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What lip balm should you use?

DVG declares…My lips have been chapped and dry – which causes me to do the worst thing for them: I unconsciously bite at them when they are chapped. I have tried several lip balms and is it possible that they can cause my lips to dry out more than moisturize them? I’ve tried these: Nivea Moisture and Burt’s Bee’s balm in a tin. Both drying.

Can you help me find one that is truly moisturizing? Thank you!

Left Brain’s Lippy Reply

Lip balm is an individual thing. One type may work for one person but not for you. I personally love Carmex Lip Balm. During winter, I can’t get enough!

But on to your question. Perhaps if we look at the ingredients of ones you tried, we can figure out what is going on and steer you towards another type that might give you better results.

Common Lip Balm ingredients?

First, you should ask yourself which ingredients are common. Maybe the effect is caused by a common ingredient. The only common ingredient between the Burt’s Bees and Nivea formulas is Beeswax, and Nivea doesn’t contain much. So, it’s not likely that a single ingredient is responsible for your dryness. More likely it is one of the oils (peppermint oil) in Burt’s Bees and something from the fragrance in the Nivea.

Since a common ingredient doesn’t solve the mystery, it’s best to try different types of lip balm. Right Brain had previously written about the 6 different types of lip balm. Let’s see which kinds you tried.

Lip Balm type

The Nivea Moisture Lip Balmicon is based on Microcrystalline Wax. It contains a variety of other ingredients to make it feel nicer, spread more easily and taste better.

Microcrystalline Wax, Octyldodecanol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Cetyl Palmitate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Myristyl Myristate, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Polyglyceryl 3 Diisostearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Coco Glycerides, Pentaerithrityl Tetraisostearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), C20 40 Alkyl Stearate, Copernicia Cerifera (Camauba) Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Glycerin, Panthenol, Beeswax, Water, Fragrance

Since this didn’t work for you, other Microcrystalline wax formulas may not work. If it’s the fragrance or one of the natural oils, then you might try Neutrogenaicon lip balm.

The Burt’s Bees icon balm contains the ingredients following ingredients

Coconut Oil, Beeswax, Sweet Almond Oil, Peppermint Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Lanolin, Comfrey Root Extract, Rosemary Extract

You are most likely reacting negatively to the Peppermint Oil. So, some alternative beeswax based product you can try is Aveeno Lip conditionericon. But if beeswax is the problem, you might consider the following two options.

1. Petrolatum based balm

One thing missing from both of the balms you tried was one of the best moisturizing ingredients on the planet, Petrolatum. To soothe your sore puckering projectors, try Vaseline Lip Therapyicon.

2. Petrolatum Plus

If the taste or feel of Vaseline doesn’t suit you, try my favorite Carmex Lip Balm. It is based on a Petrolatum / Lanolin blend.

Either of these options should help with your problem.

Addicted to Lip Balm

You may be interested in this post we did on lip balm addiction to see why your lips dry out when you apply lip balm. It turns out the immediate moisturizing effect sends a signal to your skin to stop producing fresh skin cells which results in drier lips once the lip balm wears off. The whole thing could actually lead to a psychological addiction.

Beauty Brains bottom line

Which lip balm you should use is not a question that has a single answer. Only through trial and error will you be able to tell which one works for you, doesn’t dry out your lips and tastes right. Just pick ones that have different ingredients until you find what works. I love Carmex but Sarah hates the stuff!

What kind of lip balm do you like and why? Leave a comment and let the Beauty Brains community know.

{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Barbara January 27, 2014, 11:31 am

    I love EOS melon lip balm (green colour).

  • Pilgrim September 25, 2015, 8:01 pm

    i use original blistex for lots of things

    eye cream
    lip protection
    on the spot skin treatment
    waterproof makeup removal

  • Annie December 1, 2015, 7:42 pm

    I use a little vaseline on the tip of my finger and thats it. Your lips wont get addicted to it and it will keep ypur lips soft and moisturised.

  • Abby December 3, 2015, 8:23 pm

    I use the Nivea Essential Care Lip Balm. I find that it is very effective for my lips. I don’t have to reapply often.

    Before I used Nivea, I used unbranded lip balms but found that they didn’t really work for me. After that I tried Blistex, but I hated the tingling feeling. Also, It was addictive.

    So with that I stuck to Vaseline but the sticks in Australia are very fairly expensive and aren’t sold at many retailers. I hate sticking my fingers in a pot and since I just used the pure petroleum jelly it came in a fairly large pot, so it took a lot of room to carry.

    Finally, I bought a stick of Nivea that worked so well compared to the rest of these balms. The only downside being that the creaminess of the balm allowed the stick to be very fragile.

  • Sheree February 17, 2016, 11:47 am

    Why in the world would petrolatum be considered one of the best ingredients to soothe your lips? Crude petroleum. That’s what is going on your lips that you’re them licking off. Not to mention that it doesn’t let your lips breathe which is causing you to get dry, chapped lips so you keep adding more. Certainly the worst ingredient.

    • Randy Schueller February 17, 2016, 12:10 pm

      Petroleum is not “crude petroleum.” It’s highly refined (similar to the oil used in baby oil.) It works the same was as other occlusive ingredients: it creates a barrier on the lips that prevents moisture from evaporating. Your lips do not breath. If you have evidence to the contrary we’d love to see it. Thanks.

    • LJ May 12, 2016, 7:55 am

      People really need to get past this “Petroleum is evil!” myth.

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