There may be something wrong with me. I’ve accepted this (and if you’re still reading my blog, you should have, too, by now). I just went through every lip balm I own, analyzing, scrutinizing, and testing them. Fortunately, my neurosis is your gain! Here are my suggestions/cautionary tales for balms, whether you have a have long dry flight ahead of you, or plans to kiss Valentino by a crystal blue Italian stream.
- Cherry ChapStick – The only thing that really comes to mind when I see the pale red waxy sheen of ChapStick is that circa 1990 Tracey Thibodeaux told me she once ate an entire tube of it in a single bite. This always shocked me as Tracey was, in my 5th grade esteem, rather perfect. And while its epicurial advantages are still up for debate, as a lip balm, it fails. Using a red crayola is just about as effective.
- Carmex – I’m not quite sure who designs the packing for Carmex, but “Looks like it’s just been fished out of a WWII pilot’s gunny sack” isn’t an aesthetic I strive for in my beauty products. Besides that, it contains salicylic acid, which is incredibly drying (you usually find it in acne treatments), and serves to bleach out lips’ natural pigment. Be afraid.
- Burt’s Bees – Generally, I stay away from cosmetics that feature the Gorton’s Fisherman (frozen fish-based snacks are another story). But despite the presence of a gristled Burt on most of the packages, Burt’s Bees products are all-natural, and nicely moisturizing, even though they include peppermint oil (a natural drying agent). Plus they come in both Chapstick-like tubes as well as cute little tins, and you can even get tinted versions.
- Blistex Lip Medex – Despite having one of the worst brand names ever (Seriously? Blistex is the best you could come up with? Was Herpex* taken?), Blistex Lip Medex is a pretty decent product. It comes in a cute little pot and includes oil of cloves in its ingredients (which is apparently awesome). In addition to moisturizing your lips, it’s also nicely cooling, and was particularly soothing the time I gnawed off half my lip in a Novocaine-induced haze.
- Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm – My dermatologist recommends this product for her patients with severe ecezma or those on Accutane (translation: those experiencing drier skin than you could ever imagine. Also, warning: website features some pretty gnarly-looking lips). It works fantastically well, and reigns as one of my absolute favorite beauty products. It includes hydrocortizone, which reduces inflammation and keeps your lips soft for hours, no matter how wind-burned or dry they were. Bring on the foreign men.
*Note from the Everywhereist: Apparently Herpex was taken: