Beyond the Balm

by Sandra Ramani

The lips are susceptible to the elements, with factors like wind, sun, changes in seasons and harsh indoor environments—both heating and air-conditioning—leading to dryness and dead skin. And because of how we use them, the lips are actually even more sensitive to becoming parched, thanks to everything from kissing and drinking hot liquids to the use of makeup and habits like lip-licking and -biting.

Just like the rest of the body, the skin on the lips needs taking care of—and it takes more than just a moisturizer to help soothe the rough patches and reveal the healthy skin underneath. While we love a good lip balm, super-chapped conditions call for a scrub to slough off flakes, oils to help moisture penetrate deeper and treatments to lock in hydration and protect against future dryness.

Here are some top products that will show your lips some love when they need it the most—all made with ingredients that are safe to apply to such a sensitive area.

Versed Silk Slip Conditioning Lip Oil
Made with a hydrating, vegan blend of jojoba, camellia, sesame and sunflower seed oils, plus vitamin E, this formula smooths chapped skin then conditions lips to stay moisturized longer, particularly as the oil gets further absorbed. Slather on a thicker layer at night for a more intensive treatment. As an added bonus, the oil also leaves lips with a soft sheen (not a sticky, glossy feel), which is extra nice in the three tinted versions. versedskin.com 

Sigma Beauty Lip Care Collection
Get a 360-degree approach to lip health with this three-product kit launched this year. Use the Overnight Lip Therapy as a mask to condition and hydrate while you sleep, then swipe on the Daytime Lip Nourishment—a slightly thicker balm—to keep in moisture (and add some pH-activated tint) during the day. For added moisture, top things off with the All-Day Lip Treatment, which has a glossy texture and a slight shimmer. Each of the products has been infused with vitamin E, jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid. sigmabeauty.com

Just Bee Lip Polish
Made in small batches in the U.S., this organic, 100 percent natural lip scrub is full of goodness like granulated honey, naturally gathered beeswax and oils of jojoba, evening primrose and vitamin E. The fine texture of the formula is gentle on the lips and easily washes off dead skin while leaving moisture behind. shop.justbee.us

Elate Lip Conditioning Better Balm
Boasting a thicker texture than your average balm, this vegan formula coats lips in sustainably sourced ingredients like Euphorbia Cerifera Wax (a type of beeswax); shea butter; and olive, sunflower and castor oils. Choose a clear option to use as a treatment or one of the three tinted versions for a pop of color. elatebeauty.com

Jane Iredale Sugar & Butter Lip Exfoliator/Plumper
This handy dual-ended stick delivers aid to parched lips in two ways. Use the scrub side to polish off dry skin with a mix of organic brown sugar, aloe leaf extract and oils of avocado, sunflower seed and jojoba. Then add moisture and a little natural plump with the treatment side, made of beeswax, shea butter, extracts of green tea, cranberry and grapeseed, and more natural oils. The plumper also imparts a light hint of color and shimmer. janeiredale.com

PUR Cosmetics Forever Kissed Lip Treatment
Launching this month, this superfood-packed treatment can be used day and overnight to help soothe and nourish chapped lips. Hemp seed oil tackles dryness, while sunflower seed oil adds hydration and a combination of ginseng, green tea, aloe, vitamin B and extracts of watermelon, apple and lentil helps boost the metabolism and encourage skin rejuvenation. The metal-tip applicator treats lips to a cooling feeling, too. purcosmetics.com

Truly Beauty GLOAT Collection
Standing for the “Greatest Lips Of All Time,” Truly Beauty’s GLOAT products work together to achieve smooth and flake-free pouts. Start with the GLOAT Sexy Soft Lip Scrub, which sloughs off dry skin with a gentle combo of neem seed oil, peppermint and sugar. Once your canvas is soft, add hydration with the GLOAT Big Juicy Lip Oil (with coconut oil and hyaluronic acid), the GLOAT Luscious Lip Butter (a minty mix of shea and cocoa butter, coconut and sweet almond oils and lots of fruit extracts) or the GLOAT Lip Plumping Serum (contours and hydrates using organic aloe leaf juice, peppermint and fruit extracts). trulybeauty.com

Olio e Osso Lip Scrub
This handy push-up scrub is both easy to use and effective, thanks to its exfoliating mix of ground olive stones and roasted coffee beans. The pinch of caffeine helps prevent irritation from the scrub, while olive oil and beeswax help the exfoliant glide on smoothly and leave behind some moisture. The mess-free scrub can be worked in with your finger then wiped off with a tissue, making it great to use when on the go. olioeosso.com

SNOW Lip Exfoliating Scrub and Rejuvenating Lip Treatment
Perfect your pout with this one-two punch from SNOW. Made of glacier water, sugar, beeswax, agave nectar and extracts of honeysuckle, dandelion and mountain cherry, the Lip Exfoliating Scrub gets rid of chapped skin while leaving a minty-lavender tingle. Then seal in hydration with the Rejuvenating Lip Treatment, which uses shea butter, chamomile, aloe vera, papaya and Brazilian nut oil to strengthen the moisture barrier and boost collagen production. Hint: The treatment can also be used on cuticles and other dry patches in a pinch. trysnow.com

Alleyoop Double Team Tinted Lip Lotion
Fans of multitasking products will love this new Alleyoop vegan formula, which acts as a lip mask, balm, gloss, tint and plumper all in one. Rather than just piling on moisture, the lotion works first to get rid of flakes with shea butter, jojoba and sunflower seed oil, then uses peppermint oil to naturally plump. Available in four shades that give lips a sheer, nonsticky hint of color. meetalleyoop.com

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