Why are some lip balms considered over the counter drugs?

July 15, 2015

If you spend some time at the lip balm wall, you will notice that some lip balms are cosmetics and some are OTC drugs. Find out why.

Zoe Diana Draelos, MDIf you spend some time at the lip balm wall, you will notice that some lip balms are cosmetics and some are OTC drugs.  The OTC drug lip balms will have an active ingredient disclosure at the top of the rear information panel.  Here active ingredients selected from the skin protectant monograph are listed and further down toward the bottom of the rear panel the other inactive ingredients will be listed. 

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One of the most commonly used substances in lip balms that classifies them as OTC drugs is dimethicone.  It is an occlusive ingredient that does not make the lips feel waxy or greasy, yet allows dry lips to easily glide over one another.  It is excellent to add shine to dry peeling lips.  Traditional lip balms that contain carnauba or candela wax are considered cosmetics.

 

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