The Ultimate Scientific Guide to Glossier Balm Dotcom



I’m at all times on the continuous hunt for the right lip balm; one thing that maintains hydration, with impactful elements, and ideally gives gentle aesthetic attraction when utilized.  So like all of their merchandise, I’ve been intrigued to do an intensive examination and assessment of the Glossier Balm Dotcom.

Glossier Balm Dotcom Tubes

Is it definitely worth the hype?  

Or is it simply one other lip balm fantastically packaged to market the Millennial set?

Previously, I’ve used manufacturers like Vaseline, Carmex, and Blistex.  And who remembers Bonnie Bell Lipsmackers as a child?  

I do!

They have been the OG of flavored lip merchandise within the late 70s, approach earlier than Glossier founder (and CEO) Emily Weiss was even born!

However when Glossier launched their Balm Dotcom line, it had me curious to see what was all of the fuss about for this lip and pores and skin salve.   Reality be advised, part of me was curious for these nostalgic days of flavored lip balms.

One factor we shortly observed was that the eleven (11) elements within the Authentic taste marked the precise base formulation for all the different 5 (5) flavors.

Alright then, let’s have a look at the elements for the Glossier Balm Dotcom for all flavors (Authentic, Birthday, Rose, Cherry, Mint, Coconut)!


Authentic Taste and Base Formulation

Glossier Balm Dotcom Original Tube


Petrolatum (also called petroleum jelly) is commonly related to the model Vaseline.

Do you keep in mind Vaseline? And that enormous yellow-beige tub with the blue cap?

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly

Petrolatum is commonly a standard and basic moisturizer; used within the prevention of pores and skin infections comparable to after ambulatory surgical procedures and upkeep remedy of atopic dermatitis.  It’s a advanced mixture of hydrocarbons which is ready to have an extended shelf life resulting from its processing.  As a moisturizing product, it’s labeled as an “occlusive” that are substances which have been discovered to bodily block transepidermal water loss (TEWL).

One factor to notice is {that a} 1992 research examined the belief that the petroleum jelly in Vaseline was occlusive; in a position to block TEWL and trapping water below the pores and skin’s floor. Attention-grabbing sufficient, the research concluded that the petroleum jelly in Vaseline neither varieties nor acts like an epicutaneous impermeable membrane; as an alternative, it permeated all through the stratum corneum (higher pores and skin layer) interstices, which allowed for regular barrier restoration regardless of its occlusive properties.

Both approach, there have been quite a few research and analysis relating to petrolatum and its topical results of the pores and skin.  Listed below are just a few fascinating tidbits:

  • A 1971 research decided that petrolatum was among the finest moisturizers with having a water vapor loss resistance 170 instances that of olive oil.  Nevertheless, it’s cosmetically much less acceptable resulting from its greasiness.  
  • A 2001 letter decided that petrolatum (at a minimal focus of 5%) might scale back TEWL by greater than 98% adopted by lanolin, mineral oil, and silicones which solely scale back TEWL by 20–30%.  
  • A 2016 research evaluated the cutaneous molecular and structural results induced by petrolatum.  The research concluded that utility of petrolatum induced expression of key barrier differentiation markers (filaggrin and loricrin), elevated stratum corneum thickness, and considerably diminished T-cell infiltrates within the setting of “normal-appearing” or non-lesional atopic dermatitis pores and skin.  Briefly, petrolatum robustly modulates antimicrobials and epidermal differentiation barrier measures.

One factor to notice: Though recognized for its efficiency as a moisturizing agent; petrolatum typically has aspect impact indications for occlusive folliculitis.  

Backside line: Occlusive moisturizing agent typically used for its capabilities of decreasing TEWL by greater than 98%.

Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil

Ricinus communis (castor) seed oil produced from castor beans perform primarily as skin-conditioning brokers, emulsifiers, surfactants, and cleaning agent in beauty merchandise.  Castor oil is understood to encompass as much as 90% ricinoleic acid:

  • 4% linoleic acid (Omega-6)
  • 3% oleic acid (Omega-9)
  • 1% stearic acid
  • Lower than 1% linolenic fatty acids (Omega-3).

This isn’t the brand new child on the block.  In reality, castor oils origins stem from Jap Africa, China, and India roughly 1,400 years in the past as a uncooked materials!  But it surely was not till 1988, that castor oil was evaluated for its transepidermal water loss (TEWL) potential.  The research concluded that castor oil (along with different occlusive brokers: mineral oil and sesame seed oil) confirmed a lower in TEWL fee.  

Backside line: Castor oil is an occlusive agent that reveals a discount in TEWL.

