Yep you read it correctly. I said nipple cream… on your lips!
Hear me out. I don’t technically know if lips and nipples are made from the same material (is that even the right word?!), but they look and feel pretty similar, right?
Anyway, there is some actual logic & science-y stuff behind using nipple cream on your lips. Once upon a time I had a job caring for new mums in NHS hospital maternity wards. Here we would hand out tubes of Lanolin ointment to new breastfeeding mums. Lanolin is mainly known for treating sore and cracked nipples and is the main (and usually only) ingredient in nipple cream. However you can use this moisturising ointment anywhere on the body and it works an absolute treat as a lip balm. And if something is good enough for the nips, it’s good enough for the lips.
By the way, if anyone’s unsure what an ointment actually is, the best way I can describe its texture is like a thickened oil.
I’ve had bad bouts of eczema since childhood (including on my lips) and I can hand on heart say that nipple cream kicks ass on sore, dry, cracked and peeling lips. I have tried so many different brands of lip balms and spent a serious amount of cash on them. Some of them have worked great for a little while. Trouble is that they need applying so regularly that I could not leave the house without them. Step in Lanolin and I’m beginning to remember what it’s like not to obsess about lip balm for several hours! I was beginning to think that I would need to go cold turkey from a lip balm addiction. FYI I tried going cold turkey years ago, it didn’t help.
So what is Lanolin?
Lanolin means ‘wool oil’ in Latin and is a waxy substance found in sheep’s wool. Its main job is to repel water away from the sheep’s skin. Think about how much time they spend outside, potentially in the rain. Having this substance on their wool means they are not drenched for hours on end if they are caught out in the rain. Natures pretty clever eh.
What makes it a great lip balm?
It looks a little like Vaseline except it’s better as a moisturiser. It’s better because Lanolin is classed as an emollient. This which means the Lanolin oils and lipids are absorbed in to the skin, moisturising them. It also creates a barrier preventing water loss out of the cells and prevents your lips becoming dry. Vaseline on the other hand is an occlusion agent. This means that it creates a physical barrier between your lips (or skin) to the environment, preventing water loss. Basically, wearing Vaseline stops your lips losing hydration, but it doesn’t add any moisture at all or go ‘in to’ the lips.
Allergy advice: Lanolin is a product of sheep wool so if you are allergic to this you may not be able to use it. However, in 3 years of seeing a ton of women use it, I don’t recall seeing anyone have any reactions to Lanolin. Plus I’ve been using the stuff for about 8 years and have never had any negative reactions – and I get a bad allergies to animals (and hay fever, sigh). You’ll also find that Lanolin is regularly used in hair products and beauty products, such as moisturisers and lipsticks.
I’m sold – how do I get some?
You’ll probably find some nipple cream in any chemist-type store. Lansinoh is a very well-known and popular brand of nipple cream, sold at boots for £5.99 for 10ml and its ingredients is 100% pure Lanolin.
Maybe you don’t want to be whipping out some nipple cream in public, or anything that says “for sore nipples” on the front. Don’t worry, there’s more options…
Comes in a smaller and prettier tube is Lanolips 101 ointment. FYI it’s called a 101 ointment because it has found 101 different uses for it. It is a more expensive option and comes in a smaller tube. Right now Lanolips is on sale in Boots for £9.99. If you buy it at Look Fantastic it sells for £10.99 and has free worldwide delivery.
Pssst, these products have a ton of other uses too:
- Use it as a hand and nail softener.
- Treat those dry and cracked foot heels.
- Dry elbows… or generally any dry patch on the body.
- Help to heel cuts.
- Use it on a shaving burn.
- I love to add some on top of a lip stick or lip stain to make it look glossy.
- Create a dewy look by adding some to your eye lids or top of your cheek bones
- Smear a tiny bit in to your palms and apply to your hair for an emergency frizz tamer.
Is anyone a fan? What other ways do you use your Lanolips or nipple cream for?