So, you need balm, but what kind? If you think flavor is the only difference among the many lip care products on the market, you're mistaken. In fact, certain ingredients in some balms might actually be sabotaging your hydrating efforts -- and it's probably not the berry flavoring.
Some popular lip balms contain ingredients such as phenols or peppermint oil that help exfoliate the chapped flakes of skin from our lips. While these ingredients are great for helping to slough off dry skin, they aren't very good at hydrating. As they encourage exfoliation, they remove the natural oils from the lips, and what happens next? You reach for more lip balm because your lips feel dry, despite the fact that you just used balm. And the cycle begins. You may then think you must be developing a lip balm addiction (it's not an addiction; it really is just a habit). Moisturizing lip balms help battle dry lips because they won't add to the dryness.
Choose the most emollient balm you can find -- look for ingredients such as petrolatum, beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, or oils such as almond or jojoba to help lock in moisture and soften and protect lips. For seriously dry lips, look for a balm that contains synthetic ceramides, which are fats that can help restore your lips' natural skin barrier. And for the best protection, choose an oil-based balm that also contains a sunscreen.