dry skin

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms

Beauty Series: My Favorite Lip Balms | Writing Between Pauses

It's here: the final part of my beauty series on my favorite lipsticks. (To read all the past posts, click here.) 

When I first started planning this series, I knew I wanted to include lip balms. Balm, to me, is a crucial part of wearing lipstick, especially liquid lips: You have to put moisture back in, especially if you're wearing a more drying formula. 

I am somewhat naturally suspicious of most lip balms. Not to throw out a conspiracy theory, but I genuinely believe many popular lip balms actually dry your lips. Standard Chapstick? DRYING. Carmex? Extremely DRYING! Traditional Burt's Bees? Drying. Why? All of these usually contain peppermint oil of some form. Have you ever seen peppermint oil? It's drying; it's a drying agent; it dries out your lips! There is a difference between a sealant and moisturizer; things like Carmex provide a physical seal on your lips, but contain ingredients that further dry out the skin, forcing you to put it on more regularly to feel like your lips have any moisture at all. 

I'm just saying: read ingredients carefully. And if you feel like you need lip balm to have any moisture in your lips, then stop using whatever you're using. I have noticed this in particular with EOS lip balms as well. This is my PSA and the hill I will die on! 

When it comes to these lip balms, these are just my favorites; they are moisturizing without having drying agents to trick me; they smell good; and they feel good. That's my list of criteria! Let's dive in. 

Favorite Lip Balms

1. Burt's Bees Ginger Spice

This is technically a limited edition, Christmas scent... but it's my absolute favorite. (You can see all the flavors of Burt's Bees here, but be warned: check the ingredients for peppermint!) I keep this lip balm in my kitchen to use as I'm cooking or tending to Forrest. Burt's Bees is one of the most used lip balms out there and they've definitely diversified in recent years. This scent is spicy and sweet (without being cloying). Forrest especially enjoys getting some put on! 

2. Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm

I use this lip balm every morning before I put on my make up. I rinse my face and then take my face brush to my lips to lightly exfoliate, then put on a thick layer of Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm. As I do my makeup, it sinks in and I wipe off the excess before putting on lipstick for the day. It smells so good and feels so nice on. It is lightly rosy too, so if I wear it plain, it gives a little bit of color. A little tub is quite expensive ($7!), but it has lasted me well over 18 months. 

3. Ulta Beauty Glossy Balm

I received this Glossy Balm in the Ulta Beauty 12 Days of Calendar (read my review here) and, as I said at the time, finding a similar or comparative product was difficult. And such a bummer because I love this balm. It's one of my favorites for when I'm just as home, working and taking photos, and need to look good... but don't want to go all out. It's a lovely, sheer berry color. The Ulta Beauty Butter Balm Glossy in Poppsy is similar, and Ulta does have an SPF lip balm here. I'm on the hunt for dupes! 

4. Skyn Iceland Berry Lip Fix

Skyn recently rebranded, so the tube no longer looks like the one I have. (I have to say, it's a great rebrand.) Skyn is a vegan, cruelty-free company, which makes me love it even more. This berry lip fix is my go to right before bed; a thick layer after my skincare routine and I'm snuggling up in bed. It feels so good on the lips and doesn't leave a cast (my nemesis), plus it smells really refreshing. I received it in my November Ipsy bag, but plan to repurchase soon! 

5. Preventative Measures 101 After Hours Lip Balm

I received this lip balm in my January Ipsy bag and it's recently become one of my fast favorites. I tend to think of my lip balms by where I store them; this is my "work" lip balm because I keep it right beside my keyboard! I love that it smells of passionfruit (without being too strong) and contains ingredients like jojoba and fruit antioxidants. 

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness

How I'm Handling Late Winter Dryness | Writing Between Pauses

The past winter has been a really difficult one for me, skin-wise. While I've gotten a handle on my acne, I've started to get, well, really dry. There is no other way to say it: my skin has been dry. Really cold temperatures combined with nightly fires in our wood stove to heat our house and it's a recipe for dry patches. My scalp has been the absolute worst; nothing works on how dry it is, but alas, that's another story. 

