French public warned to avoid 'toxic lip balms'

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
French public warned to avoid 'toxic lip balms'
Photo: AFP

Lip balm users have been warned by a leading French consumer group about the dangers of smearing their lips with the product after their tests found that certain balms contained toxic substances.


Half of the 21 products put to the test by UFC Que-choisir were discovered to have potentially harmful ingredients, including lip balms from large cosmetic brands Garnier, La Roche Posay, Carmex, and Le Petit Marseillais. 

The consumer group warned consumers to stay away from the balms which were found to have carcinogenic substances.

Others contained Mosh - mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons - which if swallowed, can make their way into the lymph nodes and liver and inflame them. 

“The level of Mosh (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons) in these lip balms is extremely undesirable, on account of their toxicity when they are ingested,” the report said



But there is good news for anyone with chapped lips - the safest, most effective, and hydrating lip balm was found to the cheapest. 

Lidl’s “Cien” branded balm was the cheapest of the bunch priced at just 75 centimes. 

“The enormous price differences aren’t reflected in the results,” said representatives from UFC Que Choisir. 

The lip balms consumers were urged to avoid were:

  • Macadamia lip balm from Yves Rocher 

  • Trésors de miel nourishing lip balm from Garnier Ultra Doux 

  • Original classic care from Labello

  • Classic moisturising lip balm from Carmex 

  • Nultric transforming balm for dry lips from La Roche Posay

  • Homéostick from Boiron

  • Cold cream nourishing balm from Avène

  • Nutrition balm for dry lips from Le petit Marseillais

  • Hydrating lip balm from Aptonia

  • Hydrating lip balm from Uriage

Earlier this year, French authorities promised to investigate 1,000 cosmetic products found to contain illegal and undesirable substances after the consumer group published a similar report. 

By Anna Schaverien


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also