Every winter it happens. I can start to feel it in maybe mid-November, but once that first forefront of cold whips through, there's no going back... Well, at least not until the weather starts getting warm again. From December until March, I will have to deal with a serious case of chronic chapped lips. I know things could be worse, but chapped lips are just this little nuisance that drive me insane. Not only are they uncomfortable and (if left untreated) significantly painful, but they just make me a bit self conscious. Who likes looking at peeling, cracking, maybe even bleeding lips? Not me, not you, not anyone.
Now, because I've been dealing with this whole situation for a while thanks to a lifetime spent in the northeast, I've got most of the tricks and tips for chapped lips down. I make sure to moisturize every morning and night, I always try to stay hydrated, and even though I have a bit of product devotion, I'm always ready and willing to try some new items. My normal winter routine means applying a few layers of Cherry ChapStick in the morning and a bit of Smith's Rosebud Salve at night and so far, it's been working for me. However, there's a whole world of lip moisturizer out there I've yet to discover, so I thought I would give some new things a try:
Branded as a "Medicated Balm" (hence, the whole Doctor thing), I had high hopes for Baby Lips. I've always walked by the chubby sticks on my trips to the pharmacy, meaning to try them out but never actually picking one up. Since they've been around for seemingly forever, I decided that this experiment proved the prefect time to try 'em out.
The packaging and labeling of all Baby Lips sticks, with their sort of throwback to an early '00s font and color schemes, certainly played games with my heart. Reminiscent of the shimming, cartoonish outsides of the legendary Bonne Bell Lip Smackers sticks, I thought maybe Baby Lips could swoop in as a nostalgic replacement, seeing as my Dr. Pepper and Watermelon standbys are soon to be no more. Plus, the fact that this particular Baby Lips stick was "medicated" gave me a better reasoning to by such a product as a 23-year-old long gone from the middle school bathroom.
The product itself, however, did not live up to expectations. I enjoyed the pink tint of the balm, but that was pretty much it. Upon application, there's a familiar and tingling peppermint-y feeling that comes with any sort of advertised-as-medicated lip product — however, it only lasted all of four to five seconds. Moreover, after about four or five minutes, the product almost wore off entirely. Overall, not my favorite. I miss Lip Smackers already.
In all honesty, I had very low expectations for this one. Perhaps because I found the sticks sitting at the bottom of the drugstore shelf, overshadowed by the more outlandish displays of other makeup products, or because I'm entirely unfamiliar with Alba Botanica products, but I just didn't expect the Hawaiian Lip Balm to pack that much of a punch.
However, the Alba Botanica lip balm proved the best of the bunch. The balm itself went on smooth and lasted for longer than five minutes, which is more than I can say for most of the other products on this list. And, perhaps it's the summery passion fruit flavor, but this lip balm just felt great against the wintery chap on my lips. Although this could also could be due to the fact that this balm consists of all natural elements and features super-hydrating coconut oil as a main ingredient.
I have a confession: I've never been a fan of Burt's Bees Lip Balm. I try a stick almost every time I feel my lips starting to get the least bit chapped, but I'm constantly forgoing the beeswax in favor of my ChapStick standby. I know more than a few people who apply Burt's religiously, who always seem to have a yellow stick hidden somewhere in their purse or on their desk, so I continue on in the efforts of understanding just what the fuss is all about. Yet, somehow, things just never work out.
Unfortunately, the Burt's Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm proved no different. Again, I had zero hopes for the product. My biggest issue with the original Burt's Bees formula is that it just does not seem to moisturize my chapped lips, instead just kind of coating them like, well, wax. So I thought perhaps this stick, with its promise of "four hour moisturization," would be the answer to such a problem. After applying a few slicks, the same peppermint tingling made it seem like the product was working its magic, but after the sensation went away, my lips just felt dry. I kept feeling like I needed to put some more on (which might be the business strategy, I don't really know), but honestly, it just didn't seem worth it.
I really want to love EOS lip balms. They look cool and Miley likes them, so that's really enough reason, right? I've used a few of their spheres before, and each time I've always been pretty happy with them. I like how the application of EOS sort of mimics applying lip balm directly with your fingers, and it seems like you just get a bit more product with each package. Moreover, I really love how most of their spheres are certified USDA organic.
That being said, however, this balm still was not the favorite. It lasted for quite a while, but the balm felt almost too thick, like it didn't hydrate my lips so much as add just a hint of moisture and then sit there. Other than the awesome packaging, there really wasn't anything too special about this lip balm — it wasn't the best, but it wasn't the worst either.
Overall, the winner was definitely the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Passion Fruit Nectar lip balm. Whereas the other balms failed to fulfill promises of "moisture" and "hydration," this all-natural product lives up to its sunny name, tricking my lips into thinking it's June. But even so, I don't know if I'll ever be able to cure the chapped lips that plague me every winter — miss one day of lip balm and everything jut dries out. However, armed with an arsenal of new products, I'm certainly not going down without a fight.
Images: Giphy; Author