DECIEM ABNOMALY PETROWHAT? MULTI-PURPOSE BALM REVIEW

The name tells you what you need to know re: petrolatum content, but is Petrowhat? better as a balm for skin than for lips?
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Deciem Anomaly Petrowhat Balm is not for me

I picked up a Deciem Abnomaly Petrowhat? Balm when I popped into a boutique recently to pick up another The Ordinary 10% Lactic Acid + 2% HA (I want to compare the newer formulation to the original). Our Liza Herz pointed the balm out to me, partly because she likes the pineapple one, and partly because she knows I love a good lip conditioner in a tube.

Out of four "flavours" – Milk (as in coconut milk), Baobab (as in Baobab tree oil), Bali (pineapple) and Rio (guava) – I chose Bali for its sweet fruity fragrance. I love guava from my childhood years in the Caribbean, but the scent has never been a favourite.

I've got "flavours" in parenthesis because really, they're only scented. The balms are actually flavourless, a good thing because licking balm off your lips just leads to a bad chapping situation, especially in winter.

There's a lot to love about Abnomaly Petrowhat? Balm ($7 at deciem.com). First, there's the packaging – that 15mL white metal tube with its coloured cap is hella Insta-genic. Surely it's inspired by Glossier's Balm Dotcom, if you go by an Instagram story Brandon Truaxe posted some time ago (a year? two?).

Second, there's the obvious: if you want to avoid petrolatum in your balms, Petrowhat? is on the same page. Instead, ingredients include botanical squalane (we produce squalane as a component of sebum; it's an excellent antioxidant emollient for every skin type), glycerin (a trusted-longtime humectant, it's not a moisturizer – it attracts moisture), amino acids (they help support skin hydration, bounce and overall health), and baobab oil (rich in lipids or fatty acids that also help retain moisture, as well as vitamins A and E). 

Third, the $7 for 15mL price point is great from a current-landscape viewpoint, and of course that's what Deciem is known for.

Fourth, the petrolatum-free formula is gluten-free too. That really is an important health thing for anyone like my friend Liis Windischmann, who suffers from Gluten Ataxia, an autoimmune disorder.

Deciem Abnomaly Petrowhat? Multi-Purpose Skin Balm

Deciem Abnomaly Petrowhat? Multi-Purpose Skin Balm

All that said, I'm thinking about returning my tube of Abnomaly Petrowhat? Bali balm. I don’t enjoy the texture on my lips. It’s a sort of jellified oil, which I think many, many people will actually love, but it’s not for me. 

Again: oil does NOT moisturize. It helps hold onto water, but doesn’t prevent moisture loss like certain other ingredients. I need a more occlusive finish, like that of medical-grade lanolin. I find the stickiness comforting, and my lips feel better when I’m wearing it, more hydrated because lanolin is such a good humectant as well as occlusive agent. 

As well, it’s strangely salty, apparently due to the baobab oil content. I don't think I can get used to that. 

I will say, though, that PetroWhat is certainly a more pleasing and comfortable texture than Glossier’s Balm Dotcom. And it is a multi-purpose balm.

Maybe I'll keep it after all. Just not for my lips.

Have you encountered Abonomaly Petrowhat? yet? Do you have thoughts?

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DECIEM ABNOMALY PETROWHAT?  BALI ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma (Natural Flavour).

DECIEM ABNOMALY PETROWHAT? MILK ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma (Natural Flavour).

DECIEM ABNOMALY PETROWHAT? BAOBAB ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Tocopherol.

DECIEM ABNOMALY PETROWHAT? GUAVA ingredients: Squalane, Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose Laurate, Sucrose Stearate, Sodium PCA, Sodium Lactate, Arginine, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, PCA, Glycine, Alanine, Serine, Valine, Isoleucine, Proline, Threonine, Histidine, Phenylalanine, Aspartic Acid, Isochrysis Galbana Extract, Tocopherol, Aroma (Natural Flavour).

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