Girl Talk: Best Balms for Chapped Lips

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The funny thing about the weather here in the San Francisco bay area is that just when it really starts to feel like summer, it's fall. I'm not even kidding. It finally got up to the 80s a few weeks ago. We're expecting our first big rain storm tomorrow. So much for summer. Truthfully, I don't need a rainstorm to tell me that the seasons are changing. My body knows that the air is getting colder and drier. I can feel it in my lips.

Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
Kiehl's Lip Balm #1
Available at:

Without fail, the minute the weather changes for the colder my lips become a flaky, nasty, sore, chapped mess. Ugh. I need some serious lip therapy. I know you feel me on this. Faced with the reality that winter is mere months away, I called in reinforcements to assess the lip balm preparedness situation. What balms are best for keeping your lips soft and supple all winter long? I asked the Stiletto Jungle Girl Talk panel to weigh in on the issue. So ladies, what say you?

"Now this is an easy one... the only lip balm that I use is Softlips by the Mentholatum Co.,Inc.," offers Tina, a 34-year-old San Diego attorney, without a hint of hesitation. "It comes in great flavors like vanilla, cherry, and strawberry. The flavors are not strong, just a hint of flavor and smell. But they work great. They keep your lips moisturized in the worst of weather and have SPF 20!"

Well Tina, SPF must come in handy in sunny San Diego, but will Softlips stand up to "real" weather?

"I lived on the east coast for four years during icky winter weather that dried out everything and this was the only thing that could save my lips from sunburn and windburn," Tina continues. "I love it. I recommend it to everyone. It is in a stick and you can get it at any drugstore. I personally do not like the little pots of lip balm as they get your finger all icky and I think it is dirty to stick your finger in a pot of junk and then put it on your mouth. I'm too much of a germ phobe for that. I even replace my lip balm often for that fact. Good Stuff!"

The Body Shop Vitamin E Stick
Availablea at:

"I almost always use Vaseline Lip Therapy," offers Hannah, a 31-year-old freelance writer and winter sports enthusiast. "My favorite used to be LipMedex because I loved the way it smelled, and then I randomly developed this little dry spot that wouldn't go away no matter what I tried. Changing lip balms didn't work, and I tried a bunch, both of the normal and medicated varieties. Neither did increasing my fluid intake, and/or limiting diuretics. The only thing that worked was the Vaseline Lip Therapy, so I switched. I use it all the time, under lipstick/gloss and everything. Really, the only time I don't use it is when I'm snowboarding. On the slopes I use wax based lip-stuff-- it stays longer and is better protection against wind burn-- with the highest SPF I can find. I have no brand preference here, I usually just use whatever they have in the pro-shop at the mountain."

"I'm not a big lip balm user living in sunny San Diego," admits 23-year-old Kim. "But, when I'm traveling, or when its an excruciating 60 degrees in San Diego, I go to my nearest Neimans to purchase Kiehl's Lip Balm. It is absolutely the best! It doesn't taste funny or crumble up on the lips. It feels soft and gentle, and avoids giving your lips that heavy feeling. It is awesome! As an alternative, I really like Jamba Juice lip balm-- random, I know! They come in different Jamba Juice flavors, which is fun. Besides tasting amazing it gets the job done as long as most other drug store brands. When I don't have any of these lip balms around I grab my Vaseline. Although it works as a substitute, it is very sticky-- I hope you have your hair up!"

Carmex Cold Sore Reliever and Lip Moisturizer
Carmex Lip Moisturizer
icon$1.83 (was $2.29-- save 20%!)
Available at:

"I use Carmex, Chapstick Moisturizer-- in the blue tube-- and Vaseline," explains Po, a 28-year-old attorney. "I put on Carmex after showering mainly because I have it sitting conveniently on my bathroom counter. But I also like putting it on at that time because it not only keeps my lips moist but it is not so thick or slimy that it effects the lipstick I will be putting on later. I keep Chapstick in my purse all the time because it is easy and convenient to put on anywhere. I don't have to worry about getting lipstick on my finger when applying it as it would with Carmex. I use Vaseline when I misplace the Carmex or the Chapstick. It's a back-up moisturizer for my lips. It's not a primary product because of it's size and it's slimy quality. Also, it's not as easy to wash off my finger as Carmex."

Wow Po, you've got quite the repertoire of lip protectants going on there. You're not the only one who uses several different balms to get the just right effect, though. I hear Pearl also has a system of balms... right Pearl?

"Well... I suppose I do use a few different types of lip balms," says Pearl, our 29-year-old music industry diva. "I use this stuff [The Body Shop Vitamin E Balm] during the day time because it has vitamin E to hydrate the lips and SPF 15 to protect against sun. I can't stand sunburned chapped lips, so I like this stuff a lot. I also use CO Bigelow's Ultra Mentha Lip Shine for nighttime because it's minty and just sort of compounds that fresh, kissable lip image-- I've recommended this one before. And a tip that I never sleep without: I use Vaseline on my lips before bed every night. In the morning, I scrape it off with my fingertip, or you can use a toothbrush. This exfoliates your lips and fights off any chapping throughout the day. If I even go one night without doing this, I see huge difference in how chapped my lips are. I highly recommend this practice."

Wow, you guys never disappoint with the good ideas. I think my lips might survive winter after all. Click on any photo or linked text to link directly to where you can purchase that lip balm online. Don't miss any Girl Talk discussions. Subscribe to Stiletto Jungle and get free updates by e-mail or RSS. Take Stiletto Jungle with you wherever you surf with the Stiletto Jungle Connect Toolbar featuring Google search.

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