Most of us moisturise our skin but we often forget that our lips is skin too, skin that actually goes through a lot of “wear and tear” throughout the day. To make matters worse many of us tend to have dry lips even if our skin is oily. As a result, a good lip moisturiser is a must even outside the winter months.
There are many cheap lip moisturisers out there but when I looked through their ingredients they weren’t that impressive. They often provide some moisturisation during usage but they last only a couple of minutes and do not deeply nourish the lip skin.
As a result, I decided to put my hopes into a more expensive and branded product, the Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner, to find out if the ingredients are truly worth the minimum £13 extra (the more expensive drugstore lip balms are around £5 vs this one at £18).
If you missed this post check out: SPF Protection for Lips – Mega Battle: Carmex VS Maybelline VS Nivea VS Blistex – In depth Reviews and Ingredient Analyses
Should you buy the Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner or save some money and go for a drugstore lip balm?
Here’s my verdict:
This lip conditioner has a white to pale yellow colour, which is very typical of colourless lip balms. It is considered to be a clear lip balm as it doesn’t add any colour to the lips.
The Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner has a perfect texture somewhere between waxy and oily but neither exactly. It doesn’t feel heavy or stick on the lips at all but it still feels moisturising and it allows a lipstick to glide over flawlessly.
This lip conditioner has a subtle smell that is typical of lip conditioners. It’s neither pleasant or unpleasant and you might not notice it.
The Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner 3.8g retails for £18.
The 3.8g make it a smaller sized lip balm but larger than an Estée Lauder Pure Colour Envy lipstick which are 3.5g. For comparison the Nivea and Maybelline lip balms tend to be around 4.8g and the thinner ones, like Carmex or Blistex, around 4.25g.
It is, of course, an expensive lip balm and whether it is worth the cash or not depends on it’s ingredients.
The outer packaging is the standard Estée Lauder blue with gold design which is simple but elegant and iconic for the brand.
On the other hand, the lip conditioner comes in a gorgeous golden lipstick like packaging. It is very simple yet it looks much more expensive than it is. Gorgeous packaging is a lot more than just looks, it can make you want to use that product more often which then might actually make the product more worth it than others.
For example, even if let’s say the ingredients of this lip conditioner are not better than the drugstore ones, it might still be worth the money if the packaging, appearance or feel of it makes you more interested in using it.
This lip conditioner looks even nicer than some of the Estée Lauder lipsticks.
Practicality of use – user experience
Using this lip balm is as easy as using a lipstick. Pull the cap off, twist the bullet up and apply on the lips.
The nicely balanced, half waxy half oily feeling formula, makes it slide really easily on the lips and feel lightweight. It’s a very easy and pleasurable product to use.
The brand doesn’t specify a specific skin type for this product.
Lip skin compatibility is not as detailed or researched as much as our face skin, so one can only assume that this product is suitable for all. Avoid using any cosmetics if your skin is broken or has open wounds.
Here’s what the brand says about this product:
“A soothing moisture treat for your lips. The lip-caring formula hydrates, smooths and comforts lips.Includes Vitamins C and E, Shea Butter and other naturally derived moisturizers.Wear it two ways: Apply under lipstick as a moisturizing base coat. Or wear it overnight as an intensive moisture treatment.
This lip conditioner does not mention how long it lasts. However, if you haven’t used it up in a year then it might be time to throw it away.
It is also worth to note that John Lewis has this lip conditioner wrongly listed on their website. This lip conditioner does not contain SPF15.
I really liked this conditioner, as it looks gorgeous and it makes me want to use it, but it also feels very light but yet moisturising on the lips. For me though the real make or break, would I buy this again criteria comes down to the ingredients. If this lip conditioner doesn’t have superior ingredients to the drugstore lip balms that even contain SPF, then it’s not worth the cash.
So lets find out!
This lip conditioner contains 21 ingredients of which 16 are positives, 2 potential negatives and 7 potential irritants. It has 15 skin nourishing ingredients which are reasonable but fairly mainstream. This is not a lip conditioner that will offer amazing nourishment to your skin’s lips but rather some quick moisturisation for now.
If we compare it to the SPF lip balm winner, the Nivea Sun Protect Caring lip balm, the ingredients are not amazingly better, they are just a bit different. And of course let’s not forget that this lip conditioner does not offer SPF protection like the Nivea one does.
It might be that the difference lies in the amount of each ingredient which we don’t know. There is a chance that the Estée Lauder lip balm contains more, quantity-wise (per ingredient), moisturising ingredients but quite frankly if you need laboratory analysis to find out and a product doesn’t speak for itself, it’s not that worth it. It looks gorgeous but it definetely doesn’t feel any more moisturising or better than the Nivea one.
Note: To make this post shorter, I am only mentioning the “skin nourishing” or somehow beneficial ingredients as positives and also ignoring their formulation roles.
- Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil – A skin conditioner that can increase the absorption of other ingredients.
- Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride – A skin conditioner and replenisher that leaves a lightweight non-greasy barrier of lubrication. It enhances the delivery of vitamins, pigments and other ingredients. Evenly spreads ingredients and provides some slipperiness.
- Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax\Candelilla Cera\Cire De Candelilla – Skin conditioner.
- Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2 – A skin conditioner.
- Cetyl Acetate – A skin conditioner
- Beeswax\Cera Alba\Cire D’Abeille – A skin conditioner and fragrance. It issaid to help heal inflammation, bruises and burns and can also help temporarily with itching. It is particularly beneficial for dry skin as it can help moisturise and create a waterproof barrier on the skin. It can also be a source of Vitamin A.
- Oleyl Oleate – A skin conditioner.
- Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\Cera Carnauba\Cire De Carnauba – A skin conditioner.
- Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) – A skin conditioner with anti-flammatory properties. It can sooth itchy, irritated and sun burnt skin. Also absorbs UV-B.
- Hydrogenated Polydecene – A skin conditioner that creates a smooth and silky feeling on the skin. Some studies claim it can reduce wrinkles and lines.
- Lanolin Oil – A skin conditioner good for dry skin.
- Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate – Skin conditioner good for sensitive skin.
- Tocopheryl Acetate – A more stable form of vitamin E. A hero anti-oxidant molecule. A skin conditioner that also enhances the ability of sunscreens. Can help with inflammation. Check out: Vitamins C & E – Do they work in skin care?
- Ascorbyl Palmitate – Form of Vitamin C. Anti-oxidant, helps bind other vitamins. This form of vitamin C penetrates the skin faster. Collagen builder and free-radical scavenger. Anti-ageing. Works synergistically with vitamin E. For more details see post “Vitamins C & E – do they work in skin care?”
- Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol – A skin conditioner.
- Mica <ILN39874> – A pigment with translucent and skin hugging properties which gives products some shine.
- Alumina – Although it is approved by the FDA and BDIH, the metal itself can bioaccumulate and it is a neurotoxin. However, it is believed that it does not penetrate the skin.
- Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate – Potentially persistent and bioaccumulative in wildlife.
Ingredients that can cause irritation to some:
This is actually really case specific, as different people have different sensitivities and allergies. Just because a compound has been reported by some to cause sensitivity, it doesn’t mean you will have an issue. “Sensitizer” compounds being present is not a negative in my opinion, as this is the case with pretty much everything out there and funnily enough I’ve seen products that are targeted specifically for sensitive skin, containing some compounds that have been reported by some, or are known to be, sensitizers.
If you have sensitive skin or you are prone to skin sensitisation and unwanted reactions, try a little bit of this at the back of your hand first and consult a medical doctor if you are concerned.
With that being said, the following compounds present in this lip conditioner have been either proven or claimed by some to be sensitizers, irritants, allergens etc: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Polyethylene, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Lanolin Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol.
Full list of ingredients:
Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil; Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride; Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax\Candelilla Cera\Cire De Candelilla; Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2; Cetyl Acetate; Beeswax\Cera Alba\Cire D?Abeille; Polyethylene; Oleyl Oleate; Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax\Cera Carnauba\Cire De Carnauba; Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter); Hydrogenated Polydecene; Lanolin Oil; Barium Sulfate; Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate; Tocopheryl Acetate; Ascorbyl Palmitate; Acetylated Lanolin Alcohol; Lauryl Methacrylate/Glycol Dimethacrylate Crosspolymer; Alumina; Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate; Mica <ILN39874>
This lip conditioner comes in a gorgeous packaging and feels really nice on the lips however, as I mentioned at the very top of this post, the real question is “are the ingredients that much better than a drugstore lip balm to be worth the extra cash?”. I’m afraid the answer is no.
If you read the SPF lip balm battle the winner, Nivea Sun Protect Caring lip balm, is on par, if not better, ingredient wise and function wise. Additionally, the Nivea one contains SPF 30 which will also protect your lips’ skin. Sure it doesn’t look as beautiful but it would save you £13 (or you could buy 3.6 Nivea ones for one Estée Lauder). On the other hand, if you feel that you would get more use out of the Estée Lauder lip conditioner because the packaging will make you use it more, then it might be worth it.
Even though there is no reason to not recommend the Estée Lauder lip conditioner as it works well and has some good ingredients (and you know that Estée Lauder is one of my favourite brands), I would advice on getting the Nivea Sun Protect Caring lip balm instead.
Beauty is a very personal thing, we all have different skin, requirements and biological build which can influence things. What worked for me might not work for you and vice versa. Have you ever tried these products? Did they work for you? Let me know your experiences below!
I am not affiliated with any company or brand. These are my views and experiences.
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