Lip Balm Is Actually Making Your Chapped Lips Worse. Here’s Why & What You Can Do About It

You've been slathering on your balm like there's no tomorrow, but it's probably doing you more harm than good. This is why...

Woman applying lip balm

Just like our skin, our lips need a whole lotta extra TLC when the cold weather comes in. Cue painful, unsightly chaps, that sting like a mother if they come into contact with anything even remotely acidic. (Corona with a slice of lime, we’re looking at you!)

So lip balm is obviously a must then, yeah? Erm, no cos thanks to some hydration-zapping ingredients, slathering on your fave-o lip salve can actually make your chapped lips a whole lot worse.

Basically, it’s all down to occlusives in your balm. These waxy, barrier-creating ingredients (think petroleum jelly) give your lips relief for a little while thanks to their soothing-properties but here’s the kicker: once they wear off your poor, painful lips are left open to the elements. You’ll then need to reapply again to get the same relief, and before you know it you’ve used up an entire tube.

Sound familiar, right? So, what’s a gal to do?

Well, here’s the thing; you can off-set the moisture-zapping qualities of occlusives by introducing humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin.

Used together, these humectants draw extra moisture from the air, while occlusives create a barrier that stops it from escaping, meaning it’s best to look for balms that contain a combo of the two to keep your lips protected.

Here are a few of our faves…

Burt's Bees

Burt’s Bees Miracle Salve, €6.50

Carmex Moisture Plus

Carmex Moisture Plus Hydrating Lip Balm, €4.99

Origins Lip Balm

Origins Soothing Certified Organic Lip Balm, €19

Other hot tips for making sure your lips stay chap-free this winter? Drink lotsa water, avoid licking them and add a couple of drops of seasame seed oil to your lip salve, to give them that extra little bit of hydration.