When it comes to skincare, our lips often are overlooked. But it's important to have a product that can treat our lips just as well as the rest of the skin on our face. First Aid Beauty's Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm includes ingredients that can help in that respect, but it has a few drawbacks that keep it from being a highly recommended product.
We'll get to one of those immediately because it's the first thing you notice once you take off the top of Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm—a very strong minty smell (it almost smells like toothpaste) is apparent. When you "warm up" the balm and apply it, you'll pick up the scent even more, and we noticed a mint-like cooling sensation for the first half-hour we wore it. Though mint is not listed in the ingredients, flavor is, and the fact that it's so strong means it poses a risk of irritating delicate lips.
Another issue is that there's also a small amount of the fragrance chemical eugenol in this balm. Eugenol is known to cause irritation that includes dryness, scaling swelling, and redness—not the results you want from a healing balm (Journal of Applied Toxicology, 2004 & Dermatitis, 2012).
That's a shame, because the rest of the ingredient list is great when it comes to giving lips what they need to heal, especially if they're chapped. There's a host of emollients like safflower seed oil, sweet almond oil, and shea butter—all of which are good sources of antioxidants. As an added bonus, there are also anti-irritants such as green tea extract, licorice extract, and allantoin, which are great to see in a lip product!
While First Aid Beauty makes much of the "healing power of bees" in this formula, and bee-derived ingredients beeswax and propolis extract are good emollients, they're not unique to this product (you'll find them in a number of other lip products). The touted honey and colloidal oatmeal serve to bolster the other anti-irritants included, though again they're not exactly groundbreaking additions!
The texture is emollient without being overly greasy (though it does have quite a bit of slip), and makes lips feel moisturized even after it's worn off, which takes a couple of hours if you don't eat anything.
Still, because of the strong scent and cool sensation that lingers, Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm is not the ideal option when it comes to providing nourishment to lips. The flavor's risk of irritating lips is too great to be ignored. For products that do fall into that category, see our list of Best Lip Products.
- Contains emollients to help moisturize dry lips.
- Includes anti-irritants like green tea extract, licorice extract, and allantoin.
- Texture is emollient without being overly greasy.
- Leaves lips feeling moisturized even after it's worn off.
- Contains a strong mint-like flavor whose cooling effect could potentially irritate lips.
- Ingredients include the fragrance chemical eugenol, which could also irritate lips.
First Aid Beauty At-A-Glance
Strengths: Several fragrance-free products; relatively reasonable pricing; sunscreen provides broad-spectrum protection; wonderful fragrance-free body wash.
Weaknesses: AHA pads contain a low amount of glycolic and lactic acids; some products contain fragrant plant extracts; every product contains feverfew extract, which has benefits, but also can be an irritant; jar packaging; for a line meant for sensitive skin, their use of common irritants is disappointing.
With a name like First Aid Beauty (FAB for short), it's obvious this line is meant to rescue your skin from distress, and, indeed, these products are targeted toward those who have sensitive, easily irritated skin, but who still want an elegant, department-store flair. Ironically, FAB falls short on both ends of the spectrum.
Despite the company's claims of providing "therapeutic action" for "tough skin conditions," some of the products contain irritating ingredients that are extremely problematic for any skin type, especially for those with sensitive or compromised skin. It was disappointing to see known irritants like sulfur, balsam resin, and witch hazel in products claiming to calm your skin and reduce redness. "What were they thinking?" was a question that came up more than once while reviewing this line!
On the bright side, First Aid Beauty does have a very good fragrance-free body wash. There are also a few products that omit the fragrance, which is a definite must for sensitive skin, although, in fact, all skin types do best with fragrance-free products. Unfortunately, the fragrance-free formulas in this line come up short on important ingredients, like antioxidants and skin-repairing ingredients.
It is best to avoid their Ultra Repair Cream, the SPF 30 sunscreen, Detox Eye Roller, Blemish Eraser, and the Anti-Redness Serum because they all contain enough irritating ingredients to make conditions like acne, redness, and sensitivity worse.
For more information about First Aid Beauty, visit your local Sephora or Ulta or call (800) 322-3619 or visit www.firstaidbeauty.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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