How To Soften Your Lips– Do Lip Balms Really Work?

Skin on the lips is very sensitive to environmental factors like the temperature, wind, moisture and sun damage.

Especially in winter, where the season for dry, chapped lips is seen almost everywhere. This is why most people carry a balm on their pouches to avoid the nasty peeling, bleeding and large painful cracks on the lips. But, do lip balms actually work? 

The short answer is — NO. 

Well, it really isn’t at all useless. It depends on the situation. When your lips are dried off and a bit cracked, using lip balms may really help in adding moisture and improve its condition. 

But if you are using it in an uncontrollable habit, your lip balm may not be really doing any work for you, rather than it could make the lip situation worse.

Lip balms help with your irritated, cracked lips,
but not doing any work when your lips are just fine

So, why do people use lip balm?

Lip Balm Benefits 

Lip skin is much thinner than the rest of your body. Making it more susceptible and prone to damage.


 These balms help protect your lips from getting it dry and flaky. And, avoid lip skin cracking to the point it even bleeds. 

A good lip balm will help relieve this unpleasant feeling while giving a supple, soft and glossy look to your natural lips. 

Brightens Lips

Lip balms help the skin of the lips exfoliate dead skin cells. This will help regenerate new skin making it appear brighter and lessens unwanted pigmentation

Protects Lips from the Sun

Some balms have included sunscreen properties that would greatly help shield lips from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Constant exposure to sun without protection will ultimately lead to hyperpigmentation and dryness.

Just be sure to know and be careful of its disadvantages.  Here’s why.

What ingredients do lip balms have and what to look out for?

Petroleum jelly is the most common ingredient you can find in lip balms. It is sometimes named as petrolatum in the ingredients list, depending on what  naming style the manufacturer’s opt.  This main ingredient seals in moisture and helps build a protective barrier in preventing dryness.

soft lip balms

Other brands prefer to use beeswax as an alternative to petroleum jelly. This is a natural emulsifier that keeps moisture up to the inside layers of the skin in the lips. This is safer compared to petroleum jelly because it will unlikely cause allergic reactions. 

Lip balms also include Honey, Shea or Cocoa Butter, Lanolin, Tocopherol (Vitamin E) and sunscreen property ingredients. These all help for the maintenance of good lip skin and help seal in moisture temporarily. Sunscreen (Zinc oxide and Titanium dioxide) helps in the shielding of the lip from the harsh UV rays of the sun that makes our lips vulnerable if it is unprotected.

While this sounds so promising, there are also ingredients in lip balms you should look out for.

Better to avoid lip balms with fragrances added to its ingredient list. Yes, it could be pleasing to your nose, but not for your lips. Fragrance irritates the skin barrier within your lips causing more dryness and irritation. Not the thing we want if we aim for soft lips. 

You should also look out for camphor, phenol and menthol. Though it gives a cooling, tingling

sensation to the lips, it may cause contact dermatitis. Flavoring additives is also an irritant.

Just keep in mind that anything you put on your lips gets reabsorbed by the skin or ends up in your mouth. Be sure to really check out the ingredients list.

What I recommend

Cliganic Organic 6 Flavor Lip Balm Set

What I Like About This

  • Gluten-free, Paraben-free, Phthalates-free and Petrochemical-free 
  • USDA Certified Organic for being 100% organic
  • 6 Flavors in One Set
  • Hypoallergenic

What I Don’t Like About This 

  • Because of its organic nature, it tends to go off a lot faster when you are not using it 
  • A bit waxy on the feeling and a little fragrance is included

Aquaphor Lip Repair

What I Like About This

  • Paraben-free and Fragrance-free
  • Clinically proven to relieve dryness and heal cracked lips
  • Dermatologist recommended

What I Don’t Like About This

  • Moisturizing effect does not last long

O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair Balm Stick

What I Like About This

  • Has an SPF 35 protecting the lips in sun exposure
  • Provides instant relief and an all day moisture 
  • Water resistance technology for 80 minutes 

What I Don’t Like About This

  • Not hypoallergenic 
  • Product is mentholated

Is it safe to use lip balm every day?

Lip balms are still safe to use everyday. But keep in mind to stay in moderation. Applying lip balms should be down to a minimum at an average.

Dermatologists believe overusing lip balms will make your life dependent upon it.

Some dermatologists believe that the overuse of these balms could leave you feeling dependent on using it, especially when your lips are just fine and not appearing flaky with cracks.

Once the moisture evaporates, it will then create an uncomfortable dry feeling making you want to apply even more. 

Some people are even addicted to using lip balms every now and then, not knowing this causes more harm than good. 

Over usage could cause your lip skin to stop producing natural oils, halting the physiological process of producing natural oils in helping moisturize the lips. With daily usage, lips could become drier and drier. 

Regardless of these warnings, there is no study that lip balms are harmful and could cause serious dangerous adverse effects.

Can you be addicted to lip balm?

Yes. Lip balm addiction is a thing and it exists. They are even called lip balm-aholics. Gor hooked on these lip products, buying tons of it, and constantly thinking for the next fix.

No doubt that balm gives off moisture and creates an immediate relief of softness to your lips once you apply it. But once it whereofs, it would then create a feeling of dry and dullness. Once it feels dry again, it triggers a person to apply lip balm again, even if it is unnecessary.

Although, lip balms do not have any addicting ingredient like nicotine. The sole feeling of getting dry lip skin will push a person to apply multiple times a day.

Key Takeaways

It is safe to use lip balms every day but keep in moderation. Do not use it countless times in a day, it would cause more harm than good.

Be sure to know what you are applying on your lips. Check the ingredients list and see if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed. Few and simple is a good way to go.

Lip balms are a great temporary alternative to giving moisture to your dry and cracked lips. Avoid licking your lips. Saliva will strip off their natural moisture. 

Always hydrate yourself. Nothing beats with regular hydration. It will help your lips and your body. Thank me later! 

Let’s learn more. See you in the next one!