Beauty enthusiasts, skincare fans and the general public have one common nemesis: dry, flaky, chapped lips. They're never a good look (pilling any lipstick application), uncomfortable through and through when speaking or eating, and dull your everyday appearance.
If you're usually faced with dry lips, you'll need more than a tub of Vaseline to do the job. Lip balms today come with a medley of beneficial ingredients, besides petrolatum, to ensure long-lasting hydration. Let's dive into why lips dry out, in the first place, and the formulas that can help.
"Lips can become dry and chapped because of environmental triggers, like cold, dry weather and heavy sun exposure. It's also seen in patients who have a habit of licking their lips often," said Dr Hala Al Jaber, specialist dermatologist and cosmetologist at Medcare Specialty Centre, Mirdif, Dubai.
This doesn't discount other serious causes, such as eczema, vitamin and zinc deficiencies, inflammatory bowel diseases or photosensitivity, she adds. Some lip balms counter sun damage with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 to 50+.
We could opt for lip oils as an alternative, but oily formulas do little to lock in moisture. "Lip balms have waxy ingredients and butters most of the time, so these make balms thicker than oils and prevent evaporation of water from the lips. They deliver longer-lasting effects than lip oils," explained Dr Al Jaber.
Still, not all lip balms are created the same. What sets them apart is the right mix of ingredients, free of fragrances, colouring agents and irritating products that can dry out the lips further, like menthol, salicylic acid and ethanol.
Instead, watch out for lip balms that feature the following green-lit ingredients: hyaluronic acid, ceramides, mineral oil, castor seed oil, dimethicone (a silicone-based skin protectant), white petrolatum jelly, shea butter, vitamin E for antioxidant benefits, and titanium oxide or zinc oxide as SPF.
"If you have really dry lips, a one-time application is not sufficient. Apply the lip balm at least three to four times during the day, but avoid applying it every hour. We don't want to create an occlusive barrier for the entire day. You can also apply it once at night before bed," advised Dr Al Jaber.
Scroll to find our expert's favourite lip balms for dry lips that you can shop easily from Amazon. Dr Al Jaber tells us that she's seen great results with balms by QV, Cetaphil, SkinCeuticals, La Roche-Posay and more. We've also added popular balms on the internet. Get the product delivered to you as soon as today or tomorrow, with a Prime membership.
1. Best Overall: Ego QV Lip Balm 15g
Dr Al Jaber reaches out for QV Lip Balm often, having seen promising results in her patients. It comes with a broad spectrum protection of SPF30+ and is free from fragrance, colour, flavour, lanolin and propylene glycol. The balm is suitable for sensitive skin, too. Reviewers say they wear it to bed and wake up with moisturised lips, healed from cracks and any bleeding.
2. Best Repairing Balm: La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Lips, 7.5ml
If you're suffering from extremely dry lips and have sensitive skin, try a repairing balm by La Roche-Posay. Cicaplast Levres contains five per cent panthenol for soothing any cuts and relieving discomfort, three per cent MP-Lipids to actively repair the skin's protective barrier, and 10 per cent shea butter to strengthen that barrier. All of these key ingredients transform your chapped lips, but do note that there's no SPF. Buyers like that it doesn't create dependency, because it works so well after a single use.
3. Best for Anti-Ageing: SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair Balm
Another lip balm with potent actives, this SkinCeuticals antioxidant product fights signs of environmental damage. The lip balm harnesses the power of silymarin (extracted from milk thistle) as an anti-ageing ingredient, vitamin E, hydroxyethyl urea for its water-binding capacity, and hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration. It's also great for repairing dehydration caused by drying medicines. Reviews note that a little goes a long way. Senior users pick it up as an overnight treatment to improve their lip texture and deep lines.
4. Best Tinted Lip Balm: Laneige Lip Glowy Balm: Tinted Balm
If you loved Laneige's famous lip sleeping mask, you'll love its buttery, glowy tinted balm. Packed with murumuru and shea butters, this berry-tinted lip balm adds a touch of colour to dry lips for everyday wear. According to buyers, it feels thicker than the lip mask, without being too heavy or sticky. The product leaves a glossy sheen, so reviewers have used the balm over lipsticks. Do note that it has fragrance and flavouring.
5. Best Treatment Balm: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment, SPF 15, Rose
A celebrity favourite, the Fresh Sugar lip treatment keeps your pout hydrated for 24 hours straight. Sugar extracted from beetroot and sugar cane give it a buttery smooth texture, infused with plant-based fruit oils, like cranberry seed oil that's packed with vitamin E. Similar to our Laneige pick, this lip balm has a sheer-to-buildable tint that enhances your lips' natural colour. There's a sun protection factor of 15, too. Reviewers apply the tint to their lips and cheeks for a quick no-makeup makeup look.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.