Did you know that ingredients in some of the products you use every day may be contributing to your chapped lips? We're looking at you, toothpaste.
Toothpastes and other oral care products may contain sodium lauryl sulfate (an ingredient that is added to products that are sudsy, from toothpaste to facial cleansers to shampoo) as well as guaiazulene (a color additive), both associated with skin irritation and dermatitis in some people. And lip balms themselves may also contain potential irritants. In fact, about 25 percent of people tested for skin problems, rashes and allergic reactions around the mouth tested positive for an allergy to ingredients common in lip balms, lipsticks and other cosmetics [source: Castelo-Soccio]. If you're concerned about allergens, keep an eye out for phenyl salicylate (salol) or propyl gallate, two ingredients that may cause contact allergies and could be hiding in your lip care products and lipstick.
Allergies and sensitivities can happen with non-synthetic and plant ingredients, too. If you have eczema, for example, the emollient lanolin can aggravate the condition. Fragrances and flavors added to lipsticks and lip balms may also trigger skin allergies -- and that includes menthol, cinnamon, citrus and mint.