Beeswax/Cera Alba/Cire D’Abeille

Beeswax is a construction that varieties out of honeycomb.  Bees secrete this waxy materials to construct their pretty honeycomb hive in an effort to shield and retailer honey.  Due to this fact, it is sensible that beeswax itself is wealthy in hydrophobic protecting properties – extra particularly, hydrocarbons, free fatty acids, esters of fatty acids & alcohols, and varied exogenous substances.  


Previously, the pharmaceutical trade has used beeswax as a key ingredient to organize ointments and lotions to appease wounds.  This actually hasn’t modified a lot even with present-day modernization. Nevertheless, scientists and researchers have found the antimicrobial advantages and properties of beeswax.  Offering as different to harsher artificial chemical substances that thwart microbial development in formulations and merchandise.  Even figuring out that not solely is beeswax useful as an anti-inflammatory supply however when coupled with olive oil has been confirmed to be efficient for the therapy of atopic dermatitis and psoriasis.  

Backside line:   Beeswax is a pure materials with protecting power from its fatty acids and hydrophobic properties.  Creating an incredible moisturizing materials. Plus it’s a good pure different for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties!


Lanolin is a product of sheep sebaceous glands (or the oils from sheep) and the uncooked materials can be typically known as wool fats or wool grease, which consists of 87% esters and 11% fatty acids. 

A 2001 letter decided that petrolatum (at a minimal focus of 5%) might scale back TEWL by greater than 98% adopted by lanolin, mineral oil, and silicones which solely scale back TEWL by 20–30%.  

One factor to notice is that lanolin was discovered to be the ninth commonest recognized allergen in 27 (10%) out of 276 merchandise in a 2008 research.  Despite the fact that the primary wrongdoer of sensitization is lanolin alcohol, its chemical composition derived from sheep makes it troublesome to isolate the precise contact allergens.  Nevertheless, lanolin is taken into account secure primarily based on CIR security evaluation.

Backside line: Lanolin might scale back TEWL however could also be a possible allergen for some people.

Dipalmitoyl Hydroxyproline

Noticed: In keeping with Glossier’s ingredient listing, there’s a spelling error with Dipalmithoyl Hydroxyproline.  I’ve offered the proper spelling within the header.

In keeping with some tutorial publications, dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline is a peptide with talents to forestall collagen degradation.  Nevertheless, intensive digging discovered little to no info corroborating this info for this particular ingredient.  Nevertheless, a 2018 assessment of proline and hydroxyproline in collagen synthesis and animal development was carried out.  The assessment concluded that glycine, proline, and hydroxyproline contributed to 57% of the entire amino acids in collagen.  As well as, the assessment assessed that hydroxyproline functionally offered as upkeep of connective tissue construction and served as an anti-oxidative molecule.

Backside line:   Not a lot detailed info was discovered for dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline however some publications correlated it with having results on collagen construction and performance.  This can be true if analysis could also be drawn from proline and hydroxyproline.

Theobroma Grandiflorum Seed Butter

Cacao, one of many high uncooked materials sources for a multibillion-dollar meals trade.  Whether or not you’re a chocoholic or not – cacao and its derivatives have lengthy been utilized in varied meals.  

The pulp of the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree is the supply of cocoa butter (or cupuacu butter)– a pure lipid wealthy in saturated fatty acids which are saved within the type of triacylglycerides.  In reality, scientists have decided with its plentiful polyphenol and flavonol composition – cacao seed butter might affect therapeutic properties –enhancing dermal blood circulation, rising photoprotection and finally contributing to the upkeep of pores and skin well being!

In reality, we’re simply scratching the floor of its neuroprotective advantages in addition to its antioxidant properties – which all started from the Aztec and Mayan civilizations!  These days, it’s thought of a contemporary plant-based different to lanolin, which might typically be a sensitizer and allergen.

A water absorption research was carried out with every of the next: cupuacu, shea butter, and lanolin (stirring till separation was noticed). The research concluded that cupuacu may assist 440% of its weight in water, which implies that 1 kg of cupuacu butter may take in 4.Four kg of water; permitting it to perform rather more successfully as a pores and skin hydrator and plumper.

In 2003, the chemical composition of cupuacu butter was evaluated and located to be wealthy in:

  • Phytosterols (or plant sterols) which fight free radicals; to learn dry, broken pores and skin and
  • Polyphenols to fight free radical harm
  • Fatty acids to guard and moisturize the pores and skin
    • 18.8 % Oleic acid (Omega-9)
    • 55.2% Palmitic acid
    • 3.1% Linoleic acid (Omega-6)
    • 18.0% Linolenic acid (Omega-3)

Backside line:  Supplies photo-protective, helps to enhance dermal blood circulation, preserve general pores and skin well being, pores and skin hydrator and plumper.

Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract

Oryza sativa (rice) bran extract (or typically known as rice hulls) typically perform as an abrasive and bulking agent in formulations.  It’s comprised of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, mineral ash, and water. The fatty acid composition consists of palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic acids.  At low concentrations, rice bran extract incorporates UV absorbing compounds with no scientific phototoxicity.  The fatty acid composition of rice bran extract consists of the next:

  • 44.6% Oleic acid
  • 36.5% Linoleic acid
  • 16.9% Palmitic acid
  • 2.0% Stearic acid

Rice Bran Extract

A 2011 research of rice bran bioactives entrapped in niosomes was carried out; evaluating the antioxidant capabilities in skincare merchandise from ferulic acid (F), gamma-oryzanol (O) and phytic acid (P).  The research demonstrated the antioxidant actions and pores and skin hydration enhancement of the rice bran bioactive compounds when entrapped in niosomes and integrated in cream formulations.

As well as, a 2012 research evaluated the anti-aging results (the pores and skin hydration, elasticity, thickness and roughness, and pigmentation) of the gel and cream containing niosomes entrapped with the rice bran bioactive compounds in human volunteers.  In the end, the formulations containing niosomes entrapped with the rice bran bioactive compounds gave superior scientific anti-aging exercise which might be utilized as a novel pores and skin product.

Backside line: Rice bran extract capabilities as an abrasive and bulking agent in formulations; with anti-aging, pores and skin hydration enhancement, and antioxidant properties.

Tocopheryl Acetate

Tocopheryl acetate is the acetate ester type of tocopherol – which is essentially the most prevalent type of vitamin E in plant seeds and merchandise derived from corn, sesame seed, sunflower, olive oils, and a plethora of nuts.

Baffled Facet Be aware:  I’m not fairly positive why Glossier lists each tocopheryl acetate AND tocopherol of their elements listing however not collectively, as one is the synthetically derived acetate by-product of the opposite.  Appears a bit redundant for the reason that general molecule itself is identical.

As well as, research have additionally decided that free vitamin E (tocopherol) is rather more delicate to oxidative degradation, in comparison with the acetate by-product (tocopheryl acetate); which can be attributed to the bigger molecule (acetate part).

Tocopheryl Acetate
Tocopheryl Acetate: Acetate group on the left aspect of the molecule.

A lot of the tocopherols are reported to perform in cosmetics as antioxidants or pores and skin conditioning brokers. In reality, a 2003 research, evaluated whether or not the mixture of topical vitamin C and E was higher for UV safety to the pores and skin than an equal focus of every – alone.  The research concluded that every (in their very own proper) have been vital antioxidants within the safety from pores and skin harm. Nevertheless, the mixture of each C and E offered superior synergy in opposition to the likes of pores and skin most cancers and photoaging.  Additional detailed info relating to tocopherol as a significant lipid-soluble chain-breaking antioxidant of membranes and an essential mobile protectant in opposition to oxidative harm was offered in a 2014 security evaluation.

It’s also fascinating to notice that in 1999, a research discovered that topical vitamin E utilized on scars offered no profit (in 90% of the circumstances) to the beauty final result of scars after pores and skin surgical procedure.   And it even observed that 33% of the sufferers handled, developed contact dermatitis to the vitamin E.

Total, tocopherol is the predominant type of vitamin E in human and animal tissues, and it has a excessive bioavailability.  The security evaluation acknowledged that tocopherol has some absorption within the UV vary.  Nevertheless, it was famous that in accordance with animal and scientific testing, tocopheryl acetate was not photo-allergenic or phototoxic.

Backside line:  Sturdy antioxidant capability.  Greatest if formulated with vitamin C elements however could also be a possible for dermatitis.

Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract

In keeping with a complete evaluation of seed oils carried out in 1992, Sunflower oil incorporates excessive ranges of nutritional vitamins A, D, and Ok – with crude sunflower oil having the best content material of vitamin E within the type of α-tocopherol amongst oils.

In a randomized research in 2013, sunflower seed oil preserved stratum corneum integrity (that’s pores and skin speak) – and improved hydration in volunteers who utilized it topically after Four weeks. Oddly sufficient, the research additionally discovered that in distinction; topical therapy of sunflower oil WITH olive oil considerably broken the pores and skin barrier, and subsequently had the potential to advertise the event of and exacerbate current atopic dermatitis.  Fortunately, not one of the Balm Dotcom merchandise embrace olive oil.

And eventually, helianthus annuus sunflower seed oil has a fatty acid composition of the next in accordance with the CIR panel:

  • Oleic acid (14.7-37.2%), an omega-9 fatty acid
  • Linoleic acid (51.5-73.5%), an omega-6 fatty acid
  • Linolenic acid (0.3%), an omega-Three fatty acid
  • Palmitic acid (5-7.2%)
  • Stearic acid (2-6.5%)

Backside line: Excessive vitamin E content material for improved hydration.  

Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract

We aren’t any stranger to rosemary and its use in beauty merchandise for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial capabilities.  We are also accustomed to rosemary for its fragrant properties in meals.  However do you know – it has varied analgesic and antibacterial properties? Extra particularly, rosemary oil has been efficient in opposition to bacterium pimples.  In 2007, a research discovered that there have been vital adjustments in morphology and measurement of Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) in response to rosemary oil therapy.


This sounds promising, proper?  Pimples victims from everywhere in the world rejoice!  

Properly earlier than you begin singing its praises – a research in 2005 reported a uncommon case of allergic contact dermatitis resulting from a cleaning gel containing rosemary extract (0.1% distilled water).  So should you undergo from delicate pores and skin outbreaks – be forewarned!

However in 2016, a research investigated the mixture efficacy of rosemary and grapefruit in reducing susceptibility to ultraviolet radiation, along with the advance of pores and skin wrinkledness and elasticity.  The research confirmed the photoprotective and anti-aging efficacy with mixture use of rosemary and grapefruits.

Backside line:  Used for its aroma and antibacterial properties for pimples therapy.

Birthday Taste

Glossier Balm Dotcom Birthday Cake

See Authentic taste for base formulation.


Aroma and taste could also be used interchangeably in beauty merchandise.  Basically talking, it typically capabilities to provide or masks a selected taste.  However the mysteriousness with this listed by some means bothers me. Why not simply embrace the precise ingredient or compound that might be used to impression or elicit the precise aroma or taste?

Backside line: No knowledge with respect to aroma or taste elements added that would profit use in cosmetics.

Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate

Very similar to calcium sodium borosilicate, calcium aluminum borosilicate typically perform as bulking brokers, preservatives and skin-conditioning brokers in beauty merchandise.  It’s primarily an artificial product fashioned by the fusion of boron oxide, silica, sodium oxide, aluminum oxide, and calcium oxide.

Nevertheless, not a lot peer-reviewed analysis was discovered or out there for this ingredient targeted because it pertains to its beauty advantages or lack thereof.  Consequently, the one info that might be extracted was via particular distributors that synthesize calcium sodium borosilicate and the CIR security evaluation.

And primarily based on the CIR evaluation, reported human repeat insult patch take a look at was carried out containing calcium aluminum borosilicate and noticed no adversarial results or proof of sensitization.

Backside line:   Perform as bulking brokers, preservatives and skin-conditioning brokers in beauty merchandise.

Artificial Fluorphlogopite

Artificial Fluorphlogopite is an artificial mimic of a pure mineral (mica-type) that capabilities as a bulking agent and viscosity-increasing agent.  It’s a fluorine-substituted mineral partially composed of magnesium aluminum silicate sheets.

Once more, not a lot peer-reviewed analysis was discovered or out there for this ingredient targeted because it pertains to its beauty advantages or lack thereof.  Consequently, the one info that might be extracted was via particular distributors that synthesize calcium sodium borosilicate and the CIR security evaluation.

And primarily based on the CIR evaluation, two reported human dermal patch assessments have been carried out containing artificial fluorphlogopite in distilled water and noticed no irritation.  And one in vitro pores and skin mannequin take a look at was carried out and concluded that artificial fluorphlogopite had an absence of irritant potential

Backside line:   Capabilities as a bulking agent and viscosity-increasing agent.


Silica is plentiful and makes up of 26% of the Earth’s crust by weight.  It’s discovered primarily in rocks, sand, and clay. Sounds rather a lot like Mica, huh?  In reality, mica is a type of silica! Together with clay (as talked about earlier than), quartz, emerald, talc, glass, and many others.

In its purest kind – silica is unable to exist in its pure state resulting from its propensity to react with the ambiance (i.e. Oxygen).  Consequently, silica is definitely silicon dioxide.  And usually talking, there are two types of silica – crystalline and amorphous.  At current, the amorphous kind processed synthetically; is historically utilized in cosmetics as an absorbent, anti-caking agent, and suspending agent.

Do you know that it’s the third most plentiful hint aspect within the human physique?  And silicon has been instructed that to enhance pores and skin power and elasticity and pivotal in collagen synthesis?  And it’s instructed {that a} larger silicon content material within the hair leads to a decrease fee of hair loss and elevated brightness.  Properly, now you do!

In reality, in a research of girls aged 40 to 65 with typical indicators of photoaging — consumption of a bioavailable type of silicon dietary supplements noticed a major enchancment after 20 weeks in pores and skin floor traits and in its mechanical properties.  The research additionally noticed vital enchancment within the fragility of nails and hair in comparison with the placebo group after a nine-month interval.

