Banish Chapped Lips: The 11 Best Balms

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's the dead of winter. If you are anything like me, your lips are a nasty mess right now. I'm always looking for a "new and improved" way to soothe my continuously chapped lips. Usually this means picking up a new balm every time I hit the drugstore. A pricey and typically fruitless plan of action. Beauty magazines seem to spend most of their time reviewing lipsticks and glosses-- neither of which are advisable for chapped lips. Finally, someone has done an in depth review of balms!

Women's Health turned their editors loose on 64 lips balms with the task of returning with the best of the best. Here's what they came up with. In true Stiletto Jungle style, I've added links to exactly where you can purchase the listed balms online. (A shopping list is of little use if you still have to go out and hunt down the finds!) The comments below each suggestion are from the Women's Health editors.

Best Clear Balms

Blistex Lip Medex
"I love the texture — it's lighter than most medicated balms and seals in moisture. And it has a nice clove smell."

The Body Shop Lip Butter
($6, The Body Shop, shown top left)
"The texture and flavor combined are like buttercream frosting."

Caudalíe Lip Conditioner
($12, Caudalíe)
"This smooth balm has a faint scent of vanilla — lightly sweet."

Lather Lip Conditioning Balm
($8, Lather)
"This is so creamy and soothing. I'd put it on before bed."

Vaseline Lip Therapy
"This doesn't need to be constantly reapplied; it keeps your lips soft even when it's worn off."

Best Balms with SPF

Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15
($17, Bobbi Brown Cosmetics)
"This made my lips very glossy — good for a night on the town."

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15
($22.50, Fresh)
"It made my lips feel soft and smooth, and I love the lemony smell."

Neutrogena MoistureShine Tinted Lip Balm SPF 20 in Sunny
($6.89, Neutrogena)
"This balm is so rich that it cured my dry lips in 2 days."

Best Tinted Balms

Benefit Benetint Lip Balm
($18, Benefit Cosmetics)
"The color is a very subtle pink. It's perfect for fair skin."

Kiehl's Lip Balm SPF 15 Hue 30G
($7.50, Kiehls)
"Great for work — shiny and subtle but redder than my natural color."

L'Occitane Tinted Shea Butter Balm in Vanilla
($12, L'Occitane)
"It made my lips look lush and shiny, with the perfect hint of color."

Contributing writer Hannah says: "I used to use Lip Medex but then randomly developed a dry spot that wouldn't go away no matter how religious I was with the lip stuff or drinking water. The Vaseline Lip Therapy was the only thing that worked. Needless to say, I've switched." Personally, I love the Kiehl's. "The perfect lip balm" is different for every person, so you may have to try a few to find one that's right for you. This list is a good place to start.