The problem of chapped lips isn’t exactly anything new. In fact, it’s said that the pioneers used earwax to ease their dry lips.
It wasn’t until the 1880’s that the first, official lip balm entered the picture.
These days, it has unfortunately come to be regarded as a women’s product, leaving men out in the cold, wishing for a solution to their painfully dehydrated skin.
Dry lips don’t discriminate, and neither should chapsticks and lip balms.
With all their swagger and straightforward brunt here’s a guide to the lip balms that have been created to fix that problem.
What is Lip Balm
Made to protect your lips from the elements and guard it against dryness and cracks, lip balm is a topical product that’s applied frequently to lock in moisture, often called as “chapstick”.
Often similar in consistency to top beard balms, it usually contains hydrating elements, SPF for sun protection, essential oils and vitamins.
Benefits of Using Lip Balm
At the end of the day, even the manliest of men probably want lips that are soft and kissable.
Besides leaving your skin hydrated and healthy, there’s a whole slew of benefits to owning a quality lip balm product.
Here are a couple advantages that will have you adding lip products to your skincare itinerary.
Let’s face it: cracked, aging skin is never going to be in style. Whether you’re a woman or a man, younger is always sexier.
On top of using the best eye cream to reduce wrinkles as well as applying top anti-aging cream for men, incorporating a hydrating lip balm into your regimen helps keep skin moisturized, plump and healthy.
Your lips are the most painful place for a sunburn.
Often used by professional skiers, surfers, and Antarctic explorers, lip balm is essential for anyone wishing to protect the delicate skin of their lips from severe conditions.
If your lips have already suffered cracks and breakage, you’ll want the help of a styptic pencil to keep the skin from getting infected.
Ideally, you’ll guard your lips against ever needing one by protecting it from the sun and cold with a quality SPF lip balm.
The benefits of moisturization are endless. A proper hydration regimen can leave your skin healthier, more attractive, softer to touch, and more youthful.
While a lip balm alone can’t deliver all the moisture your face needs, you do need it to achieve an overall, hydrated and healthy look.
Applying facial lotion can do a lot to fight of dryness, but the skin on your lips is uniquely delicate.
It requires the specialized formula of a balm or chapstick to stay in top-notch shape.
For such a small area of the body, it’s surprising how much pain and irritation can stem from just the lips.
For already damaged, dry and cracked lips, lip balm can provide immediate relief.
Because many products also include essential oils and vitamins, they also help boost your body’s natural repair process, so your skin can quickly recover back to being healthy and hydrated.
Types of Lip Balm
While some of the biggest determining factors of each product are consistency, appearance, and ingredients, the shape of the container is ultimately what defines one type of lip balm from the next.
While they can come in all shapes and sizes, these are the three main types on the market today.
The stick is the classic, go-to applicator for lip balm.
Since the creation of the traditional brand, Chapstick, sticks have been considered the iconic, a most recognizable and most popular option for lip moisturization.
The downfall? Many men find that their tubular appearance looks too much like lipstick.
Appearances set aside, the balms that come in stick form are usually easy to conceal and carry and are great for protecting against cold, dry conditions.
Much like toothpaste, tube containers for lip balm work by applying pressure to the end, which allows the product to squeeze out of a hole in the tip.
A little bit more “medical” in their appearance compared to stick applicators, they are a moderately discreet solution.
These products usually capitalize on hydration and immediate relief for irritated lips.
However, they frequently come accompanied with a light sheen or wetness that ends up bothering some men, as it can look a bit like lip gloss.
Tins are compact, often attractive alternatives for containing lip balm.
These products are generally waxier in thickness and are applied by swiping a finger over the surface area of the product and massaging it lightly into the lips’ skin.
For those macho men who are self-conscious of using lip balms in the stick or squeeze form because they’re too reminiscent of women’s lipstick, this is a great alternative.
How To Choose the Best Lip Balm
Generally, it’s what’s inside that counts the most, but when it comes to lip products, many men really prioritize the container type.
Why? Some product containers come in fashionable tins or practical tubes, but others come too close for comfort in appearance to lipstick.
If you’re concerned about looking girly, go with a tin-contained product. If you’re unconcerned, any of the three container types should suit your needs.
Nothing sucks more than sunburnt lips. For that reason, all lip balms should include a decent sun protection factor (popularly referred to as SPF).
Ideally, it will include both UVB and UVA protection.
However, selecting a product that’s going to shield you from the sun doesn’t necessarily mean picking one with the highest SPF. In the case of lip balms and sun protection, a little goes a long way.
Because lip balms are applied more frequently than the average sunscreen, you should be safe buying a product with a lower SPF.
If you’re looking for a manly, neutral lip balm, you’re probably after something with little or no scent.
This is just as well, as many products which contain artificially scented elements also have strange and sometimes harmful chemicals as a consequence.
For men who do want a little bit of aroma for their lip care products, there are balms that come in manlier scents such as mojito or even peppermint–just be sure the product’s smell is coming from all-natural, harmless ingredients.
