Did you know that your lips do not have oil glands? Because of this, it’s very important to make sure they are properly protected when you plan on being outdoors in harsh weather or wind. As you probably know already not all lip products are created equal.
When looking for a lip protectant you want a product to have emollients with rich oils and butters such as shea butter, lanolin, or cocoa butter. There will usually be a wax but avoid products that are mostly wax as they do very little to provide emollient to the lips.
I use waxes in my lip butters because I like using specialty oils that are known to moisturize the skin such as tamanu, pumpkin seed, and cranberry seed oil. The oils, when combined with butters will not form a balm so wax is needed to thicken the product. Also waxes help with the duration the product stays on the lips and with moisture retention. I like using just enough to firm up the product but it leaves a nice creamy buttery feeling on the lips.
An important item to take note of is what flavoring ingredient the lip product contains. If it has camphor, menthol, or peppermint avoid it. Many of the medicated type lip products contain some or all of them and those ingredients in a lip product cause skin irritation which will keep lips from healing and keep them feeling chapped. I don’t make peppermint type lip products for that reason. There’s nothing worse than reaching for a product you believe to be helping your skin and it does the exact opposite.
If you have chronic irritated lips due to over use of medicated lip products, I highly recommend talking to your doctor. Several years back, my doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory ointment that I applied to my lips a couple times per day and after a week or so, my lips were healed and back to normal. On advice of my doctor, stay away from medicated lip products! Now I use lip balm only when they feel dry or I plan on being outdoors for more than a few hours and I have happy healthy lips that don’t need constant slathering to feel good.