Chapped lips aren't a sexy look, but I care more about relieving the extreme pain that comes with the territory. Realistically, I have no control over the temperature or air quality of my office, so keeping a solid lip balm on me at all times is equally as important as piling on heavy layers on a snowy day. While lip balm is the solution to keeping flaky, cracked lips under control, what makes a balm good is highly subjective. There's tinted, thick, medicated, or sheer. And then there's the whole debate over tube, stick, or pot.
But for me, a good lip balm is one with a thick, creamy texture that absorbs into lips without making them feel even more parched than a gust of cold wind. The formula also has to be free of any irritating scents and "soothing" ingredients like menthol, which can dry the hell out of lips and make you need to reapply it more often. But I've finally found one that meets all of my needs.
Lano Lips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Balm is the best lip balm I've ever tried. It offers instant, extreme hydration to my dry lips, plus has a shiny — not greasy — finish. On top of moisturizing lips, the dense ointment can be used on other dry spots of the body, like cracked cuticles. I've also tried it on seasonal skin struggles other than my lips, and let me tell you, it works. When I had the sniffles for a month last winter, I managed to avoid getting a raw, inflamed nose by massaging a dab of Lano Lips around my nasal passage every night.
It can even be mixed with foundation or lipstick to give your products a dewy or satin finish, or on your eyebrows in lieu of brow gel. Considering all of its uses, you get a lot of bang out of the $17 tube.
What makes this product even better is the fact that the balm is made from a 100% natural formula that doesn't contain sulfates, parabens, mineral oils, pertroleum, silicone, and artifical fragrances. It is, however, not vegan. The balm's hero ingredient is lanolin, a wax that's the by-product of sheep wool washing, and sourced following cruelty-free practices. And this wax is exactly what makes the balm so effective. It holds up to 400 times its weight in moisture, and is scientifically proven to be the closest ingredient to lipids in human skin. To sum it up: lanolin hydrates skin and seals in moisture better than most moisturizing ingredients commonly found in lip balms.
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And while its unparalleled hydration is what's made it my go-to lip balm for wintertime, I keep a tube of it in my bag year-round. A dab of it on my cheekbones and eyelids give my skin that elusive lit-from-within dewy texture I'm always chasing.