Best Lip Balm Ingredients
When it comes to lip balms, the wrong ingredients aren’t just ineffective, they can actually actively make your lip situation worse.
Some products provide initial relief but strip your skin of its long-term hydrating capabilities.
This makes low-quality lip products addictive and helps companies perpetuate use by increasing need.
If you think this sounds just about as deceiving and back-handed as it gets, you’re right.
To avoid these addictive lip balms and ensure you’re purchasing a quality product, make sure you stick to quality ingredients.
Ingredients To Avoid
As a common base ingredient in petrol in diesel oil, it’s a wonder that anyone thinks putting petroleum in a skincare product is a good idea.
Because of its thick, gooey substance, lip balms containing petroleum prevent your skin from breathing.
They might provide temporary relief but can cause long-term damage to the balance of your skin’s oils.
If you’ve done any research on quality skin care products, you already they’re the bad guys of the world of skin care ingredients.
These are processed preservatives that disrupt the endocrine system. If that’s not enough, they’ve also been directly linked to cancer.
Needless to say, avoid them at all costs in all products from bar soaps for men to any body moisturizer.
Ingredients To Look For
Lanolin is a common star ingredient of many of the best skin care products for men.
Sourced naturally from sheep’s wool, it works wonders to prevent dry, itchy skin and reduce irritation.
Because of its natural exfoliating properties, sugar is a great ingredient to look for in lip balms.
It gently scrubs off dead skin that can otherwise clean to lips, especially in winter months.
This helps to renew and rejuvenate your skin to keep it hydrated and healthy.
For a little added bonus in any skin care product, natural oils add protection and nourishment.
Some of the most effective and popular oils to keep your eyes peeled for may include coconut, avocado, hemp, almond, or sunflower oil.
Known for repairing and hydrating, vitamin E is a great, natural addition to any lip balm ingredients list.
However, be warned: if dryness or irritation persists or worsens after using a product rich in Vitamin E, you may be one of the many who are allergic to it.
Your grandma always swore on the health benefits of green tea. It turns out she was right.
While it may not be the piping fountain of youth, green tea in skin products can help reduce inflammation and gently reinvigorate by removing dead skin.
How To Use and Apply Best Lip Balm
Most lip balms have a straightforward, single-step application process.
Afterall, they are meant to provide quick relief and protection in a moment’s notice.
While all products have easy application processes, the exact method you’ll need to use will depend entirely on what type of product you’ve purchased.
For stick lip balms, you’ll want to uncap the product and glide it over your lips, pressing lightly.
Depending on the thickness of your product and your desired level of protection, you can either apply it to the bottom lip alone, or to both the top and the bottom.
After application, rub your lips together, allowing the product to be gently massaged into your skin.
The application of tube lip balm is very similar to that of its stick competitors.
By squeezing gently at the bottom of the casing, you’ll want to ease the product out of the tube and glide it across your lips.
Alternatively, instead of applying the balm directly to the lip, you can squeeze some onto your finger and transfer it to your lips.
Because tube lip balm is generally softer and creamier in nature, do this slowly. You’ll probably also want to apply it primarily to the bottom lip, as over-application is a frequent problem for inexperienced users.
Then, rub the lips together, doing your best not to smudge or smear the product too far past your lip line.
Meanwhile, tin lip balms have a slightly different application process.
After unscrewing or uncapping the lid, run your finger lightly over the surface of the wax, being careful not to get too much.
Then, glide your finger over the lips as desired. As with the other balm types, proceed to rub your lips together, allowing the product to penetrate your skin for deeper hydration.
How Often Should You Apply It
Lip balm can be used as-needed. There’s no general limit on how often you can apply it but be warned: the goal of these products is ultimately to hydrate and moisturize skin.
If you find yourself tempted to apply and reapply product on an increasingly frequent basis, you might want to consider the brand you’re using.
As stated previously, low-quality lip balms with questionable ingredients often provide immediate relief.
However, they ultimately rob your skin of its ability to hydrate at all. If you find yourself “addicted” to any lip product, switch it up and go for a more natural, organic option.
Like a lip balm, many products such as hairspray, lotion and face masks, are traditionally marketed to women, but just as useful for men.
We’ve all needed, at some point in life, the relieving aid of a good lip balm or chapstick.
It’s possible that most of your experiences with similar products have been merely sneaky pinches from the purses of the women in your life.
Thankfully, you no longer need to dodge bubblegum-scented products or deceivingly red-tinted shades that women’s lip products often have.
You don’t have to play lip-product roulette anymore when it comes to lip hydration.
Now, you can buy lip balms and chapsticks made specifically for men.
Photos from: [email protected] / depositphotos.com, de-kay / depositphotos.com,
- What is Lip Balm
- Benefits of Using Lip Balm
- Types of Lip Balm
- How To Choose the Best Lip Balm
- Best Lip Balm Ingredients
- Ingredients To Avoid
- Ingredients To Look For
- How To Use and Apply Best Lip Balm
- How Often Should You Apply It