Whether you’re a man or a woman, lip balm is an essential part of anyone’s daily hygiene and beauty routine. There are almost as many reasons to use lip balm as there are types of lip balms to choose from. Some even contain a bit of color to give your errand-running look a bit of polish. So, you may be wondering, what do you really need in a good lip balm? Ingredients that support skin care should be at the top of your list—because, after all, your lips are covered with some of the most sensitive skin on your body.
Dermatologists’ Top Ingredients
Sunscreen is typically number one on any dermatologist’s list of best ingredients for skin care, whether it be for the eyes, face, body, or the lips. As the Dermatology Association explains, the skin on the lips is particularly thin and vulnerable to being burned, so you should always apply a balm with a decent sun protection factor before going outdoors. Neutrogena’s Lip Moisturiser has SPF 15 to protect your lips from the sun. Vitamin E is another excellent ingredient as it is nourishing to the skin. The Dermatology Association recommends using different lip balms for different purposes and even different seasons of the year, possibly even including menthol or camphor to soothe dry lips (but, they note that these two ingredients can sometimes cause more dryness). On the whole, dermatologists recommend using simple ingredients that work to hydrate and protect your lips, and Habbana offers some of the best lip balms for dry lips in the market. Dermatologists also recommend that you should avoid lip balms that have petroleum jelly as the first ingredient, since these are less hydrating.
Seasons and Uses
Dry lips can be a year round problem for many people, but for the majority, lip balms are particularly needed during the dry heat of summer when it is hard to keep hydrated and during the cold, windy seasons of late fall and winter. As a general rule, you should apply lip balm before going outdoors, before going to bed, before applying heavier lip makeup (lip stains tend to dry out your lips), and any time your lips are actually already chapped. That said, you should apply different amounts at different times, and avoid over application as that can cause blemishes around the lips. For example, a light layer of lip balm before going outside is fine, but before bed, you should apply a thick layer of balm, similar to how you would use Shea butter lotion on your hands or feet.
Apply the balm starting at the corner of your bottom lip and work towards the middle and across to the opposite corner, starting at the corner helps you ensure you cover the entire lip and since the corners tend to chap easily it helps prevent chapping in problem areas. Once the bottom lip is covered, you can rub your lips together to get a thin coat or repeat the application on your upper lip for a thicker nighttime or healing coat. Depending on the type of balm you choose, you can either roll it on with the applicator tube, or use your finger to apply the balm; if you do use your finger, make sure your hands are clean so as to not introduce dirt and germs to your lips. You can also use lip balm in places other than your lips to improve moisture, or add a little glimmer to your makeup. Even the best lip balms for dry lips should be reapplied several times a day, so having a few tubes in key locations around your personal space is a great idea.
Mix in a Little Beauty
For those who want a little something extra in their lip balm, there are many options. Along with your sunscreen, essential vitamins and hydrating oils, you can have a little flavor, a scent or even a touch of color. Lip balm can be used as a primer for lipstick, a way to add a little shine when applied over a matte lipstick or even to tone down a dark color, explains Beauty with Emily Fox. Emily also notes that lip balm over lipstick or lipstain is a great way to make your lips look bigger and plumper. She notes that she reapplies balm after eating, drinking or talking a lot as it wears off quickly; hydration is the top reason to buy and use lip balm, so reapplication is a must. Emily also notes that scented and flavored glosses are a nice treat to add to your makeup bag.
Lip balm is practically an obsession with some people, but that obsession is not without merit. Lip balm is a good option for both hydrating your lips and applying sunscreen to your lips, and it even allows you to add a little color to your lips if you choose a tinted version. The versatile tool can enhance your look and protect your lips, often while tasting great, and it is always nice to have a multi-use tool in your bag, especially one as portable as a small lip balm tube or compact.
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