Lip balm is the most common skin care product on the market and there are plenty of different options to choose from. The best ones are the kind you can trust, as they contain ingredients that don’t irritate your lips or cause allergic reactions. These formulas are often free of common allergens such as fragrances, flavorings, oils or preservatives. They also offer moisturization and help your lips retain water. In fact, a recent study found that consistent use of lip balm prevents dryness and chapping.
Some formulas are anti-aging, too, with ingredients like hyaluronic acid to plump lips and reduce the appearance of fine lines, peptides to firm them and dipeptide capsaicin, which diminishes the look of pores. Others may have sun protection as high as SPF 30 or a combination of antioxidants such as vitamin C and E to protect your lips against UV damage.
The best lip balms are highly concentrated with nourishing oils and butters that keep your lips soft, smooth and hydrated. Look for shea and murumuru butter to moisturize, natural vegan waxes that provide the shine and a soft texture that goes on smoothly, and beeswax to act as a protective barrier. Other ingredients to look for are camphor and menthol, which can provide a cooling tingle that relieves the symptoms of chapped lips.
If you’re concerned about how your lip balm may affect the environment, try products with a green seal. These are formulated without chemicals, as opposed to conventional formulas with plasticizers. The green seal indicates that the product is made with a minimum of 80 percent renewable materials and contains no synthetic color or flavors.
Sticks of lip balm are the easiest to apply and offer the greatest amount of moisture. The Strategist senior editor Crystal Martin recommends Coola’s lip balm, which comes in a variety of cute colors and looks “zhuzhed up but not trying too hard.” The brand’s formula moisturizes with a blend of cupuacu butter and mongongo oil for a soft, velvety feel and has the scent of freshly baked macarons.
You should always avoid overly oily lip balms, as these can clog pores and lead to a build-up of dirt that can irritate your lips. You should also try to stay hydrated, as dehydration is one of the leading causes of cracked lips. Women should aim for about 2.7 liters of water daily.
In order to find the best lip balm for you, start by looking at the ingredients. Many conventional and store-brand lip balms have a long list of potentially irritating chemicals. However, a handful of naturally sourced and organic alternatives can be just as effective.
Then, you can focus on choosing a product that’s the right shade for you and your personality. Once you’ve found a formula that works, stick with it. Your lips will thank you!