Backside line:  Silica (or silicon) is secure as it’s clearly an plentiful aspect inside nature AND your physique.  And with research pointing to its optimistic results on pores and skin elasticity and enchancment in photo-aged pores and skin.

Sodium Saccharin

Sodium saccharin is a synthetic sweetener (or sugar substitute) that’s typically used as an alternative of desk sugar to sweetened meals and drinks.  Once we typically hear the phrase “saccharin”, we frequently correlate these pink packets of Candy’N Low.

Sweet'N Low

However we additionally equate saccharin with the information, from historic scientific analysis, that it could be thought of a carcinogen for the reason that late 70s.  


Why would you add this in your formulations, Glossier?


In reality, for the reason that 70s, the FDA has tried to ban saccharin use resulting from animal research linking correlations to bladder most cancers in rats.   And though this research nonetheless stays viable; at current, there isn’t any clear relationship between saccharin consumption and well being dangers to people at regular doses.  Moreover, a 2004 research examined the potential correlation between saccharin (and different synthetic sweeteners) consumption and most cancers incidence and concluded that danger to induce most cancers was negligible primarily based on present literature analysis.  

However I’m nonetheless staying away from saccharin use.  That’s my private opinion.

Ultimately, there doesn’t appear to current a believable or useful must make the most of sodium saccharin on this formulation.  If Glossier meant to make use of sodium saccharin to impart that candy, sugary “birthday” cake-like style; then maybe using extra pure sugar options to the formulation might have been a greater route.  Particularly since saccharin use might be probably carcinogenic or cancer-inducing.  Alarming, as saccharin continues to be an unknown and up for scientific debate.  

Birthday Cake

Backside line:   Sodium saccharin is a synthetic sweetener with various research pointing to it its carcinogenic capability.

Tin Oxide

Tin Oxide is an inorganic oxide and is the dioxide of tin.  It capabilities as an abrasive, bulking and opacifying agent in beauty merchandise.

Once more, not a lot peer-reviewed analysis was discovered or out there for this ingredient targeted because it pertains to its beauty advantages or lack thereof.  Nevertheless, in accordance with the CIR evaluation, a number of scientific assessments have been carried out.

A pores and skin irritation and sensitization take a look at was carried out utilizing powder eyeshadow containing roughly 0.3% of tin oxide.  No reactions have been noticed and it was concluded that the fabric didn’t have pores and skin irritation or allergic contact sensitization potential.

Most essential to our analysis was a pores and skin irritation and sensitization take a look at carried out on 103 accomplished topics of a lipstick containing 0.5% tin oxide.  No reactions have been noticed and it was concluded that the take a look at materials didn’t have the potential for inflicting dermal irritation or allergic contact sensitization.

One other pores and skin irritation take a look at was carried out of a lipgloss containing 0.35% tin oxide of 108 accomplished topics.  No reactions have been noticed and it was concluded that the take a look at materials didn’t reveal a clinically vital potential for eliciting dermal irritation or sensitization.

Backside line:   Capabilities as an abrasive, bulking and opacifying agent in beauty merchandise with varied scientific research carried out demonstrating no vital irritations.


Limonene is a monoterpene with a significant part of important oils from citrus fruits and sometimes capabilities as a flavoring and perfume agent resulting from its lemon scent; subsequently, typically present in perfumes, cosmetics, and candles.  It’s typically present in two varieties, d-limonene (present in oranges) and l-limonene (present in lemons).

D-limonene and its metabolite have been reported, in a 2014 research, to have tissue-repair properties.  The research observed that topically utilized d-limonene to sufferers with dermatitis and pores and skin lesions demonstrated vital anti-inflammatory results and contributed to therapeutic results on the epidermal barrier.

Though limonene has been designated as a chemical with low toxicity primarily based upon deadly dose, pores and skin irritation or sensitizing potential was reported following widespread use of this agent in varied client merchandise.

Backside line:   Limonene is present in important oils and gives anti-inflammatory and attainable tissue-repair properties.  It capabilities as a flavoring and perfume agent. And though there could also be a possible for limonene to be a sensitizing allergen, some research have pointed to its advantages in tissue-repair.

Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891)

Titanium Dioxide is an inert, semiconducting materials, which frequently displays photocatalytic exercise within the presence of sunshine.

Mainly, it’s thought of to be a “pure” materials which might scatter UV and visual radiation – but what can be astonishing is that titanium dioxide may also be absorbed at sure ranges.  Absorption can typically result in adversarial results comparable to oxidative stress, cell harm, inflammatory responses, and genotoxic results.


