Chapped lips can be a problem for many of us, because of too much sun, not drinking enough water or habitual licking. For those of us who love matte liquid lipsticks, the situation can be worse as long-wear formulas tend to suck all the moisture out of your puckers, leaving already dry, flaky lips even worse for wear. And when you apply matte lipsticks every day, for weeks on end, the result can be less than pretty.
But that’s where we come in – through a long journey of trial and error over the years, we’ve put together a list of must-have balms guaranteed to keep your lips soft and luscious. Some of them are drugstore favourites, while others are a little more fancy. But whatever the price point, you can be sure that all of them will get the job done. Now, all you have to do is to decide which ones to buy.
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Levres Barrier Repairing Balm, $16.90 from Lazada
Photo: La Roche-Posay
Like the rest of the products in La Roche-Posay’s popular Cicaplast line, this is great for soothing sensitive, irritated and cracked skin. It’s infused with madecassoside (hence the “cica” in the product name), 5 percent panthenol (vitamin B5) and 10 percent shea butter to moisturise. The formula forms a comfortable film over your lips to protect it from the elements. It’s fragrance- and paraben-free, and is suitable for use on both adults and children.
Nivea Fruity Shine Cherry lip balm, $4.50 from Watsons
You can always count on Nivea for reliable and affordable lip care products. Did you know that they’re apparently the #1 lip care brand in South Korea? No surprise, considering the fact that various members of South Korean boyband BTS are often spotted using the brand’s cherry-flavoured lip balm. This one carries a sheer red tint and just the slightest hint of shimmer, making it a perfect choice if you ever want to do a no-makeup makeup look.
DHC Lip Cream, $17.90 from Watsons
Don’t be misled by the product name – although it’s called a “lip cream”, the product comes in a stick form. It’s infused with the brand’s signature olive oil, as well as lanolin, ginseng root, aloe extract, beeswax and squalene. There’s no added fragrance, although you do get a faint whiff of olive oil when it’s first applied. The product is included in the “Hall of Fame” on Cosme, the largest and most influential online beauty community in Japan. You can use the product both under and over lipstick, and it has a non-sticky finish.
Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15, $36 from Sephora
Fresh’s best-selling tinted lip balm contains real sugar, which attracts and binds water molecules to your skin. It also has meadowfoam and blackcurrant oils (amongst a litany of other botanical oils) to keep skin supple, vitamins C and E to fight free radicals from UV exposure and pollution, as well as a natural wash of colour to liven up your lips.
Rosebud Perfume Company Rosebud Salve, $18 from Sephora
Photo: Rosebud Perfume Company
You can’t go wrong with a formula that’s been around for about 127 years, can you? This beloved balm regularly pops up on lists of beauty must-haves and no wonder — it comes in a charmingly quaint tin, smells like a rose-scented dream, and is great for softening skin. Besides using it on your lips, you can also apply it to your cuticles, dry patches of skin and minor burns. Do note that the main ingredient is surgical grade white petrolatum, however.
Dior Lip Glow, $50 from Sephora and Dior counters
Want to feel real fancy in a jiffy? Swipe this colour-changing lip balm from Dior on to your lips. The original formula transforms into a soft, rosy shade the moment it comes into contact with your skin. There are also holographic and matte versions, but we will always have a soft spot for the OG.
Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm, $18 from Sephora
Photo: Burt's Bees
Burt’s Bees is known for its beeswax-based lip balms. We’re partial to this tinted version, especially on days where we feel like going with the least amount of makeup possible, but still want to look alive and presentable. Besides beeswax, the formula also contains a blend of botanical oils and waxes to nourish and soften skin.
Origins Blooming Sheer Lip Balm, $33 from Sephora
The Origins Blooming Sheer Lip Balms look like lipsticks, and come in beautiful tubes adorned with floral motifs. The balms are made with real crushed flower petals, floral waxes, flower honeys and essential oils. The darker shades (especially Night Bloom) may look intimidatingly intense in the tube, but are actually appealingly transparent on your lips, leaving just a delicate wash of colour.