Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Ingredients – Bees & Beekeeping Information

beeswax lip balm

Have you ever wondered what Burt's Bees Lip Balm Ingredients are? Burt's Bees is an American-based personal care products company that also sells their products internationally. The company describes itself as "Earth-friendly." But just how true is this statement?

What Is Burt's Bees Lip Balm?

The Burt's Bees website states that the balm was crafted in the backwoods of Maine in 1991 and has been in purses and pockets ever since. The company explains that the balm will condition the skin of your lips, while the antioxidant, Vitamin E, moisturizes the lips. Peppermint oil is what ultimately provides the tingling feeling that the user experiences. Further benefits and claims provided by the company are that the product is 100% natural and that it contains no parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS.

Burt's Bees Lip Balm

What is Burt's Bees Lip Balm Used For?

As mentioned in the previous section, the balm will condition the skin of your lips, while the antioxidant, Vitamin E, moisturizes the lips. Peppermint oil is what ultimately provides the tingling feeling that the user experiences. The balm is supposed to soften and keep your lips healthy.

Burt's Bees History

Now that we know about the product let's take a glimpse into the company's history. Burt's Bees got its start in Maine in 1984 as a candle making business. This business was a partnership between Roxanne Quimby and Burt Shavitz.

Shavitz also had a honey business which provided the beeswax needed for the candles, and Quimby focused on making sure their products were of the highest quality. Due to their combined efforts, they were able to grow their business from an initial $200 to $20,000 by the end of their first year.

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In 1993, Quimby threatened to sue Shavitz over personal issues and essentially forced Shavitz out of the company's operations. This ended the long partnership. Increasing demand caused a move from Maine headquarters to North Carolina. Burt's Bees changed its focus to exclusively personal care products at this point.

What Are Burt's Bees Balm Ingredients?

The full ingredients list for Burt's Bees lip balm is beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, lanolin, rosemary leaf extract, soybean oil, canola oil, and limonene. At first glance, the ingredients in this list look very good. Beeswax is a natural moisturizer that does the job very well. In fact, the other ingredients like coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, peppermint oil, and rosemary leaf extract are well known in naturalist communities for their beneficial properties (unless you happen to be allergic to them).

But take a look at that list again. What is lanolin? What is limonene? Lanolin is usually still labeled as a natural substance, but this can be misleading.


Lanolin is basically "wool grease" and is an oil secreted from the fur animals that have wool, like sheep. In other words, Burt's Bees uses an animal byproduct and is therefore not vegan. It is a waxy substance that is often used as a base for moisturizers, lip balms, and other skin products. However, it is unlikely to have any long-term health benefits.


Limonene is a lot less sinister. It is a natural essential oil found in orange peels. Limonene is what gives oranges their scent. This ingredient is harmless unless you are allergic or have a sensitivity to certain scents.

But what the stuff we haven't mentioned; soybean and canola oil? You'll be very surprised at what you're about to learn about them. Many alternative health experts will tell you that soybean and canola oil isn't really good for you at all.

Canola Oil

The canola plant is not natural at all and didn't exist until 1974.  The plant is man-made. Soybean and canola oil are fillers so the company can use less of the more healthy ingredients and save on the overall expense of them.

Canola Flower

Are there any positives to the lip balm and Burt's Bees Lip Balm ingredients? Of course, there is! We got the cons out of the way, let's look at the more wholesome ingredients.


Beeswax is produced by honeybees to build their honeycombs. This means that beeswax is natural and just think, if a creature in nature uses it for something they find important, it probably has some really good qualities. Beeswax can be both brittle and soft and is made up of over 300 components. Some of these elements include alkanes, acids, esters, polyesters, and hydroxyl esters.

Beeswax is a natural emulsifier that helps cosmetics, lotions, and balms to bind. It adds a wonderful natural smell and color to products and helps to keep the skin moisturized. It also has great benefits, such as its high vitamin A content, which is good for the skin.

The honeycomb is collected and melted after the honey is removed. What's left is the beeswax that is used in the Burt's Bees products. It can take as much as 10 pounds of honey to produce one pound of beeswax.

Orange Peel

The orange tree is a small tree native to China and India. It's now mainly cultivated in Brazil, Cypress, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the U.S. The orange fruit is a type of berry called hesperidium.

Orange oil helps to maintain healthy and smooth skin.  Orange also has a bright, uplifting fragrance that has been reported to have properties that help with lifting moods like anxiety. In skincare, orange peel is used as a natural exfoliator. It also has antioxidants that are used in many Burt Bee's products such as lotions, scrubs, and soaps.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint leaves produce an essential oil that is refreshing and reviving. It can also provide a pleasant tingling sensation.  Sometimes referred to as brandy mint, this herb was used in Greece and Rome to flavor wines and sauces.

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Peppermint is thought to have been cultivated in ancient Egypt and is still used as a signature ingredient in traditional mint tea. Peppermint has a long-standing history around the world for use in food, medicine, and cosmetics. Today, the main growing and production areas for true peppermint are the Pacific Northwestern region of the U.S., India, and Egypt.

The main element of peppermint oil is menthol. Menthol is what causes the tingling sensation. Peppermint is also an effective way to freshen breath, flavor for candy, chewing gum and toothpaste, and cleansing and toning in cosmetics. Burt's Bees uses peppermint for their body washes and lotions.

Sunflower Oil

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The sunflower is native to Central America. The popularity of the sunflower spread to Europe in the 16th century. The oil from the sunflower seed is very beneficial to the body and skin. It's a natural emollient that helps bind moisturizing ingredients together. Burt's Bees also uses sunflower oil for some of their natural skin care for men products.

Rosemary Leaf

Rosemary leaf may contain some helpful oils and esters. But when it comes to Burt's Bees Lip Balm ingredients, rosemary leaf mostly acts as a pleasant scent.

How Effective Are Burt's Bees Lip Balm Ingredients?

One of the strengths of Burt's Bees lip balm ingredients is what is not included rather than what's included. They do not use any harmful alcohols, which is critical for long-term effectiveness. Though alcohol is used in a lot of skin care products, it has been known to dry out and damage the skin. Which is the very condition that the companies are trying to improve?

Burt's Bees lip balm also does not use any artificial flavors, scents, or colors. This helps those who are sensitive to certain allergies.

Studies have shown that continued exposure to many of these artificial chemicals can have harmful effects on people's mental performance and may be at the root of some conditions like ADD or short-term memory problems. They could also increase the chances of cancer in some people.

One potential weakness of the Burt's Bees lip balm ingredients is their lack of UV protection. Many lip balms have a low-grade SPF that can help prevent sun damage, which is one of the leading causes of chapping. A good way to boost the performance of the product would be to prevent what causes the condition.

Who Is Burt's Bees Lip Balm Right For?

Burt's Bees lip balm is an excellent choice for people that are looking for a basic, general use lip balm. It is fully capable of helping moisturize and protect its users' lips in the short term without compromising its overall effectiveness in the long term.

Burt's Bees lip balm may not be right for people that need a more powerful product. However, if you are in need of a medical grade lip balm, Burt Bees does have a line of medical balms. But most of the medical balms don't protect against the sun.


In conclusion, though the Burt's Bees Lip Balm ingredients have a few less than stellar elements, the product is not a bad one overall. As long as you don't mind the balm not being vegan and don't mind a couple of filler ingredients, the product still has a lot of benefits. The balm will condition the skin of your lips and keep them soft and healthy.


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