Look for a product with a base of beeswax, petroleum jelly or paraffin. These seal in moisture and won't evaporate as quickly as thinner balms or glosses. For extremely irritated lips, aloe vera is a good ingredient. This plant's soothing properties are often used to heal sensitive sunburns, and it's also safe to ingest. Sunscreen is also crucial, even in winter.
Another tip -- your lip balm will be a lot more effective if there's no buildup in the way. Experts recommend exfoliating about once a week with a gentle lip scrub product.
Some balms are deceiving, containing ingredients that dry out your lips even more. Salicylic acid, the miracle worker in acne medication, is one such culprit. The properties that help pimple cream dry up your trouble spots will have the same effect anywhere else it's applied. Menthol and camphor, though soothing, can also cause issues. Stay away from fragrances and silicone, which also sap moisture.
By now, your lips should be smooth and supple … but hardly the volume of, say, Angelina Jolie's. The next page describes some healthy (and natural) ways to plump the shape of your kiss.