There's no such thing as owning one lip balm. In one lifetime, you probably accrue hundreds of tubes (for the lip balm obsessed, thousands may be a more realistic estimate). However, some lip balms actually have ingredients that irritate the skin and cause inflammation, which naturally would prompt someone to want to use even more lip balm, no? As enticing as a tube may look, it's possible there are several hidden ingredients hindering your lips' ability to fully heal and moisturize. So why not go the natural route?
According to Adina Grigore, founder of Brooklyn-based natural skincare brand, S.W. Basics, "Pure essential oils contain dynamic components that work with your body and your body's chemistry for synergistic, healing results." Below, take a look at the essential oils that repair dry lips and form a protective barrier, especially during plummeting temps (just keep in mind many need a carrier oil like jojoba to help dilute them; otherwise, they may be too pungent if placed directly on the skin). Keep scrolling to learn the best essential oils that can naturally soothe chapped lips.
Rose Geranium Oil
Grigore says applying rose geranium oil to dry, irritated skin can give it the TLC it needs. "This essential oil aids in healing dry, aggravated, and cracked skin, which may also be the reason it's commonly found in lotions and lip balms. I also like to add a few drops to the water and enjoy a relaxing face steam," she explains.
Carrot Seed Oil
While intensely nourishing, this oil has antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties to help ward off cracking in the corners of the mouth and yeast infections on the lips.
Camellia, a type of flower, produces an oil that's scientifically proven to slow signs of aging. Besides curtailing signs of aging, camellia oil can also make the lips appear fuller. "It increases collagen synthesis, making lips appear thicker and more full," says New Jersey-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Sperling.
To reap both the hydrating and lip-plumping benefits of camellia oil, try Tatcha's Camellia Gold Spun Lip Balm. Hero ingredients camellia oil and 23-karat gold flakes work in tandem to make the lips look and feel their best.
Mariska Nicholson, founder of the skincare brand Olive + M, says that she loves mixing lavender oil with coconut oil to relieve chapped lips and create a bespoke balm. In fact, Dr. Sperling says its abilities also lie beyond healing chapped lips. "It has some anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties [as well]," she explains. C.O. Bigelow's No. 013 Lavender Salve consists of lavender extract, cottonseed oil, lanolin oil, and squalane to calm and moisturize the lips. Besides tending to dry lips, this salve can be applied to dry elbows, cuticles, and knees.
Lavender oil (aka lavandula angustifolia) is a type of essential oil that comes from the flowers of the lavender plant, which grows in various regions such as France and Bulgaria. Its main components are linalool, linalyl acetate, lavandulol, geraniol, and eucalyptol, which have antibacterial as well as anti-fungal properties.
Sweet Almond Oil
Several lip balms, glosses, and oils on the market these days—such as Burt's Bees' Hydrating Lip Oil—include sweet almond oil in their ingredient lists for a good reason. "Almond oil is considered a fatty oil, and, therefore, maintains moisture when applied to lips," says Dr. Sperling. In addition to treating dry lips, certified cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Mariana Vergara says sweet almond oil can help placate skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
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