It's not often you hear about a professional musician who moonlights as a lip balm manufacturer, so Dan Gosling's story intrigued us.
The professional trumpet player was catching up with a former student more than 10 years ago when his student described injuring his lips during a marching band accident and treating the injury using an herbal remedy called Arnica Montana.
Coming off a failed audition with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Dan became obsessed with the idea of creating a better lip balm that incorporated arnica, which has some remarkable healing qualities because it acts as a natural anti-inflammatory.
"Like a mad scientist, I took over our kitchen (my wife thought it was 'post-audition stress syndrome' or mid-life crisis - or BOTH!) and over the next two months, through trial and error, I carefully worked out a formula that was dramatically different than anything else on the market," Dan says.
Today, Dan's all-natural Goslings Original ChopSaver Lip Care is available through specialty stores and at more than 7,400 CVS Pharmacies nationwide.
We recently checked in with Dan to get his tips for taking better care of our lips. Here's what he had to say.
How can we take better care of our lips?
Licking them too much can actually cause them to feel more dry. And always drink plenty of water. But when severe weather or medications (or playing a wind instrument!) causes dryness or chapping, use a lip balm that contains natural, plant-based butters and oils. And I know just the one!
What do we do to damage them?
Nervous biting or chewing. Not using some sort of protection from wind and sun. Lips can burn just like other parts of the body!
In your view, what should a lip balm do to help our lips?
It should provide some degree of soothing, softening, moisturizing and healing of damaged tissue. If your lips are fairly healthy, a thin layer of a good lip balm can keep them that way.
What frustrations have you had with other lip balm products over the years?
There are certain ingredients that can actually cause a drying effect, in my opinion! Those would include camphor, menthol and alcohol. Also, I am not a fan of petroleum based products, and many of the "leading" brands contain all of those ingredients.
Why do you favor natural ingredients for the products you make?
They seem to blend into the skin more readily and don't just coat the lips with a blanket of chemicals.
What types of natural ingredients and herbs have you found to be the most beneficial to our lips?
Well, along with arnica, ChopSaver contains shea butter, mango butter, aloe, vitamin E, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and castor oil. Some of the other herbs include white willow (where aspirin originally came from), calendula and comfrey, all known for their healing qualities.
What do you think would surprise consumers about commercially produced lip balm?
I would just say look at the ingredients the same way you would with food. What we apply to our skin is just as important as what we eat! Make comparisons and then decide what you want to put on your body!
Shop men's products at Biconi.