Expert-Approved Balms for Chapped Lips

Expert-Approved Balms for Chapped Lips featured image

Winter comes with many hurdles, including ice, snow, cold weather and chapped lips. While we can’t stop the weather from doing its thing, we definitely can ask experts how to keep our lips protected.

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FixMySkin 1% Hydrocortisone Healing Balm ($11) is the perfect choice for dry, chapped lips during the winter or in dry climates. It not only treats the symptoms, but it uses the power of one-percent hydrocortisone to heal the lips. Many people have lip issues that are only compounded when they try over-the-counter solutions for lips that contain irritating or potentially allergic ingredients, colors and flavors. My son, Dr. Daniel Schlessinger, and I personally formulated this product to avoid these pitfalls that many common lip products can cause. It comes in two sizes, an unflavored and vanilla-flavored lip formulation and can easily be carried in a purse or pocket!”

—Omaha, NE dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD

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“I recommend a moisturizing lip balm with SPF, such as EltaMD’s UV Broad-Spectrum Lip Balm SPF 36 ($12) or Supergoop’s PLAY Lip Balm SPF 30 with Acai ($10). Our  signature PSD lip treatment is also a great moisturizer!”

—New York dermatologist Jody A. Levine, MD

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“I really love how the IMAGE Skincare ORMEDIC Lip Enhancement Complex ($24) hydrates my lips and gives them a naturally-full look. It’s super smooth and a luxurious treat for lips, especially during the dry months.”

—Candace Marino, celebrity aesthetician

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“My two favorite lip balms are Aquaphor Lip Repair ($3) and EOS Lip Balm in Vanilla Bean ($5). Aquaphor is formulated with shea butter and chamomile that soothes and nourishes the lips. It locks in moisture and prevents dry and cracked lips. I like that it is preservative- and fragrance-free. The EOS balm is very cosmetically elegant, offers great hydration and is also formulated with shea butter, coconut and jojoba oils.”

—New York dermatologist Marina Peredo, MD

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“My Ildi Pekar Lip Butter ($21) is my favorite. I was working for years to come up with a formulation that is unique, all natural, provides long lasting hydration, doesn’t irritate the skin and has a cute packaging. I love this product because it rejuvenates the lips, protects them from the dry air and helps to avoid the dreaded chapped lips. On top of that it has a lovely lemon scent that is quite refreshing. If I want have a little color on my lip, RMS Tinted Daily Lip Balm ($20) is my go to product. RMS is an organic brand too, which is very important to me when it comes to lip care. For a DIY lip treatment, I like to treat my lips weekly with a mask. All you need is some honey, sugar and a tiny amount of turmeric. Mix these together and gently scrub your lips, then leave the mixture on for 10 minutes. This removes dead skin cells, improves circulation, softens and repairs the lips.”

—Ildi Pekar, celebrity aesthetician

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“I love the colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Color Balms SPF 50 ($30) in Berry, Blush and Bronze. For men, I recommend the colorless colorescience Sport stick SPF 50 ($29). They both contain chemical-free EnviroScreen SPF 50 to protect your lips from UV and blue light damage, which can cause cancer. EnviroScreen also contains hydrating and antioxidant ingredients. If I want more gloss, I then apply colorescience Lip Shine SPF 35 ($30).”

—Fresno, CA dermatologist Kathleen Behr, MD

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“The only lip products I use are from Sarah Happ. Her Lip Slip Balm ($28) instantly hydrates the driest lips and The Dream Slip ($34) overnight lip mask is an essential part of my night routine, so my lips never feel sensitive from winter.”

—Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist, founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and Skin Care 

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“Lip balms are one of the most-used cosmetic product, yet there is very little written about them. In general, unless you are going to be outdoors a great deal, I do not like the lip balms that have sunscreen in them. Why would you want to put that on and ingest those ingredients if you don’t need to? I really like the simple Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm ($4) because it doesn’t have a lot of chemicals and, in general, it has humectants such as glycerin to keep moisture in the lips. Don’t skimp and buy cheap stuff because you are in contact with the product all day and, essentially, you are eating small amounts each time you use it. Stick with simple.”

—West Palm Beach, FL dermatologist Ken Beer, MD

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“I love the way my ultra-concentrated Tammy Fender Quintessential Serum ($145), blended with pure essence of rose, brings conditioning hydration and protection to the lips. I tap it into my lips whenever I go through my morning routine, and it leaves them so soft and dewy. I’m a makeup minimalist, but if I’m going out and want to bring a subtle  lasting sheen to the lips, I’ll follow with Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm V2 ($19). I love the texture and it’s great on-the-go.”

—Tammy Fender, aesthetician

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“I recommend simple Carmex Lip Balm ($9). It used to be used on all surgical incision lines and it inhibits the growth of all of the kingdoms of microbes: bacteria, fungi and viruses. It has lanolin and cocoa seed butter to soothe and assist in healing. I have yet to see an allergic reaction to it, and it is inexpensive and widely available.”

—Dover, OH, facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD

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‘When I’m looking to add a pop of color while moisturizing my lips at the same time, I use the new True Botanicals Glossy Lock Moisture Lip Balm! It is formulated with a nourishing blend of moisture-locking butters and anti-aging oils to give lips a sensual, glossy finish.”

—Hillary Peterson, founder of True Botanicals

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Vanicream Lip Protectant Sunscreen SPF 30 ($5) is a great daily balm to help alleviate dry, chapped lips with added sun protection. This balm goes on smooth and contains both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to protect from UVA/UVB rays. The lower lip is particularly susceptible to actinic damage and skin cancer. It is free of fragrances, dyes, flavoring and chemical sunscreen ingredients—all of which can be irritating to chapped lips.”

—Charlotte, NC dermatologist Gilly Munavalli, MD 

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