01.28.2015
8
1463
Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm
Rating
0.15 fl. oz. for $2.99
Category:Skin Care > Lip Products (Including Lip Exfoliators) > Lip Balm Without Sunscreen
Last Updated:01.28.2015
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:Yes
Review Overview

This affordable lip balm is about as close to natural as it gets for treating dry, chapped lips. The wax-based formula contains some great emollients and antioxidant-rich plant oils that leave lips smooth, soft, and protected. Because this doesn't contain sunscreen, it is recommended for use only at night. The slight mint flavor is not cause for concern in terms of irritation, as it dissipates quickly and is not in the same vein as peppermint oil.

Pros:
  • Gentle, emollient-rich formula works great on dry, chapped lips.
  • Does not contain irritants like menthol or peppermint, which many lip balms do.
  • About as close to natural as a lip balm can get!
  • Omits fragrance, but does contain flavor that is slightly minty.
Cons:
  • Lack of sunscreen means its use is relegated to nighttime (lips need sun protection during the day).

More info:

With Neutrogena Naturals, the big deal is the company's claim that at least 90% of the ingredients in this scrub are naturally derived. They define "naturally-derived" on their Web site as follows: "The majority of our ingredients are derived from a mineral, plant or fruit based source. All ingredients in personal care products are processed to some degree, both for safety and for suitability of use in product formulations. The naturally derived ingredients in Neutrogena® Naturals originate from mineral, plant and fruit sources that are then combined to produce our gentle, clinically proven products."

That sounds impressive, but in reality what they're stating is neither unique nor revolutionary. What they're telling you is true: Lots of cosmetic ingredients have a natural source, but the process many natural ingredients go through to make them suitable for use in cosmetics is anything but natural. In that sense, the question comes down to how a company and individual consumers define "natural." There certainly isn't a mutually agreed-on definition within the cosmetics industry, but we applaud Neutrogena for explaining it in a way that's much more straightforward than what many so-called "natural" brands claim. Interestingly, Neutrogena also mentions that their Naturals products contain synthetic fragrance.

Claims

Vitamin E bionutrient balm nourishes and soothes with essential moisture. Long-lasting formula moisturizes and soothes lips with Vitamin E bionutrients to heal dry skin and keep lips looking healthy.

Ingredients

Beeswax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Flavor, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopherol

Brand Overview

Neutrogena At-A-Glance

Strengths: Inexpensive; several recommended cleansers; retinol options, in stable packaging; vast selection of sunscreens, most of which offer excellent UVA protection; several fragrance-free options; many of the Healthy Skin products are state-of-the-art; the foundations with sunscreen provide sufficient UVA protection; some praiseworthy makeup items.

Weaknesses: An overabundance of overlapping anti-aging products that is perennially confusing for consumers; irritating bar soaps; lackluster to downright bad toners; a handful of bland moisturizers and eye creams; some sunscreens too much alcohol or problematic preservatives; most of the Deep Clean products are terrible; mostly disappointing concealers; the lip balms with sunscreen provide inadequate UVA protection.

Johnson & Johnson–owned Neutrogena has been around for over 50 years, and they've come a long way since they launched their first transparent, bronze, detergent-based bar soap (it also contains tallow). The bars are still sold, and while we still don't recommend them (they are too drying for all skin types), the good news is that Neutrogena has come a very long way from where they started. In fact, several of their products represent truly state-of-the-art options.

Strolling the skin-care aisles of any drugstore or mass-market store reveals that Neutrogena vies for shelf space and prominence with only one other brand, Procter & Gamble's Olay. For the most part, both companies offer a similar assortment of products, with Olay being slightly more focused on anti-aging products and Neutrogena going for broader appeal, offering a nearly equal amount of antiwrinkle and anti-acne products. Regrettably the latter category presents few viable options.

Where Neutrogena really excels (and has for years) is with water-soluble cleansers, AHAs, retinol, and sunscreen products. Their Healthy Skin lineup offers some beautifully formulated moisturizers with glycolic acid, and the sunscreens offer something for everyone, including some ingenious options for those with oily skin (or anyone who finds the texture of high-SPF products as unappealing as slathering your skin with Crisco).

A recent self-proclaimed advance in sun protection came with Neutrogena's Helioplex complex. It is not the superior breakthrough Neutrogena makes it out to be. It's a good system to keep avobenzone stable for longer, but Helioplex isn't the only way to get the most out of this important UVA sunscreen. If it were, why didn't Neutrogena scrap all of their other sunscreens that don't use Helioplex technology? And why do they still offer a handful of SPF-rated products that leave skin vulnerable to UVA damage? Although they offer a proportionately greater number of sunscreens that provide excellent UVA protection, it's hard to unequivocally deem them a sun-care leader when they still sell inadequate sunscreens.

It's common to see commercials and magazine ads for Neutrogena's plethora of products designed to combat breakouts and blackheads. It's nothing short of amazing that, after all these years, the majority of these products, while well intentioned, still don't get it right. Far too many of them contain irritating ingredients such as alcohol, witch hazel, and menthol, none of which are the least bit helpful for someone struggling with breakouts. If your dermatologist recommends these products for acne without reservation, definitely consider a second opinion! Even Neutrogena's on-the-spot benzoyl peroxide product contains some potentially problematic thickening agents. Despite this, if you choose carefully, there are some great products (including a BHA lotion) that can make a positive difference.

