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Does lip balm come from whale sperm? What is lip balm made of?

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Greg Jackson, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

bookM.A. from University of Massachusetts-Boston

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This sounds like the stuff of urban legends. No whale sperm, nor any whale product, is used in lip balm. Nor is any other creature's sperm for that matter. In the past, and to a small extent still today, ambergris, a waxy substance found in the intestines of sperm whales, was and is used in the production of certain perfumes. This may be the origin of the lip balm myth. However, the word "sperm" in sperm whale comes from the word spermaceti, an organ found in the whale's head.

Lip gloss can be made from a number of ingredients. Many are petroleum-based. Some use lanolin, carnauba wax, and other waxes. Many include natural ingredients such as coconut oil or sunflower oil. The only animal products that are used in lip balm that I am aware of come from bees. Beeswax is a common ingredient in natural lip balm. Some lip balms, like the brand popularized by Kourtney Kardashian, even include small amounts of bee venom, which has the effect of making lips swell up slightly for a plumper look.

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missjenn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have never heard of sperm whale being part of lip balm and I am an avid user of lip balm and body products. Whale blubber/lard/fat used to be used in cosmetics years ago. Current day lip balm products range in what they contain. Your basic Carmex or Blistex contains petroleum and byproducts of gasoline. Some people say that these ingredients along with lanolin dry out your lips instead of hydrating there. There are natural options such as beeswax, however people who are vegan prefer bee-free products. If that is the case, candelilla wax or carnuba wax can be used. There is often a carrier oil with lip balm such as sweet almond oil or sunflower oil. Shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter are also things commonly found in lip balm. If you want color you can use FDA approved dyes or mica pigments. Flavors come from oil or essential oils.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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My lip balm, at least, contains no products from whales. The main ingredient of the lip balm that I use is beeswax.

To my knowledge, nothing (other than other whales) has ever been made from whale sperm. I think that you may be a little confused because of the word "sperm" in the name "sperm whale."

One of the things that was valuable in a sperm whale was this stuff called "spermaceti." It was used in cosmetics. However, it was not really sperm. It was something that came from the head of sperm whales and it looked a bit like semen, but it wasn't really semen or sperm.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Um, no.  It isn't.  Sounds like an urban myth or a good joke/rumor at a school. Consider how difficult it would be for companies to obtain the ingredients to make lip balm in that manner.  Enough said.

Lip balm most often contains beeswax, or oils, or cocoa butter, and for the larger brands, more common chemicals and ingredients.  It's not that difficult to make your own if you're interested in doing so, just follow some simple directions on the internet with ingredients you can obtain from health stores or online.  I've included a link below.

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fsasfas | Student

uhm i heard tht weird!! .......but i shoal do be eatin my gloss =D