Beauty Files: Beyond basic lipbalms

Dec 19 2017, 9:05 pm

Lipbalms to suit every taste and budget: these promise to repair and soothe chapped, flaking and cracked skin.

Often, one of the first signs that autumn has turned to winter is a tingling, stinging sensation in our lips that has us scrabbling through unused bags and tissue-filled pockets to find last year’s lipbalm. Lips get dry in winter because of low humidity, plus the fact that lip skin is thin, delicate and has no oil or sweat glands. Moisturizers that you use on your face and body simply aren’t heavy enough to hydrate and protect lips, and petroleum-jelly-based products are greasy. What you need is a good lipbalm: Here are five to try.

Maybelline Baby Lips

I have dozens of lipbalms, but this is the one I reach for most. It offers long-lasting hydration, thanks to botanical ingredients and vitamins, and has SPF 15. It looks good too. There’s no boring clinical packaging, instead, it’s a graffiti-inspired tube. It comes in multiple flavours, and is cheap enough to buy several and not be fussed if you lose one.

$4.99, at pharmacies and mass-market retailers
Maybelline Baby Lips Crystal Lip Balm Group Shot

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La Mer The Lip Balm

Yes, it is basically deranged to spend $60 on a small pot of lipbalm. And yet, and yet… I once bought some at the airport before boarding a 13-hour flight. At check-in, my lips were so dry and cracked that they were actually bleeding. By the time we landed, they were comfortable and soft once more, in spite of the dry plane air. Besides that, the balm smells minty and amazing, has a rich, but non-greasy texture, and comes in a luxurious silver-topped pot.

$60, at Holt Renfrew and Nordstrom
Clients|La Mer

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Carmex Lip Balm

I love everything about this, from the price, to the menthol smell and tingle when I apply it. When I have a cold and the skin around my nose is red raw, I use this to soothe and moisturize. It’s also great on cuticles. If you’re not keen on the pot, it comes as a squeezable version.

From $2.99, pharmacies and mass-market retailers

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Benefit’s Benetint is a dark red liquid stain that was created in the 1970s to pink up the nipples of an exotic dancer, but is now more commonly used on lips and cheeks. It’s fantastic for giving you Snow White cherry lips and a sweet flush, and the colour stays forever, but it does emphasize flakiness and dry skin. This year, the brand launched a lipbalm version and it’s lovely. Often tinted balms given you neither enough colour nor moisture, but this one is great at both – super pigmented and packed with moisturizing mango butter and hydrating hyaluronic acid. The colour doesn’t last long, but if you use the originally Benetint first and then apply Benebalm over, you get the best of both worlds. It comes in three other shades. 

$22, at Sephora and



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Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment

If all else fails and I don’t want to splurge on La Mer, I break out the Superbalm. It’s seriously heavy duty – able to deal with extreme dryness, cracks and flakes, fast. It’s glossy, not sticky, so it looks great over lipstick. Apply it before bed so it can do its stuff overnight, then wake up to softer, smoother lips.

$18, at Clinique counters and 
Superbalm - Int'l

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Feature image: Jeany Schmidt/Flickr

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