Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Best Lip Balms

Which are the best?

Winter!

Playing in the snow, skiing, skating & shovelling. Those are some of the fun activities we enjoy, the last one being our second national sport after ice hockey. For all of us who enjoy, or not, spending time outdoor there are some consequences: dry skin & dry lips. Lip balms are, for many of us, an essential part of our daily routine. The wind, the cold as well as indoor heating can all make our lips extremely dry, especially since they are deprived of sebaceous glands. Since they're more sensitive to climate changes, we need to give them some good protective moisture.

With all the options available to us, how can we chose only one?


On the market we can find lip balms from $1 to $100. Some will offer soothing relief & or deep moisture. Others claim to have lifting & or anti-ageing properties.

On one end of the price range, you'll find La Mer Lip Balm at $77, Sisley's Baume Comfort at $60 & La Prairie's Cellular Lip Renewal Concentrate at $95 which will give us back the lips of our youth. Plumper, more defined & deeply moisturized lips. Sadly, for that price, La Prairie doesn’t list the ingredients on their website. In other words, we have to take their words for it. Although these are probably very good, we have to consider the fact that we usually reapply lip balms several times a day. If price is not an issue that's fine. Still, my logic tells me that it's not necessary to spend that much money for a good lip treatment.

On the other end, we can find lip balms at the Dollar store. Those are not as bad as some of us might think & can help temporarily. The same goes for Blystex, LypSyl, Chapstick & several others we can get at the drugstore. They can soothe dry chapped lips, but often feel like we're putting wax on. Since these are the ones most of us used as kids, they still enjoy a large following. There's nothing wrong with being nostalgic & if it works for you then that's just great! I do have a stick of LypSyl in my drawer & it makes me smile whenever I put it on. In this field, the Nivea line of lip balms is worth mentioning. These do an honest job & do receive a lot of love, my favourite being the dark blue stick. I sometimes use this one under my lipstick.

My personal favourites:

Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm, at about $15, is my first choice for deep moisture. When I apply it at night before sleep, I wake up in the morning with soft buttery lips. This term used to make me laugh & I never thought I would use it myself. A member of MUA (Makeup Alley) wrote the other day that she gets new lips overnight using this. Nuxe is a line of cosmetics I discovered last year & so far I just love every product I've purchased. Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Balm contains honey, plant oils, shea butter & grapefruit essence. I was surprised by this last ingredient since it could be irritating, but in this formula, it has no incidences.

Caudalie Lip Conditioner also about $15 is my second choice. I use this one during the day. It almost feels drying when I put it on, which is the reason that made me dislike it at first. I fell in love with this one because it actually helps with the skin's renewal process. My lips get less flakes if at all. Caudalie Lip Conditioner lists as it's main ingredients, grape-seed polyphenols, shea butter, castor oil & beeswax & it delivers anti-oxidants with a light vanilla taste. With this product, I hardly feel the need to exfoliate my lips anymore.

My third choice is my very own DIY lip balm which has become a family favourite. I melt 1 ½ teaspoon of unrefined shea butter & the same quantity of coconut oil in a little stainless steel bowl over boiling water. Once it starts to get solid again, I mix in ½ a teaspoon of vanilla extract with a little whisk. I use little travel size cream containers. They can easily be found at Dollar stores & drugstores. It takes a couple of hours to get in it's final solid form. Really fast to do, you at least know what you're putting on your lips. This is also the lip balm I use before exfoliating my lips. You can get unrefined shea butter for as little as about $6 in little jars. The one I own is from Kariderm. Coconut oil is sold in health food stores for about $10 a jar. Both of these are also great as skin moisturizers.

These three are my personal favourites but there are many, many other options out there that are equally good. It only depends on personal preferences. You may not even want to purchase a lip balm but something a little more versatile.

Two great options:

Aquaphor. This is a protective ointment great for dry or irritated skin. The thick gel-like texture makes it a great choice not only for lips but also for skin that is exposed to the elements & it's safe to use on young children. Fragrance free, some of it's main ingredients are petrolatum, mineral oil & glycerin.

Vaseline or petroleum jelly. This is a classic. Is there anyone out there that doesn’t own a jar of this? Also extremely safe, it's odourless & has no fragrance. You do have to reapply more often since it's thinner than Aquaphor but it's still a great option. Next time you're stuck with irritated lips & have to get something fast, you may want to opt for this. It's sold everywhere, even at Dollar stores. These days you can even find cute little containers of Vaseline to keep in your purse.

Other great lip balms worthy of mention:

Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm

A-Derma Baume Lèvres Réparation Intense

Weleda Everon Lip Balm

Estee Lauder Lip Conditioner SPF 15

Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment or Superbalm Moisturizing Gloss for a bit of color

The Body Shop Coconut Lip Butter

Lastly:

Lip exfoliation. I apply a thick coat of lip balm, wait about 20 minutes or so & gently rub with a baby washcloth. Some like using a toothbrush for this. If you enjoy the sensation of a scrub, mixing a bit of oil with sugar & applying on lips can do the trick. One great combination is coconut oil with brown sugar. Yummy! Just, be gentle if using this, since sugar can be rough. A good friend does the following, in her own words: " Best thing in the world for lip exfoliation (if you have that). Thick layer of honey, leave on for 5 mins, remove w/damp washcloth. BOOM. New lips like a baby."

All of these products are readily available in Canada in major drugstore chains, department stores & The Body Shop boutiques. Weleda is usually found in health food stores (this is where I get it in my area). To learn more about some of the companies mentioned & their products, here are a few links:








La Prairie, http://www.shoplaprairie.com/default.aspx






3 comments:

  1. I would never be able to justify 60, 77 or 98 dollar for a LIP conditioner. I have other facial products for that price, that are bigger in size and do more for my entire face :)
    That said my overnight HG is the nuxe lipbalm in a pot. It's sitting on my desk at all times and really does give great results overnight.
    The stick form is the exact same except it's a little lighter in texture and smells somewhat different.
    And hey, when you forget everything you have at home (not the first time), a nice tube of weleda skin food or regular vaseline works fine too :)
    You tried the sisley or la mer one?
    I also like the neutrogena one for a different feeling on the lips, but equally protective as the more 'natural' brands.

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  2. I know, those are outrageous prices. I've tried Sisley & although it's very nice, I don't find it as effective as Nuxe's Rêve de Miel, which I will definitely have to get it in stick form. Curious to see if there is a difference. As for La Prairie & La Mer, well, I wanted to mention them to make people aware that there are expensive options out there. I'm not sure if I ever tried Neutrogena. I've used so many over the years that it's hard to keep count. I'll probably pick it up at one point since you're recommending it. Hopefully, you liked this little exposé. This subject will most likely be revisited. Thanks for your comment. :D

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  3. The stick is a little different as it's not as thick as the pot. It's a mild sheen that disappears very fast if you smack your lips or eat/drink something. Yet the product remains.

    I've tried plenty myself and just don't like the petrochemical feel of most regular brands. Once you go more 'natural' you don't like the regular stuff anymore haha. I got plenty of them reviewed on my site, at least the ones I remember, and got 3 in trial at the moment.

    The neutrogena one smells like winter to me and you need very little, whilst you get plenty.

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