Dangers of Mouth Tape Made Overseas
Mouth taping has been a viral trend in 2022 promising better health for a number of reasons…it actually works. Now, hear us out. This isn’t just Scotch tape from the roll put on the lips. By now many of us have seen the better mouth tapes on the market (including ours) that offer gentle adhesion on the skin in addition to successfully promoting nasal breathing while you sleep. Nasal breathing has a litany of benefits, many of which we outlined in our previous article “The Top 5 Benefits of Mouth Taping at Night.”
But did you know that where and how your mouth tape is made might be what really matters?
The concerns some people have about mouth tape may be less likely to be a factor of taping your mouth shut while you sleep (as long as you are not congested and have the full ability to breathe through your nose, of course), and possibly more likely a factor of the quality of the tape itself.
Putting adhesive tape on your skin that isn’t FDA-approved may be damaging.
There are many brands today touting cheap prices on Amazon and the internet that look just like the high-quality mouth tape made by American brands. But buyers, be cautious. Consider the quality of any mouth tape made overseas, such as China. Sometimes also labeled as “PRC” or “People’s Republic of China” on the packaging, these tapes may not be the same quality as those made in America.
Always do your research before buying.
China has different quality assurance controls than here in the United States and there’s no way to be totally sure the adhesive in that tape made overseas is actually safe for your skin. The manufacturer may be using adhesives that aren’t medical-grade, or, worse, contain skin-irritating ingredients like heavy metals or potentially toxic chemicals.
To keep your skin (and mouth!) healthy, make sure you read the label of your mouth tape to ensure you’re buying a Made in America and/or FDA-approved product that’s safe. The label may say “Made in USA” or have similar language indicating it has gone through proper quality reviews. By law, medical adhesive tapes used on the body or skin that are made in the USA must be FDA verified.
Here are the Top 5 things you should look for if you’re considering wearing mouth tape over your lips while you sleep:
- Made in the USA: If the global pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the provenance of the things we buy is important. Many wonderful goods come from the global supply chain, and medical supplies are no different. Keeping that in mind, medical-related supplies meet different levels of scrutiny by governing bodies in the US than may be present in other countries. When considering a lip tape, opt for one that’s made in America or shows clear details about its origin so you know what you’re really getting and the conditions under which it was manufactured.
- Medical-Grade Hypoallergenic Silicone Adhesive: As the name states, lip tapes that contain hypoallergenic silicone adhesive are, by nature, gentle on the skin and hypoallergenic. Silicone is “something of a hybrid between synthetic rubbers and synthetic plastic polymers”, according to MindBodyGreen, and silicone is known as a skin-friendly product due to its flexibility, malleability and water resistance. When comparing lip tapes, it’s also crucial to find brands that tout ‘medical-grade’ in their materials statement. Medical-grade means the product complies with global regulatory requirements and is specifically engineered and manufactured for medical use. When it comes to your delicate mouth area, it’s not worth risking your skin health by using mouth tape that’s not manufactured for skin contact and made by a reputable manufacturer.
- No Natural Rubber Latex: Latex allergies are more common than you might think and latex allergies arise when your body mistakes latex for a harmful substance. A latex allergy may cause itchy skin, hives, or even anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can cause throat swelling. Look for a mouth tape that does NOT include latex, as you might experience a reaction to the material. Dryft Sleep Strips do not contain natural rubber latex, for example.
- Repositionable Adhesive: When selecting a lip tape, it’s important to find one that uses an adhesive that’s easily repositionable. Sometimes, it’s hard to get the perfect fit on the first application, so a gentle adhesive that will stick and re-stick is crucial to find the perfect fit for every-night wear. A delicate adhesive also means you can gently remove the lip tape after use. Unlike the adhesive used on some bandages for wounds, a repositionable adhesive lip tape allows for removal that isn’t painful, nor leaves residue behind.
- Non-Residue Adhesive: There’s nothing worse than waking up after a blissful night of nasal breathing with lips sticky from leftover mouth tape adhesive. Look for mouth tape brands that clearly state “medical-grade tape” or “medical-grade adhesive” on their website or packaging to ensure painless and sticky-free removal.
Regardless of what brand of mouth tape you purchase, be sure to use the guide above as a way to weed through all of the options out there and find something that’s safe for you, and your skin. Because at the end of the day (pun intended!), you’re putting this product over your mouth, one of the most sensitive parts of your body, and, you’re breathing through it as well.