Your Lip Balm Is Actually Doing More Harm Than Good

Lindsey Metrus
PHOTO:

Imaxtree

Lip balm is a complete staple in our beauty bags. Whether it's for combatting the chilly weather, serving as a base before our lip color, or keeping that pinot noir from staining our lips, we admittedly have a few (dozen) balms lying around our house and handbags. As much as we love a good one, however, there have definitely been times when our chapped lips have felt even more, well, chapped after applying our trusty lip product. This creates a whole cycle of applying more balms and, consequently, still having chapped lips. A real predicament, we'd say. Thankfully, StyleCaster recently published an eye-opening tip: Some lip balms actually dry out your pout. Crazy, right?

Turns out the issue is one common ingredient found in lip balm: humectants. These can be found in the form of glycerin or hyaluronic acid. We've constantly been told to include glycerin in our skincare products for moisture, so how does this make sense? We turned to dermatologist Dr. Rick Mizuguchi of NYC to get the lowdown on lip balm.

"Most of what we know about lip care comes from studies that have used ingredients that restore skin damage like hyaluronic acid and emollients. However, when lips get dry and damaged, they're no longer protected from negative environmental factors. So first, it's important to restore the skin damage [with humectants], then it's important to occlude the ingredients so your lips don't dry out instead of just being restored," says Mizuguchi. What this means is if you use a product with humectants, your skin will indeed retain moisture, but you need occlusive ingredients (think Vaseline and Aquaphor) to prevent lips from getting drier, almost like a barrier. It's a joint effort! Mizuguchi recommends balms such as Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment ($35) and Blistex Moisture Melt ($3).

Have you found a lip balm that keeps your lips hydrated and smooth? Please share below!

Ed. Note: Quotes have been edited and shortened for content.

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