I first learned about Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips through a sample I received in one of my orders from Birchbox. It’s touted as an all natural hydrating, healing product that later gained notoriety as the ultimate lip gloss, primer and multipurpose balm among London makeup artists. In addition, it also works great as a nipple cream for nursing moms, soothes and smooths dry patches of skin, repairs damaged cuticles, split ends, sunburns, and even diaper rash. A half ounce container runs $14.50 retail.
However, there is really no secret formula to this product. The ingredient list has only one ingredient – pharmaceutical grade lanolin. You may remember lanolin from previous posts on my blog including my recipes for a homemade lanolin salve, a natural lanolin shaving soap, and my natural lanolin & neem salve.
Basically, lanolin is a naturally occurring wax secreted by the glands of sheep and other wool bearing animals that helps them shed water from their coats. When sheep are sheared in order to use their wool for textiles such as yarn or felt, the wool is first run through rollers in order to extract the lanolin. Because lanolin is very similar in composition to the oils secreted by our own skin it’s able to provide a protective moisture barrier when used in skin care products. It acts as an excellent moisturizer and skin smoother as it’s capable of not only penetrating the outer layers of our own skin while still allowing it to breathe. As such, it’s long been used as a moisturizer and can be substituted for petroleum based products like petroleum jelly. It’s also one of the main ingredients in Carmex. Liquid lanolin – which has had the ester removed consequently making it less sticky then pure lanolin – is often used in lieu of mineral oil in beauty and skin care recipes.
Pure lanolin has a natural yellowish tinge to it and a slight odor. The only difference between lanolin and pharmaceutical grade lanolin is that pharmaceutical grade lanolin has been refined. During the refining process, some color and the natural scent of lanolin is removed.
For $8.90 you can purchase 2 oz. – that’s four times the product of Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips for almost half the price – of pharmaceutical grade lanolin like the Australian Golden Lanolin pictured above. For $14 – just fifty cents less than the retail price of Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm – you can purchase 16 oz. (one pound) of Saaqin Ultra Refined Deodorized Lanolin.
You can pay more for Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips and it’s cute little tube or you can buy lanolin in bulk and take advantage of all the great uses and recipes that lanolin can be used for. Want to make your own Dr. Lipp Nipple Balm for Lips? Simple. Just add refined lanolin to the container of your choice. Alternately, if you don’t mind the scent, you can also use Pure (Unrefined) Lanolin from Now Foods. 7 oz. of this product is just under $10.
What’s your experience been with generic brands and lesser name brand substitutes?