The short answer is yes, but it’s very very unlikely.
Allergies can develop at any time and to any substance, even if someone has never experienced a reaction before. Stephen Fry recounts how he managed to develop an allergy to champagne, of all things, just before a big ball. Allergies occur when the immune system mistakenly identifies a harmless substance as a threat and overreacts to defend the body. This overreaction results in symptoms ranging from mild irritation to severe, life-threatening reactions.
Topically applied products, such as creams, lotions, and ointments, are generally less likely to give rise to allergic reactions compared to ingested or inhaled substances. The skin barrier means limited systemic absorption of the applied ingredients. However, it is still just about possible to develop allergies or sensitivities to ingredients in topical products, and given that lip balms might be ingested as well as absorbed they are probably the personal care category most likely to give rise to a problem.
Individuals prone to developing allergies due to genetic factors need to pay close attention to ingredient lists on personal care products and be aware of any changes in their reactions to these products. If an allergy is suspected, individuals should consult with a healthcare professional to receive appropriate guidance and, if necessary, modify their personal care routine to avoid allergens.
For this reason, companies are required to use official names ensuring that consumers can easily recognize them across different products and brands. This consistency helps prevent confusion and enables informed choices.
So with all this said, what specifically about almond oil and lip balms? Almond oil is used a lot in personal care products, especially lip balms, and is a natural ingredient. Natural ingredients are more likely to cause reactions than synthetic ones. But products that use it, lip balms included, don’t generate an unusual number of complaints.
All personal care companies keep records of reports of reactions. Formulators use this information to get a good idea of the trouble-making ingredients and avoid them as far as they can. But given that anything can induce an allergy, there isn’t an option to avoid all allergic reactions and still produce products. If you are allergic to almond oil you need to avoid anything that has the name Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis Oil on the ingredient list. It is often written as Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, which is helpful given that Latin names aren’t easy to remember.
I’d also suggest to my friends in the industry, that including the English name on the ingredient list is a good idea for natural ingredients like this, even though it isn’t a legal requirement. And for my more distant friends in the media, please try and write articles that are more informative and less scary.