I sleep with a humidifier every night, which definitely helps, but at a certain point, you have to put moisture back in to your skin. If you're struggling with severe dryness at the end of this winter (spring, and rain, and moisture, is coming--I believe it!), here are the 4 things that have drawn me back from the precipice of "I guess I'm just a scaly monster now".  

1. Pacifica Kale Luxe Moisturizer + jojoba oil

I bought this moisturizer in a rush while I was in Idaho for Christmas. I hadn't wanted to pack my bottle of jojoba oil and, at the last minute, I froze when it came to moisturizer. So I didn't pack anything. Bad plan. Very bad plan. Idaho is notoriously dry and it was very, very cold while I was there (it snowed!). Needless to say, I was dry without hours of arriving in Idaho, so Danny and I ran to Target. I settled on this moisturizer and I have to say, it was serendipitous. 

I am a total believer that jojoba is the supreme moisturizer for my skin. But in the morning, before I put on makeup, I don't really want to coat my face in oil. This moisturizer, cut with a dollop of SPF and two or three drops of jojoba oil, feels absolutely perfect. It keeps my skin soft and non-greasy, even with SPF. It smells quite strongly of kale, which at first bothered me, but doesn't now. It just feels so good! I usually get severe dry patches on my cheeks starting in January and February... none so far! Truly a Christmas miracle.  

2. Dove Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm*

When Dove sent me this Dry Skin Relief Repairing Balm, I wondered how I would work it into my skincare routine. I am a pretty solid supporter of Vaseline Cocoa Butter for my evening lotion (sometimes cut with a scented lotion for additional soothing). However, once I tested this out one night, I was hooked. It's less like a lotion and more like a more solid petroleum jelly. The first time I used it, I coated my feet and ankles (the part of my body I struggle with dry, ashy spots), put on socks, and called it a night. The next morning, my feet felt so soft

I now mix a healthy dollop with a pretty good sized dollop of either cocoa butter or Bath & Body Works aromatherapy lotion. It has helped keep my elbows and knees from getting too dry, and my knuckles from cracking. Danny has pretty bad psoriasis and eczema and he's been using it too, to amazing results. 

3. Dove Advanced Care Deodorant* 

At first, I wondered if I should include deodorant in this post--but it's such a bit part of my life, I had to. I struggle with anxiety sweating, to the point where I am almost always sweating out of one armpit, which is quite embarrassing. As a result, I've used some pretty intense deodorants/antiperspirants throughout the years. I always return to Dove. Why? You might ask. 

Because deodorants dry out the skin around my armpit like crazy. I had been using another brand before Dove sent me this deodorant and had developed pretty large patches of dry, flaky skin on the underside of my arm, as well as onto my chest--basically, anywhere that deodorant residue touched, my skin was sapped of moisture. Within a few days of switching to Dove, those spots had definitely reduced in size and severity. Two weeks later and they're completely gone. So if you, like me, struggle with deodorants and antiperspirants causing bad dryness, Dove is the way to go! 

4. Lush Shower Bars 

I love, love, love hot showers. Unabashedly. I am that person in boiling hot water, wondering why my skin is so dry afterward. However, ever since I started using the Strawberry Fields Forever shower bar from Lush, I feel a little less bad about it. As I said in my review recently, this shower bar is basically soap and oil; I use it on my dryest spots to help keep them from getting dry throughout the day. If you struggle with dry skin, especially on your arms and legs, I highly recommend these bars. As well, I think they'd be perfect for pregnancy and using on stretch marks! 

*Disclosure: as usual, an asterisk (*) next to an item indicates that I received it as a sample, for review, or in PR. In this case, I received these items from PR at Dove, but all opinions remain my own. I genuinely love them! To learn more about my disclosure policy, click here