Monday, November 11, 2013

The Great Lip Balm Review

I'm torn on winter. On the one hand, I love snow. I love the fantastic views out my window. I love sledding, and warm boots, and hot tea, and long walks, and roaring fires, and cuddling under the covers in my favorite sweatpants.

On the other hand, as someone with dry skin, winter wreaks absolute havoc on my lips, hands, feet, and face. It's the time when I haul out my extra-strength lotion collection and write myself a note to stock up on lip balm.

Lotions and lip balms are a big choice. They're a commitment. For one, when you're on a budget, buying a whole bunch of different ones that may or may not work is a real gamble. When you have sensitive skin and a sensitive nose, it could be a real disaster.

So I present to you many seasons of lip balm research. From the good to the bad, from the popular brands to the cult favorites, Emma's great lip balm review.

Starting with the Natural Balms:

Burt's Bees Lip Balms are hugely popular. But I'm not sold. I have tried their regular, honey, mango, pomegranate, acai, and tea tree balms. The only ones I would purchase again are the pomegranate and honey balms.

I found the mango and the acai balms to have a very strong fake smell that I did not appreciate. The acai was also very thin, and made my lips feel oily rather than moisturized. The classic was very strongly scented and dried my lips out. The intense peppermint smell made me feel a little light-headed, and it just sat on my lips, rather than really penetrating and moisturizing. Pass!

The tea tree balm was very, very intensely flavored and scented. It does, however, make a good natural carmex alternative for cold sores and infections for people that are not as scent-sensitive.

The honey and pomegranate balms are both good options. The honey has a nice floral-honey scent, and really moisturizes. The pomegranate has a nice scent, too, and i think lends a nice sheen to my lips. It makes me look a wee bit brighter :)

One of my saddest lip balm experiences is the Burt's Bees Tinted Balm. I purchase the hibiscus flavor I desperately wanted this to work, because the color was fantastic and there was very little scent. Unfortunately the "balm" dried my lips out. For someone who needs less moisture, this is a fantastic tinted lip balm!  

I love Badger Balm for some things, but this lip balm was a real bust. Their cuticle care is fantastic, and they have some lovely scented rubs for people who like aromatherapy. Their Vanilla Madagascar balm was very heavily scented and very oily. I felt like I was rubbing olive oil on my lips. I prefer a thicker, more lasting lip treatment. And one that doesn't smell like a pudding factory.

I'm a Weleda fan, and their Everon Lip Balm used to be my favorite for nighttime moisture. The very strong rosy smell got to me, after awhile, and I've stopped using it. The major pros to this balm are their amazing natural ingredients (all grown in a special way, called biodynamic) and the intense, intense moisture it provides. If the smell wasn't so strong, I'd be purchasing tube after tube.

Merry Hempsters Lip Balm has an ok consistency (not as thick as I like, but not bad), but not the flavors. The peppermint was very strong (I am sensitive to peppermint, it would seem) and I do not like lemon or cinnamon flavors for lip products. The orange was fine, but I didn't love it enough to re-purchase. Overall, they make a solid lip balm, but not strong enough or with the right scent for me!

Coconut oil makes a great, simple lip balm. It's extremely natural (just one ingredient!), tastes and smells nice, and is available at your local health food store. The downsides are, of course, that it's hard to transport (it's liquid at room temperature) and that it can cause breakouts in some individuals. I like it as a nighttime lip treatment (it also makes a great body moisturizer and deep conditioner -among many other things!).

 My current favorite lip product is Alverde's Lippenbalsam. Alverde is the natural product line from the German chain drugstore DM. It is an extremely affordable, very natural, and very effective line of products (I have a face cream and a hand cream from them too). This lip balm is full of natural powerhouses, and deeply moisturizing without being oily. It has a very light minty scent which dissipates quickly. I was not expecting to love the tube it comes in, but I am 100% sold. I will definitely be repurchasing!

Regular Balms:

Maybelline Babylips. I admit it. I was schnookered in by the cute packaging. And was surprised to find that I really liked the blue one (except the fruity scent, which got to me). The tinted balms had a very strong fake scent, and also way too much color for the amount I was needing to apply. The cherry had a nice color for one swipe, but if you're someone who often reapplies, look further! I ultimately prefer natural lip products given the amount one ends up consuming over the course of a year.

Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon is hands down my favorite lip color. It's moisturizing (that's the balm part) and applies just the right amount of just the right color to my lips with each swipe. It has no real smell, no real flavor, and the weight is perfect. The duration is perfect. YAY CHUBBY STICK!

Carmex could also be called "my first lip balm." It's the one I grew up with, and is very effective with few ingredients. That said, the smell and taste are VERY strong, so I only use it when I have a cold sore or a lip infection (against which it is very effective). One to have in your medicine cabinet, but not the balm I'd want to pull out of my purse on the average day.

Top Picks:

Ultimately, my favorite balms for the following purposes are:

Color: for a moisturizing sweep of color, my Clinique Chubby Stick (in mega melon) is my hands down favorite!
Everyday Moisture: Alverde Lippenbalsam (Burt's Bees honey or pomegranate are close seconds).
Intense Night Moisture: coconut oil
Medicated: good old carmex.

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