I know most women are “really into” lip balm but let’s just get one thing straight: I AM REALLY INTO LIP BALM.
I’ve always liked Lip Smackers (errrr who wouldn’t want their lips to taste like sweet delicious orange Fanta?) and as a young teen I developed a strange obsession with the oversized tubes of Vaseline you could only buy in the States, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve actually become a bit of a lip balm snob.
Just a few of the lip balms I found in various handbags which I’ve chucked together for this “look how much I like lip balm” photo.
When “needs must” I’ll pick up any old lip balm, but generally I like to only use certain brands/formulas. Some lip balms are by their very nature addictive, leaving you needing to use them more and more as your lips stop looking after themselves unassisted. I avoid these types and I avoid over-using lip balm in general, but if I am caught short I will get into a panic.
Of course it’s not very often that I find myself without a lip balm as it’s only in exceptional circumstances that I won’t have three in my handbag, but if I AM caught short I will go into a full on Napoleon Dynamite meltdown and start drafting a letter to my MP asking why public lip balm stations aren’t “a thing”. Soft and hydrated lips can, when you are without a lip balm, feel like a basic human right which must be defended.
So I thought I’d share a few of my favourites as I have probably tried every lip balm ever. (Probably).
Best all rounders – the lanolin balms…
Once you discover lanolin lip balms you’ll inevitably look back at your old lip balm life and pity your previous questionable choices.
When I was in the worst depths of my crumbling jaw bone saga, I had really bad issues with my lips. Because I wasn’t really using my mouth, they would get particularly tight and cracked – I guess because I was ill and had a mouth full of metal but also because they just weren’t getting used/stretched/moved the way lips usually are with constant chattering/eating/LIVING. They would always bleed overnight and often bled when I did struggle to eat, which was basically as much of a barrel of laughs as it sounds.
The good news? I discovered medical grade lanolin. When things were as bad as I am describing, the only product which would help was Lansinoh’s wondrous purple tube of nipple balm goodness (£10.49 for 40ml, here). Yep, it’s usually for cracked nipples for poor breastfeeding mamas, but it can also be used on your lips and lemmetellyou…this stuff is like NOTHING ELSE.
It’s hypoallergenic and – clearly as it’s used for breastfeeding – is super safe as mothers can still breastfeed with it on their nipples.
I’d put it on sore skin, cuts, burns and all sorts as it really is a miracle healer.
I still keep a tube of Lansinoh for serious lip emergencies (I like to use it almost as an overnight treatment as it can be very thick and almost solid in winter) but now that my lips are generally ‘well’ I have moved onto more handbag friendly options from Lanolips (£10.99 for 17ml) and Dr Lipp (£12 for 15ml).
The downside to these two? They are extremely expensive when you compare them to Lansinoh which has 40ml. BUT I do find Lanolips and Dr Lipp easier to use when out and about, I guess because they are designed for lips rather than nipples the tubes are easier to deal with and the product seems to go less solid too.
As lanolin is a 100% natural product (it’s from sheep’s wool, thank you clever sheep) it can solidify and in a cold winter’s bathroom it can be nigh on impossible to get Lansinoh out the tube without really warming it up first (oh and on holiday, it can be too runny if it gets hot, great) but I have never found Lanolips or Dr Lipp to ever be annoying to dispense, it just does what it should when it should. Heavy duty and lovely.
Lanolips comes in various colours too if you’re after something tinted, but I prefer the plain and simple version.
Yes lanolin lip balms are pricier, but they’re better than the usual sticks you’ll find at the Boots till. In my opinion, they’re 100% worth the extra cash.
Best every day basic – Carmex…
I am obsessed with the Jasmine Green Tea flavour of Carmex simply because I am obsessed with Jasmine green tea, but Carmex is always a fab and CHEAP option. (£2.69 a tube, thank you very much). No gimmicky nonsense, just a great lip balm. I keep a tube of the green tea version by my bed and apply it every night. If my lips are in a particularly bad state because I am sick or whatever then I upgrade to a lanolin lip balm for bedtime, but generally I’m on the green tea Carmex.
Best for luxury – By Terry and Eve Lom…
I need you to hold on to your hats now please as I am about to suggest that spending £35 on a lip balm is a worthwhile endeavour. I am so sorry Dad, I can only imagine the eye rolls.
I only discovered By Terry in the last year or so but my goodness, it’s quickly become my luxury make-up brand heaven.
I haven’t tried the original Baume de Rose (£39 for 10g, yikes!) but I have one of the tinted versions and it’s easily one of my all time favourite beauty products. The tinted pots, or “Baume de Rose Nutri-Couleur” if we’re being chic and French about it, are more expensive gram for gram as they’re £35.50 for 7g, but they last for AGES and the colour really does look great, so it’s not like a pathetic tint which you need to then apply lippy on top of. I use mine (in Cherry Bomb) in place of lipstick.
The range of colours is small but perfect and I want to slowly collect them all. Oh and if it’s not clear from the name you may want to avoid if you don’t like the smell of roses, rose flower wax is in the formula. IT’S SO HIGH CLASS LUXE I CAN’T EVEN BEGIN TO TELL YOU.
My other high luxe choice looks cheap comparatively, although it’s no bargain bucket cherry chapstick.
Eve Lom’s Kiss Mix is £16 for 7ml (oh and in the run up to Christmas there’s also this cute gifty version for hanging on your tree for the same price) and I have been using this for four years or so now after ST bought it for me originally many moons ago. It’s *seriously* minty so it’s always my lip balm of choice for flying (I will always feel eternally disgusting on a plane so anything zingy and refreshing is most welcome) but it’s a joy to use at any time. It can feel quite thick so a little goes a long way, but I see that as a positive thing. It’s white rather than translucent but it’s not super glossy or shiny, it just seems to make your lips softer and plumper without any other added fuss. It’s a fab product.
So they’re my faves! As you can see from the pic at the top there are plenty of other lip balms I own and use but I haven’t found any – yet – that can beat the ones I’ve featured here. Always keen to discover new ones though so very happy to hear your suggestions, as long as they don’t taste like chocolate. Gag much.