Nevertheless, the consequences are strongly mediated and depending on the chemical and bodily traits of titanium dioxide – comparable to measurement, purity, solubility, and many others.  Since we as customers usually are not aware about actual chemical quantity/focus/measurement that’s usually formulated in merchandise we buy – that is definitely regarding!

Backside line:  Total titanium dioxide has been utilized in sunscreens since 1952.  Nevertheless, the FDA has solely not too long ago accepted its use in sunscreens since 1999.  Glossier is probably going utilizing titanium dioxide with the intention of maximizing some type of pearlescent outcomes.  

Rose Taste

Glossier Balm Dotcom Rose

See Authentic taste for base formulation.


Alumina (aluminum oxide) is dehydrated aluminum hydroxide and capabilities as an abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking agent, bulking agent, and opacifying agent.  It’s a mineral mostly present in corundum (a crystalline type of aluminum oxide); which has two major gem varieties, ruby and sapphire.

Now again to alumina as an abrasive.  

We’ve all heard of microdermabrasion therapy, proper?  

Most individuals know to obtain this type of therapy on the dermatologist or plastic surgeon’s workplace.  However do you know that this vacuum strategy of superficial pores and skin resurfacing took place with the developmental use of aluminum oxide crystals? As an example, a 2001 research, measured and quantified the impact of aluminum oxide microdermabrasion on photo-damaged pores and skin on ten (10) topics.  The research noticed fast adjustments to topics’ pores and skin floor when it comes to roughness, topology, elasticity, sebum content material, and stiffness.  As well as, a 2002 research assessed transepidermal water loss (TEWL), hydration, pH, and sebum manufacturing following aluminum oxide and sodium chloride (salt) microdermabrasion on eight sufferers.  The research concluded that each aluminum and sodium chloride types of microdermabrasion altered the epidermal barrier.

So the larger query is that this:

If used as an abrasive, why embrace aluminum oxide in a formulation for a lip balm?  

What’s the profit?

One can solely assume that using alumina right here is for its opacifying and absorbent functionalities.  Nonetheless, there may be higher options to make use of with comparable practical capabilities. Particularly if we consider a 2013 research which evaluated lip merchandise and located that (at larger focus ranges) customers might be ingesting probably hazardous quantities of aluminum as in comparison with acceptable each day limits.    

One factor that must be famous, there have been tutorial publications which speculate the publicity to elemental aluminum compounds may play a task in Alzheimer’s illness (right here, right here, and right here), breast most cancers, and different well being issues.  At current, nonetheless, definitive tutorial analysis evaluating such hypothesis has didn’t assist that relationship.  However that doesn’t imply continuous monitoring of this ingredient is just not mandatory.

In reality, primarily based on the necessity for extra analysis to know this part, it definitely begs the query, “why embrace this within the formulation?”

And though alumina and aluminum hydroxide have been deemed secure through the CIR security evaluation, we might suggest to tread cautiously when this ingredient is included.

Backside line:  Alumina capabilities as an abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking agent, bulking agent, and opacifying agent.  Some research have pointed to potential well being points resulting from publicity.

Iron Oxides (CI 77492)

CI 77492 (Yellow iron oxide)

Iron oxides are naturally sourced however synthetically processed.  Due to this fact, most “pure” marketed magnificence corporations are likely to make the most of iron oxides of their formulations resulting from this “naturally” derived colorant supply.  Relying on the kind of iron oxide, some varieties might have various hint metals. On account of heavy laws imposed by the FDA, iron oxides are usually secure because the hint quantities of steel are doubtless low.

Backside line:  Synthetically processed however naturally sourced ingredient used as a colorant or pigment in cosmetics.  Though they do include hint metals, resulting from heavy FDA laws, the quantity of allowable iron oxides in merchandise is secure for customers.

Cherry Taste

Glossier Balm Dotcom Cherry

See Authentic taste for base formulation.

Mint Taste

Glossier Balm Dotcom Mint

See Authentic taste for base formulation.


Peppermint is a well-liked herb most notably extracted for its pungent menthol oil and is broadly utilized in cosmetics, private hygiene merchandise, meals, and aromatic purposes. It has various therapeutic properties and sometimes utilized in aromatherapy, bathtub preparations, mouthwashes, toothpaste, and topical preparations.

In 2001, a security evaluation was carried out and located the oil to primarily be utilized in beauty formulations as a perfume part. The oil itself consists of menthol and menthone. Irritation and sensitization scientific circumstances have been reported resulting from peppermint oil utility and/or its constituents. Nevertheless, peppermint oil (at 8%) itself was not a sensitizer when examined utilizing a maximization protocol.

