That brings me to another dilemma: Truly hydrating the lips takes a special kind of formula, one that I had yet to find. Many of the standard lip balms I test include cooling ingredients–like menthol, camphor, and peppermint–for a soothing sensation, but these can evaporate quickly and lead to more dryness down the road. Similarly, salves that only include humectants (which effectively draw water into your thirsty lips) can easily evaporate without any occlusives to trap in the moisture, which also leaves your lips drier than they were before.
A winning lip balm needs an array of humectants, emollients, and occlusives–so it can pull in water, build up the skin barrier, and trap in all that precious moisture–without any potential irritants for sensitive lips. And mindbodygreen’s lip balm trumps on all fronts. Hyaluronic acid helps plump the lips with moisture, like how a dry sponge instantly rises underwater; we chose sodium hyaluronate (a salt form of HA), as it has a low molecular weight and can penetrate even deeper into the skin.
For the emollients, you’ll find shea and cocoa seed butters to smooth out any cracked, rough areas. There’s moringa seed oil to feed your skin barrier with antioxidants and fatty acids, thus keeping the lips supple. And, finally, sunflower seed wax provides a protective barrier over the skin without a too-sticky texture. Not only is it a high-quality vegan alternative to beeswax, but sunflower seed wax also leaves a very slight glaze on your pout for the perfect satin-like finish.
When I uncap the tube and glide it on, it smooths on oh-so-effortlessly. Our beauty director Alexandra Engler described the application like “wrapping yourself in a cashmere blanket,” and honestly? I couldn’t agree more: It’s like this lip balm has a luxurious thread count of 1,000.
But back to the million-dollar question: Does it work? Since testing this balm, my lips feel comfortable and nourished–and without any irresistible flakes for me to tear off, I’ve noticed my picking habit actually start to ebb. This lack of self-surgery coupled with the balm’s natural skin-softening abilities have allowed my lips to truly heal. Never before has the skin felt so plush, supple, and even.