Beauty Clinic: The best balms for dry lips
Q. I am suffering from dry, cracked flaky lips. I have tried lots of lip balms but I seem to need to reapply them every hour or two. Can you suggest something better, preferably natural? A. With Valentine’s Day coming up, un-lovesome lips are a topical problem. The issue of lip balm 'addiction' – or dependency - has been a matter for muttering over the years.
Although there is an idea that the ingredients in some products actually slow down the regeneration of skin cells on the lips – actually making lips drier and more chapped - most experts dismiss the notion as a beauty myth. However, there is no doubt that women do find themselves applying some balms on an almost continuous basis.
Our own theory is that it’s because the balms soothe your lips for a few minutes but the effect wears off pretty quickly and lips dry up again. So the urge to reapply is simply a misplaced faith that the next swipe will last a bit longer. Ingredients to beware of are camphor, phenol and menthol according to US dermatologist Gary Slaughter, talking to American News Now. Additionally, he believes alcohol and salicylic acid may cause irritation so avoid those too.
We also tend to avoid flavoured balms that you tend to lick off as that does dry out your lips.
The answer in our experience is to use a really unctuous product that actively conditions your chapped lips. Our favourite new product, launched this month (not a coincidence…), is Charlotte Tilbury’s new two-step Youth-Boosting Lip System for cashmere-soft lips.
Start by applying Lip Love Lip Renewing Honeybee Scrub, which contains natural sugar crystals, suspended in an emollient-rich, hydrating blend of jojoba seed oil, olive oil, shea butter, cocoa seed butter and beeswax, to slough away dead skin cells and allow soft new skin to surface.
Follow on with Charlotte’s Lip Magic Rejuvenating Smoothing Propolis Balm. (Propolis, a resinous elixir created by honeybees to line the hive is one of Charlotte’s favourite supplements incidentally). The propolis is boosted by hyaluronic acid to plump out lips, plus vitamin E, argan oil, shea butter and beeswax with a triple oil blend of jojoba seed, olive and helianthus seed.
And that all packs a very powerful punch in terms of loving up your lips. Then you can either leave them au naturel or it makes a perfect base for lippy.
There are some effective budget options for making lips luscious too. Rub lips with a teeny bit of your facial exfoliant on a finger before applying balm and/or brush lightly with an old soft toothbrush. Tester panels for our latest book The Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible also raved about multi-award-winning Lanolips Lip Ointment, which comes in five tinted versions as well as natural. The base is ultra medical grade lanolin (over 60 per cent), plus vitamin E, some natural oils and pure pigment to stain your cupid’s bow. Oh and it offers SPF15 too.
Finally, we are pretty keen on the only product we have ever put our name to: Beauty Bible Lip Balm. This chunky, easy-to-use, twist-up stick is jam-packed with aloe vera, organic shea butter and vitamin E. It’s non-greasy, unflavoured and never feels ‘claggy’.