And eventually, a 2010 research discovered that the important oil of mint could also be exploited as a pure supply of bioactive phytochemicals bearing antimicrobial and antioxidant potentials that might be supplemented for each dietary functions and preservation of meals.

Backside line: This important oil gives a pungent menthol (clear smelling) perfume with proof pointing to its antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Sodium Saccharin

Reviewed in Birthday taste.

Coconut Taste

Glossier Balm Dotcom Coconut

See Authentic taste for base formulation.


Parfum usually stands for as much as a number of hundred perfume elements which can or is probably not disclosed to the buyer. A 2016 assessment of pure private care merchandise carried out an evaluation of its ingredient lists. Of the 71 pure beauty merchandise containing the phrase “parfum” – solely 15 really indicated that the “parfum” description really encompassed important oils.

Because the inclusion of fragrances in cosmetics, there have been many experiences of elevated allergic responses comparable to contact dermatitis.  In reality, a 2014 assessment offered a two-part evaluation of suspected perfume allergens per the next: 1) Analysis of the epidemiology of suspected perfume allergens and a pair of) Reviewed screening strategies, rising perfume allergens, and administration of sufferers with perfume contact allergy.  The assessment really useful a number of prevention methods to cut back publicity to allergenic fragrances whereas nonetheless enabling its relevant use.

Backside line: Parfum/perfume use is a difficult topic.  Some don’t thoughts it, whereas others have intense responses to it resulting from contact dermatitis or different sensitivities.  

Benzyl Benzoate

Benzyl benzoate perform as a perfume ingredient, preservative, pH adjuster, viscosity reducing agent, and solvent in beauty merchandise.  Traditionally talking, benzyl benzoate was typically used for the topical therapy of scabies infestation; a extremely contagious type of dermatosis attributable to mites.  

However most significantly, benzyl benzoate has been used as a pesticide.  

Ugh. Pesticides?! Actually?!

But it surely will get worse, a 2009 research reported that benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate, and butylphenylmethylpropional have been chemical parts of beauty merchandise which gave oestrogenic responses in a human breast most cancers cell line in tradition.  The research concluded that additional analysis was mandatory however that these compounds could also be absorbed via human pores and skin and would possibly enter human breast tissues when topically utilized across the breast space.

Backside line: Benzyl benzoate perform as a perfume ingredient, preservative, pH adjuster, viscosity reducing agent, and solvent in beauty merchandise; however used as a pesticide and will have potential oestrogenic results.


All balm flavors declare:

“hypoallergenic, dermatologist examined, long-lasting moisture, paraben free, cruelty free

Okay, the claims as detailed on the Glossier Balm Dotcom web site for the next:

Authentic Taste and Base Formulation

Castor Seed Oil:  A pure plant extract, the thick emollient has distinctive water-binding properties that hold moisture locked in.

Beeswax:  A pure emollient which acts as a protecting barrier.

Lanolin:  A pure emollient that’s good for delicate pores and skin.

Cupuacu Fruit Extract:  An natural, long-lasting moisturizer with Omega-6 and Omega-9 fatty acids that melts into pores and skin on contact.

Rice Bran & Rosemary Leaf Extracts:  Antioxidants to fight free-radical pores and skin harm.

Okay, let’s parse this child to its naked bones primarily based on its elements:

All Flavors

“Birthday Taste:  Smells like cake (at a shock social gathering with rainbow confetti—the nook piece with essentially the most frosting)

Rose Taste:  Smells not like every other rose: sugary candy, absolutely bloomed, and freshly lower.

Cherry Taste: Smells like enjoyable: tangy cherry candies, the right playlist, and three-day weekends.

Mint Taste:  Smells like a contemporary begin: sturdy mouthwash, crisp morning breeze, and a fully-charged cellphone—plus menthol for a tingly, cooling sensation.

Coconut Perfume:  Smells like trip: coconut, after-sun lotion, and heat sand.”

See Authentic (base) taste for added claims.

Okay, let’s parse this child to its naked bones primarily based on its elements:


In keeping with Glossier, the balms have been formulated and must be utilized per the next:

  • Authentic Taste: Apply a small quantity with fingers to any a part of the physique that wants further moisture, particularly lips, cuticles, and tough patches.
  • Birthday: Swipe onto lips for long-lasting hydration and a shimmery sheen. For an immediate temper elevate, place opening of tube beneath nostrils and breathe deeply.
  • Rose: Swipe onto lips for long-lasting hydration and an extremely dewy sheen. For an immediate temper elevate, place opening of tube beneath nostrils and breathe deeply.
  • Cherry: Swipe onto lips for long-lasting hydration and an extremely dewy sheen. For an immediate temper elevate, place opening of tube beneath nostrils and breathe deeply.
  • Mint: Swipe onto lips for long-lasting hydration and an extremely dewy sheen. For an immediate temper elevate, place opening of tube beneath nostrils and breathe deeply.
  • Coconut: Swipe onto lips for plumping hydration, and on eyelids and cheekbones for an extremely dewy sheen. Therapeutic massage into cuticles and tough patches for reparative moisture. For fast trip, place opening of tube beneath nostrils and breathe deeply.


