Keeping Lips Hydrated?

By Abby Evans, Varsha Nathan, & Lisa Pham


Neutrogena Lipgloss


Jojoba Seed Oil, Lanolin Oil, Petrolatum, Microcrystalline Wax, Beeswax, Polybutene, Propylene Carbonate, Ethanoic anhydride.


C21H44O3, C4H6O3


Neutrogena Lip Balm


Tin oxide, Silica, Candelilla wax, zinc, Stearic acid, petrolatum, polybutene, shea butter, Petrolatum Stearic acid


SnO2, O2Si, Zn, C8H16, C18H36O2

Neutrogena Lipstick


Silica, carnauba wax, petrolatum, Carmine, tin oxide, isopropyl titanium triisostearate, lactic acid, tribehenin, Malonaldehyde hydrate


SiO2, SnO, C22H12O13, C3H6O3


There are various uses and histories for the main components of lip gloss, lipstick, and lip balm. The lipstick and chapstick both use Silica, a mineral found near construction sites and rock, has an over 200 year history in causing scoliosis, disease, and health problems for stone workers. Silica is used to absorb moisture, both taking in new water and retaining water, so it keeping lips hydrated. The chapstick and lip gloss both utilized petrolatum, which was sold originally by Robert Chesebrough in 1870, made from distillation. Petrolatum is made from various minerals waxes, with its properties dependent on the concentration of minerals. Petrolatum is, and was, used as a moisturizer for women as a lubricant, a rust preventer, a paper manufacturer, and an electrical insulator. Petrolatum has its place in lip products because it holds in moisture, prevents evaporation, and protects the place of application, so the body part can heal.


Each of the three lip materials have different ingredients that assist in keeping lips hydrated. The Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick (lipstick) contains fruit extracts, mango, shea butter, and waxes to instantly preserve and add moisture to the lips. The Neutrogena MoistureShine (lip gloss) has a conditioning formula with a triple berry antioxidant complex-including Acai, Goji, and Aronia berries that improve the softness and smoothness of the lips. The Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm includes stearic acid and SPF 20 to keep the lips protected and healthy. All three of them contain petrolatum, or petroleum jelly; the lip balm and lipstick both contain hydrogenated polyisobutene; and the lipstick and lip balm contain silica, which all contribute to keeping the lips moisturized.


The lipstick contains Malonaldehyde hydrate, with an atomic mass of 90.078. The entire lipstick has an atomic mass of 769.178, which means the hydrate has the percent composition of 11.71% in the lipsticks atomic mass, to create a more hydrated lipstick that can be applied and malleable, but won’t become entirely mushy and wet in texture.

The lip gloss contains Ethanoic anhydride, which has an atomic mass of 102.89, and the entire lip gloss has an atomic mass of 456.796, making the anhydride 22.34% of the composition. An anhydride is a molecule that has had water removed from it, so the lip gloss will gain mass when it reaches moisture on the lips, and the lack of water in the anhydride confirms the components of the lip gloss are not dissolved or diluted, (Percent Composition)

Petrolatum is a nonpolar molecule of hydrocarbons that break easily, so as to apply well and keep smooth, while not being watery. (VSEPR)


Silica has spherical particles that are able to absorb moisture, therefore they enable the lip products to hydrate the lips; hydrogenated polyisobutene is an oil that also acts as a moisturizer, or emollient, and it’s able to prevent water loss; petroleum acts as a skin-conditioning agent, emollient, and UV absorber; the waxes assist in keeping an emulsion from separating, or preserve the lip material to make it last longer; stearic acid also allows products to last longer, and lets oil and water mix, enabling it to remove dirt, sweat, etc.
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“When a woman wears lipstick, she may swallow a little of it, but it can also be absorbed through the lining of the mouth and it is estimated that a woman may ingest more than four pounds of lipstick in her lifetime.”

It is, “found that 28 per cent contained ingredients associated with cancer risk, such as butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), nylon-6, ferric red (iron) oxide, polyethylene, and titanium dioxide.”


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