What is Lip Gloss Made of? Does it Contain Whale Sperm!?!
We all know that lip gloss is sticky, shiny, and makes our lips look plump AF. But what's actually in this magical concoction?
Is it made of whale sperm like some urban legends would have you believe?
Let's investigate the typical ingredients in lip gloss and see if we can get to the bottom of this mystery.
Who started this urban legend?
Sir Robert Chesebrough was the mastermind behind Vaseline, a petroleum jelly product used for treatment of nearly any part of the body, including being used as lip balm for chapped lips.
Before his discovery, he worked as a chemist producing sperm oil from whale fat - not to be confused with regular whale oil rendered from blubber.
This curious name is derived from "spermaceti", an organ found within the head of a sperm whale; it would then be extracted and treated by sulfuric acid to make this incredibly useful substance which could lubricate machinery!
"Sperm oil" was never used in products for humans. It was only used to oil machinery, not lip products.
Unbelievably, due to confusion, this crazy urban legend got started and has recently spread like wildfire on Twitter, centuries later.
Well then, what is in lip gloss?
Lip gloss is typically made from a combination of oils, waxes, and pigments.
The exact ingredients will vary depending on the brand, but most lip glosses contain common ones include mineral oil, coconut oil, petrolatum, polybutene, and paraffin.
These ingredients help to make the lip gloss smooth and creamy so it glides on easily. They also help to keep the pigment suspended in the gloss so it doesn't settle at the bottom.
Some lip glosses also contain beeswax or carnauba wax. These ingredients help to thicken the formula and make it more durable so it doesn't wear off as quickly. They also give the lip gloss a glossy finish.
Finally, lip glosses usually contain pigments to give them color. These can be natural pigments like titanium dioxide or iron oxide, or they can be synthetic dyes like FD&C Blue No. 1 or D&C Red No. 7.
Glitter gloss may contain sparkly substances. You can apply lip gloss products with a lip brush to keep the glitter from getting everywhere.
If you are using glosses advertised as lip plumpers, they may have additional ingredients such as peppermint, cinnamon, menthol, or even hot pepper (capsaicin). These ingredients cause irritated lips and make them swell a bit.
Is lip gloss safe?
So, is lip gloss safe? For the most part, yes. The ingredients in lip gloss are considered safe for topical use.
However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid certain ingredients like fragrances or essential oils which can cause irritation.
You should also avoid licking your lips while wearing lip gloss since ingesting small amounts of these ingredients is not considered harmful but swallowing large amounts could be dangerous.
Now that we know what's REALLY in our lip gloss, we can rest assured that it's not made of whale sperm (thank goodness!).
The majority of the ingredients are safe for topical use, but if you have sensitive skin you may want to avoid certain formulas.
We told you not to lick your lips, but we know you will anyway. If you insist, you may as well wear the best tasting lip glosses you can find.
Tap the button below for our list of the best tasting lip glosses you can buy.