As a lot as I don’t need to give dangerous marks, there are a number of. One vital grievance is the added parfum/perfume ingredient.

Why, Glossier, why?!

It was laborious to match a taste declare with a selected scent when what’s included is listed as simply an “aroma/taste” or added “perfume” with various pigments to indicate a selected change in taste by means of coloration.  

I’m baffled as to why Glossier by no means thought to simply embrace plain ol’ coconut oil for the Coconut flavored Balm Dotcom and resorted to utilizing “parfum” or “perfume” as an alternative.  With the supply of botanical oils and this new wave of “inexperienced” magnificence, one would assume they’d think about using these elements and parts first earlier than resorting to artificial aromas and fragrances.

Why not embrace relevant oils/extracts for a number of the flavors?

Listed below are some examples that would have been used as an alternative of mysterious fragrances or aroma descriptors:

Glossier Flavor Allternatives

Subsequent, using sodium saccharin.

This simply baffles me.  

I assume the great of us at Glossier have been attempting to imitate that birthday cake reminiscence.  Although I’d gladly relinquish any sugary style or scent if it meant NOT utilizing this synthetic sweetener with various research pointing to it its carcinogenic capability.

Then there may be using alumina; which capabilities as an abrasive, absorbent, anti-caking agent, bulking agent, and opacifying agent.  And as we famous within the assessment, some research have pointed to potential well being points resulting from publicity to aluminum oxide.

And eventually, using probably oestrogenic affecting benzyl benzoate simply appears relatively unusual.  If benzyl benzoate is used as a preservative, perfume ingredient, or pH adjuster; then certainly there are definitely higher options on the market.  That’s my private opinion.


Balm Dotcom (Authentic, Birthday, Rose, Cherry, Mint, Coconut) ($12)


Ultimately, it is a lip balm and does include some good botanical and even artificial elements that assist their claims.  

So whether or not you select to spend $12 for a tube of Glossier lip product, buy on-line for different options (see Dupes), or head to your native drugstore

The selection is yours.  


Authentic Taste:

HURRAW! Unscented Lip Balm

Farmacy Honey Butter

Cocokind Lip balm (Authentic)

MyHavtorn Natural Lip Balm

Nuori Lip Deal with

URANG S.O.S. Multi Balm With Tamanu

Birthday Taste:

HURRAW! Vanilla Lip Balm

Innisfree My Lip Balm (Sky Vanilla Tea)

TREAT Jumbo Lip Balm (Birthday cake)

Rose Taste:

Babo Botanicals Lip Tint Conditioner SPF 15

Innisfree My Lip Balm (Dried Rose Tea)

Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Lip Tint – Coral

Cherry Taste:

HURRAW! Black Cherry Balm

Carmex Cherry Lip Tube

100% Pure Cherry Lip Balm

Innisfree My Lip Balm (Solar Kissed Cherry Tea)

Mint Taste:

HURRAW! Mint Lip Balm

100% Pure Natural Mint Lip Balm

100% Pure Natural Mint Mojito Lip Balm

Cocokind Lip balm (Mint)

Innisfree My Lip Balm (Inexperienced Peppermint Tea)

Kari Gran Bare Lip Balm

Coconut Taste:

HURRAW! Coconut Lip Balm

DedCool Chazstick Lip Balm (Coconut Milk)


For essentially the most half, nearly all of the elements matched with its relevant declare.  Nevertheless, we observed in a short time that the variations between every taste was minimal.  

In reality, outdoors of including the next elements, every balm was primarily simply the Authentic taste however merely re-packaged:

  • Pigments
  • Mysterious “aroma” or “flavors”
  • Parfum/perfume
  • Sodium saccharin
  • Alumina
  • Benzyl Benzoate

As ordinary, our recommendation could be to take heed to what might be drawn from a few of these elements.  Is it definitely worth the sacrifice if there isn’t any believable profit?

Reality be advised, I’m not resistant to the dazzling advertising results of Glossier.  They actually do make you need to spend all of your cash on pink and pink packaging.

Take My Money

However packaging apart, the fact is the way you go about deciding on what merchandise go in your pores and skin, whether or not these elements present advantages, and whether or not these advantages outweigh any potential sensitivities or points.

The selection is yours.  All the time.

Till my subsequent assessment!


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