Last time, we looked at why we get chapped lips and if licking our lips was the best way to re-hydrate them. The answer was no, licking your lips doesn’t help. Lip chaps/balms are better, but which ones work the best? Before we can determine that, what are some different types of lip moisturizers and what are some of the key components of these products that help us have our soft, hydrated lips?
What are some types of lip moisturizers?
- Moisturizing glosses
- Moisturizing lipsticks
- Natural and organic balms
- Balms with essential oils
- Scented and flavoured balms
And so many more… so which ones are better for your lips?
Best Lip Moisturizers?
The best lip moisturizer differs depending on what you want. I know, how generic, right? But there are a bunch of things that you should keep an eye out for to help you decide which moisturizer actually gives you what you want.
If you want a lip moisturizer with a little pizzazz, then you’re probably looking at lip gloss or lipsticks. Make sure it has glycerol/glycerin or some other moisturizing ingredient in it (we’ll talk about more right after this)! And stay away from matte or long-lasting lipsticks, because these offer little to no hydration and can actually dry your lips further.
Natural looking lips
Great no-colour lip moisturizes have emollients, which is basically the term for ingredients that hydrate or soften skin. These ingredients help hydrate and soften your lips by helping them retain water and softening cracks but allowing other creams and ointments to enter the skin to allow for more hydration. These include petrolatum, beeswax, cocoa butter and almond oil. But if you have easily-irritable skin or oily skin, you might want to focus on moisturizers that have glycerol/glycerin or more water-based emollients rather than oil-based.
Scents, ooh la la!
Okay, so now they have all of these scented lip balms. It’s great for impressing the people we fancy, maybe even picking them up. ‘Here, take a whiff of my lips, they smell like cherry blossoms. You seem like someone who likes kissing cherry blossoms.’ Whatever motives you have for using scented lip moisturizers, here’s the deal with them: the more fragrance they have, the less effective they’ll be in protecting your lips from drying out. Therefore, the less smell a lip moisturizer has, the better. Sorry, I guess another pick-up line will be in order. But a lot of fragrance can be irritating to your skin and has the potential to dry your lips out more, so go easy with the scents.
Sun Protection Factors
Okay, here’s the last tidbit I’ll give you. If you remember the post from two weeks ago, our lips lack a certain pigment called melanin. Melanin is a very important pigment as it helps protect our skin from UV rays from the sun. Our lips are now practically defenseless against the damaging rays emitted from the sun. But, alas, lip moisturizers (well, some anyway) come to the rescue with SPFs (Sun Protection Factors) and protects your melanin-lacking lips from cell damage, DNA damage and, ultimately, cell death. Take a look at your lip chap and check to see if it mentions anything about SPFs. I hope it does, if not, time to go shopping!
The ultimate moral of the story is: stop licking your lips and invest in some lip chap that will suit your lip needs. Love your lips, love yourself.
Fisher, G. 2009. Lip moisturizers 101. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/lip-care/tips/lip-moisturizers.htm> February 20, 2013.
Joy, D. 2012. Glycerin uses for skin. Buzzle.com <http://www.buzzle.com/articles/glycerin-uses-for-skin.html> February 20, 2013.
NHS Choices. 2012. Emollients. NHS.uk. <http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Emollients/Pages/Introduction.aspx> February 20, 2013.