safe Sunscreens and Lip Balms.