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For as long as I care to remember cheap lip salves have served me well. Or so I thought. Last winter I felt I had to look for something better, fed up that no matter how many times I applied them, they couldn't stop my lips from drying out and chapping. Good old fashioned Vaseline was on my bedside table and one of Boots own lip salves in my handbag. Perhaps if I'd paid more attention to the ingredients I would have sussed out why much sooner.
I'm sure the Petroleum jelly used in both these products is high grade stuff, but it's also the reason why they're so cheap. Along with the Mineral oil used in the Boots lip salves, the jelly works as a barrier between the skin and the air. While it might stop any moisture from naturally leaving my lips, it doesn't actually bring anything to the party either.
Having wasted time and money with the cheapies, I started reading the labels. Boring yet interesting how so little says so much. The first one I tried that actually seemed to make a difference was by Burt's Bees. It's still one I keep in my handbag, but now I've tried this Lanolips one, its relegated to second favourite.
I cant remember where I first heard about the lanolips range, their website lists a whole range of various beauty industry awards that they've won over the last few years but I don't usually take much notice of that kind of thing. At over £10, I could buy 5 tins of vaseline, or 3 of the more effective Burt's Bees for the price of a tube of 101 ointment, but when this was included in a 3 for 2 offer in Boots I took a punt.
Growing up on a sheep farm in Australia, the creator of Lanolips ought to know more than most about lanolin. Kirsten Carriol realised that the substance taken from freshly shorn wool could be used to create that rare thing in cosmetics: something that's totally natural yet looks lossy and high end. If this product had been thought up in a lab in Paris or London I'd probably be more sceptical, but having tried it the awards do seem justified.
Two small niggles I have with this Lanolips are the packaging (it comes with a gold coloured lid which looks rather naff) and the consistency. Perhaps because it is ultra high grade lanolin, the texture is thick and takes some pressure to squeeze out of the tube. The temperature in my home tends to be cool thanks to some draughty windows, so I warm the tube in my hands for a fews seconds before trying to dispense some.
The results are worth the hassle though. The efficacy of this 101 ointment is far better than any other lip treatment I've tried before. I can apply some in the morning and even some four or five hours later after I've eaten lunch my lips feel soft and smooth. Once the nights started drawing in, I began applying this at night as well. Suffice to say, it's still noticeable when I wake up. I can't say that my lips feel any plumper, but there has been a definite improvement in the state of them. They've dried out far less than usual leaving them almost chap free. This shouldn't really be surprising, there are no other ingredients used beside the heavy duty lanolin. Their website states it can hold up to 200% of its weight in moisture, which if accurate could account for the positive effects on me.
What puts this head and shoulders above others are its other uses. I haven't counted 101 but there are several I can vouch for. I don't wear much make up, but when I do I prefer subtle lipsticks over deep reds or pinks. Several fairly cheap ones I have are matte and I find these rather drying. If I apply some of this first it leaves a nice glossy finish and gives some protection at the same time.
Only a sneeze behind the chapped lips is a runny nose which quickly becomes sore. Only having had one bad cold since I bought my first tube of this, I can vouch for it helping with sore nostrils. Thankfully this is hypoallergenic and unfragranced - blocked nose or not I don't think I could stand the smell of something as strong as Vicks wafting underneath.
So, it's more than just a lip balm and incredibly useful. The website also states that this is used post operation to help with scars healing. Most people won't have cause to need it for that fortunately, but anyone as sloppy as me with a kitchen knife will often have tiny cuts. I did nothing differently with one recent one other than applying a small dab of this, yet it seemed to heal faster by days.
The one reason people will probably avoid buying this is the cost. There are far cheaper alternatives out there, but they simply don't work for me. This 101 ointment is well worth the outlay. I only need to use a tiny amount, and while my lips aren't in perfect condition, being outside with my dog in all weathers and then inside with central heating that's hardly surprising. They need better protection than cheaper stuff can provide and they get it with this. Top marks from me.
I absolutely love lip balm, for as long as I can remember it has been the one beauty product that I must have in my handbag (or school bag when I was a kid!) at all times. I am really rather fussy though when it comes down to it, I can't stand stuff that is sticky or doesn't absorb, or congeals and collects and goes white and unsightly. I tend to stick to Chapstick, Vaseline tins, Blistex Drench Lip Splash Liquid Moisturiser or Soft Lips; I much prefer sticks than tins as I hate getting my fingers involved but in the case of using Vaseline it is worth it, for the softness and nourishment you get.
Another little piece of information about me to 'set the scene' is that I love getting samples and trying new products, I subscribe to www.latestinbeauty.com and I recently received one of their CEW (UK) - 2011 Beauty Insiders Choice Winners Box filled with 5 luxury large sized samples to try. This was how I came across Lanolips 101 Ointment.
Lanolips 101 Ointment is a pure, medical grade lanolin ointment - what's lanolin? Well I don't want to insult your intelligence, but in case you don't know it's a by-product of sheep's wool processing. As the fleece is prepared to be made in to wool as we know it, the oils are extracted from it and then cleaned and refined to produce an all natural, chemical free, hypoallergenic, colour and fragrance free oil which is used in many different ways. It's gentle enough to use on babies and is used in hospitals to heal open wounds. It's a natural wonder-product, like beeswax, and Lanolips have their lanolin certified at the very highest grade. They are really proud of this fact and their website www.lanolips.com contains lots more scientific information, FAQs, myth-busters, etc if you want to know more.
Lanolips was created by Kirsten Carriol who had a family history embedded in sheep farming and science. It stands to reason therefore that she took the two and married them together to create this natural wonder product. It is multi award winning and it's available in Boots stores across the UK and online. But is it any good?
I was dubious to try it because once over I bought in to the Burt's Bees hype and really do not rate their lip balm, it's gross - it sits on your lips and doesn't absorb at all. But, as it was in my sample box I decided to give it a go. It doesn't have a smell or a colour, it's kind of clear, but with a yellowy tinge. The moment it is squeezed on to your finger tip it begins to melt, like butter would, but it has a much heavier consistency than butter - more like the consistency of jam or lemon curd? Anyway, you dispense an incredibly tiny amount and then rub it in to your lips (you can also use it on your skin, cuticles, dry patches, and so on). It sinks in to your lips straight away - even if you have really dry chapped lips it doesn't collect and congeal it almost barges past the chaps to penetrate the lips and really moisturise them. Moisture that lasts all day, not just an hour and then needs reapplying; it is seriously soothing, makes your lips look amazing and quite frankly, I've fallen in love with it!
No wonder it is award winning!
After using the product for a couple of days (I popped the sample in to my handbag in a little air tight tin - I've still got loads left and the sample was only 1.5g) I decided if it wasn't for the money, I wouldn't go back to any of the other lip balms I've used in the past. But it is £11 a tube for 12.5g, compared to £1.99 for a 20g tin of Vaseline Cocoa Butter Lip Therapy, which will have to do on an ongoing basis in these times of austerity despite gorgeous packaging and the cutest smiling sheep on the logo (unless Santa Claus is listening...). That said, I imagine it costs a whole lot to produce even the tiniest of amounts!
Overall I highly recommend this product, even if it's a stretch on your purse strings to buy a lip balm at this price range, use up your whole beauty budget on this one product and you wouldn't regret it! It's gorgeous and I will be buying one as a huge treat to myself, as soon as my sample runs out.