What's most frustrating and, frankly, surprising, is that Neutrogena's enormous assortment of products represents both the best and the worst the cosmetics industry has to offer. Given their worldwide distribution and research capabilities, they really should be offering a consistent range of effective, irritant-free products to address a variety of skin types and conditions. As things stand now, healthy, protected skin is only assured if you know which Neutrogena products to look for and which ones to never put in your shopping cart.

For more information about Neutrogena, owned by Johnson & Johnson, call (800) 582-4048 or visit www.neutrogena.com.

Neutrogena Makeup

Neutrogena's "beautiful and beneficial" pronouncement is a great tag line, but most of their makeup doesn't live up to that assertion. This line was lacking in several key areas when it first hit store shelves in 1999, and although some things have improved, the number of problematic products is a bit startling. (We are not aware of any cosmetic line that uses menthol or its derivatives as often as Neutrogena.) Each product carries on about the vitamins it contains, yet compared to the leading roles played by cosmetic staples like silicones and thickening agents, the vitamins have mere cameo roles, and as such have little to no impact.

There are a few key items to seek out, especially if you're looking for makeup with excellent sun protection. We also found their lip gloss to be one of the best at any price, and a few of their foundations successfully bridge the gap between skin care and makeup.

The most frustrating aspect of this line is that almost all of it is packaged so you cannot see the color. Even worse, the color swatch on the box is a poor representation, not only of how the color looks in the compact, but also how it looks on your skin. What would truly be beneficial is for Neutrogena to offer more revealing packaging or provide testers or offer trial sizes. Their overall collection and in-store displays aren't nearly as tempting as most other drugstore makeup lines, so in most cases they're relying on their constant magazine and television ads to drive shoppers to explore the world of Neutrogena makeup, or they're relying solely on those who don't mind guessing what color they are really buying. It's obviously working, because despite the problematic elements, this is a line that has survived and is very well distributed.

About the Experts

The Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment that Paula Begoun, founder of Beautypedia and Paula's Choice Skincare made over 30 years ago-to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!


The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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01.27.2015
There is a mistake

Review said that this product doesn't contain any manthol or mint, but this lip balm has slight sensible amount of scent of mint. I think that the reason of this best rating is made by the mistake of overlooking one ingredient, "flavor". Because the list doesn't contain "perfumes", it may be look like fragrance-free, so the mistake occurs. I think this product needs to be re-reviewed.

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Reviewed by
Eun Hwan L.
01.28.2015
Beautypedia Team Response

We added a more specific comment about the flavor. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

—Admin
09.27.2014
Not good, smells like mint

I dont understand why this lipbalm is rated as one of the best ones if it has a strong minty odor. Even though Its very emollient It didnt improve my chapped lips at all.

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Reviewed by
Alejandra
08.17.2014
allergy

Not all natural ingredients are good for you. The day after I used this lip balm, I woke up with swollen and painful lips with small bumps that has liquid in them. This is not the only lip product that I'm allergic to, I also can't tolerate lancome, sheseido and too faced lipsticks. How can one look for ingredients that one is allergic to? It is especially hard when there are so many unfamiliar ingredients.

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Reviewed by
Phyo
08.18.2014
Beautypedia Team Response

Hello,

You can search on our Ingredient Dictionary to read more about particular ingredients. http://www.paulaschoice.com/cosmetic-ingredient-dictionary/

—Admin
07.03.2014
Pretty good

There's a slight minty scent if you sniff the stick, but on your lips there's no scent. I find it a little too waxy (along with all stick balms) but it is far more moisturising than most stick balms. I don't really care about the natural claims but it's good for windy days in winter that would dry out other balms. But the price is a bargain.

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Reviewed by
Madge B
02.10.2014
A Stick, not a Roll-on

I don't know why the previous reviewer says it's a roll-on. It isn't. It's a stick.

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Reviewed by
Daniela C
09.16.2013
good roll-on moisturizer

I use Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm at night. It's a good lip moisturizer. Very subtle, pleasant scent + flavor. I bought Neutrogena Naturals Lip Balm b/c I prefer lip balm in a roll-up/roll-on format, easier to apply + slightly waxy (stays on longer) as opposed to greasy. I tried Aquaphor Lip Repair, Immediate Relief, which is effective to moisturize lips - I don't like the applicator tip, just a plastic slanted tip w/ a small opening for product to squeeze out, also it's greasy.

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Reviewed by
JeTaime
05.29.2013
lip balm

use it once before bed and it stays on all night and my lips feel great in the morning. You can't beat the price. I didn't notice any smell or flavor.

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Reviewed by
jerome g.
01.16.2013
MINT :(

Bought this due to recommendation on this site. Strong mint flavor and scent. I hate that! Want unscented and unflavored. Smell is very strong. Deal breaker for me. Nothing on the packaging gave any indication of this.

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Anonymous
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