When Clélia Angelon launched Surya Brasil in 1995, she had a clear goal in mind: incorporating minerals, fruit and nut oils, and plant extracts indigenous to the Amazon in her paraben-free, lead-free, ammonia-free, vegan, and certified organic hair and body care products. Almost a decade later, Surya Brasil has expanded from the ammonia- and peroxide-free henna-based hair colorings that served as its launching pad to a full range of shampoos and conditioners, facial moisturizers, body lotions and scrubs, massage oils, clay masks, and facial toners.
The latest addition to the brand's ever-expanding offerings: the Surya Brasil Lip Balms ($3.49 each at SuryaBrasil.com), which are made with candelilla wax as opposed to beeswax in order to retain a 100% vegan formula. These pocket-sized lip balms contain such familiar ingredients as: jojoba oil, a vitamin E-rich antioxidant and natural antibacterial that is structurally similar to the sebum and is hence easily absorbed by the skin; softening and moisturizing cocoa butter; and sunflower seed oil, which is packed with vitamin A, which promotes cellular regeneration and also helps fight acne, as well as vitamins C and E, which protect skin from free radical damage. But, in addition to these ingredients, the lip balms contain deeply nourishing oils extracted from nuts harvested in the Amazon: murumuru butter, which is rich in fatty acids like lauric and oleic acid, making it a powerful emollient; buriti nut oil, which boasts a higher beta-carotene content than carrot oil, thereby delivering stellar antioxidant benefits, and which boasts a high content of oleic and palmitic acids that keep skin supple and moisturized; and ucuuba nut oil, which is also rich in fatty acids that keep skin looking young and smooth.
The Surya Brasil Lip Balms are available in four flavors: Chocolate Mint, Strawberry & Buriti, Cinnamon & Cupuacu, and Açai Berry. These flavors were obtained using natural fruit oils and spices, making their scent all the more authentic. The Stawberry & Buriti Lip Balm (my personal favorite), for example, smells like a ripe strawberry but the buriti nut in the formula adds a woody earthiness.
When you first glide the lip balm atop your pout, its surface might feel a bit tough, but don't let that turn you off. Candelilla wax is naturally harder than your standard beeswax, which is why, in its solid form, it feels so very rigid. Fortunately, it also seems to melt much easier than beeswax so that, after your second or third use, the lip balm's creaminess will coat your lips effortlessly. In fact, part of what swept me away about the Surya Lip Balms was precisely this melt-on-your-mouth quality. Better yet, once you apply, you'll instantly feel relief as any cracks are soothed, dry skin is infused with moisture, and your whole pout is softened.