It's the Balm!!

Did you know that the first lip balm was made from earwax? YUCK! Totally gross considering how often we lick our lips during the day! Our lips are so abused during the year – wind chapped, sun burned, dehydrated, bitten and injected, it’s no wonder our lips are aching for some TLC! With all this crazy winter, then spring, then winter again weather, I thought it appropriate to post about some of the best lip balms available to consumers, but first you need to know the basics…

Lip Balms are treatments and usually contain beeswax, petroleum jelly, menthol, oils and some can contain sunscreens, vitamins or salicylic acid or aspirin. They are made to seal moisture into your lips and protect them from the external elements and exposure to extreme weather. Dry air, wind and cold temperatures can dry out the lips and draw moisture away from the skin. We use lotion to cure dry, flakey, itchy skin on our body so we should use lip balms in the same manner.

Lipsticks and glosses are cosmetics that have properties unlike a lip balm. Some manufacturers are now producing lipsticks and glosses that include vitamins and sunscreen as well as “plumping” ingredients, but having a good lip balm in your arsenal will be a blessing in disguise.

Your lips are the thinnest layer of skin on your entire body and they don’t have oil glands, which means they need to keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of water during the day will help prevent your lips and skin from feeling dry, but investing in a lip balm is a good idea, just in case you are not as diligent with your hydration routine.

In the April 2009 issue of Shape Magazine, Amy Derick, M.D., a dermatologist in Barrington, Illinois says she wants you to stop purchasing lip balms that come in yummy flavors because, “as saliva evaporates from your skin, it removes not only the product, but the moisture from your mouth as well.” In other words, you are dehydrating your lips by licking off that great tasting lip conditioner! Also, think about it for a second – lip balm is a lip treatment, like skincare. Now I ask you, would you eat your skincare if you could? I didn’t think so!

Here is a list of lip balms that this Pro loves and wouldn’t be caught dead without…

Vaseline Lip Therapy Advanced Formula – Real Simple Magazine testers voted this product the “best deep treatment” therapy and we totally agree! It quenches dryness on contact and lasts for hours. Prices may vary, but we have found this product for the bargain-basement price of $1.99! BAM!

Softlips Original Lip Balm – this product contains an SPF 20 and does have a slight scent of vanilla. Keeps lips soft for hours and protects against the sun. At $4 for a two-pack, this is a great bang for your buck!

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 – this is the product this Pro carries in her makeup kit because it relieves chapped or cracked lips, prevents drying and has an SPF 4 sunscreen. No color, no flavor, no scent and Kiehl’s is a trusted name in the industry. $6.50, but worth every penny!

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 – this balm blends reparative oils and waxes together with sugar for delectable and dependable moisture with maximum sun protection. This is a great product that will give your lips the feeling of smoothness with no waxy build up. $22.50 is pricey, but this product will last you through an entire season.

La Mer The Lip Balm – hail the queen of all lip balms! Now, hold on to your Prada handbags ladies because this is going to run you a cool $45 bucks. Yikes, but aren’t your lips worth it? It is a very rich treatment that shares the same secret ingredients found in La Mer’s face cream! It is a perfect base for under lipstick and it will last you for months!

Just remember this: if your skincare is the Lone Ranger, then your lip balm is Tonto! Don’t forget that you only need to apply or reapply your lip balm 3 times a day to trap all the moisture your lips will need!

You should exfoliate your lips regularly by gently rubbing the damp bristles of a soft toothbrush across your lips each day. Apply lip balm, lip liner and then either your lipstick or lipgloss. You will be amazed at how wonderful your lips will feel!

Next up on In My Professional Opinion – special Sunday post, live from The Makeup Show featuring an in-depth interview with 5-time, Emmy Award-Winning, Celebrity Makeup Artist, Eve Pearl!

* Lip photograph borrowed from Ask A Fashion Model -


  1. Thanks Pro for the great post on the variety of pro balms out there! Personally, I am a big fan of Fresh Sugar. But I did want to warn your readers: unlike that chapstick you would slide into your pocket back in the day, the consistency of Sugar is very soft and subject to even slight temperature changes. So don't put it in your pocket or leave it in your car, or you'll come back to a puddle of Sugar! But in my opinion, this balm is the balm!

  2. Thanks for the advice! I wouldn't recommend leaving any type of lip product in a car - it will totally ruin the shape of any product in a lipstick type tube! Good warning!