There are reasons why you're applying lip balm 10,000 times a day—and why your lips are *still* chapped! Soft lips are actually pretty easy once you know what to look for.More
If you find yourself reaching for your balm several times an hour, the problem may be your lip balm, namely that it is formulated to make you do that. Certain chemicals used in many popular brands dry out your lips—on purpose. "The more you apply, the drier you get," says dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler. "Then you use more, and then you have to buy more." If your favorite balm contains phenol, formaldehyde, or camphor, kiss it goodbye.
Vaseline Lip Therapy Original, $2, target.com.
Allergic reactions to cosmetics are pretty common, Wechsler says. But how can you tell if your dryness and irritation are caused by an allergy and not run-of-the-mill dehydration? "A little mild irritation or dryness will not extend to the skin around lips," she says. On the other hand, "if you're having an allergic reaction to something, it will almost always spread to the skin around the lips in an itchy rash."
The solution? Throw that balm away immediately, remove it from your lips with something gentle, and switch to something natural.
Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm, $29, clinique.com.