Loading up on lip balm is pretty standard this time of year. Chilly temps and harsh wind can leave our lips drier than ever, so it’s crucial to understand what ingredients will be the most effective against seasonal stressors. Instead of just masking the problem with temporary relief, find fixes that contain key ingredients known to actually stop dehydration in its tracks. Read on for our experts’ recommendations of what to look for in a lip balm.

1. Hyaluronic Acid: If you want to balance out the moisture levels in your lips instead of just spot treating them with hydration on the surface level, this ingredient is crucial. “Having hyaluronic acid as an ingredient in a lip balm will increase moisture by 1,000 times its weight in water,” says Michigan-based medical esthetician Holly CutlerCalifornia-based dermatologist Anna Guanche agrees about the power of “nature’s moisturizer,” which is a naturally occurring carbohydrate in all of us. “It attracts moisture and seals it in, so it’s wonderful for the lips,” Guanche says. A roll-on hydrator like TWELVE BEAUTY Hyaluroil Lip Treatment ($39) will instantly quench your kisser thanks to encapsulated hyaluronic acid. 

2. Vitamin E: Break out a product with vitamin E to help heal cracks and rough patches while eliminating flakes and areas of extreme dryness. “Vitamin E is oil-soluble and an antioxidant healing agent used to condition dry skin and lips,” Cutler explains. It’s gentle enough to heal active wounds (like a painful split) but will still work wonders on day-to-day maintenance. Turn to an option like The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Care Stick SPF 15 ($4), which provides daily protection while calming down irritation from chapping. 

3. Beeswax: Long-lasting treatment that stays put is important if you want to keep your pout silky smooth, so look for beeswax in the ingredient list. “Beeswax holds moisture in and locks the balm down on your lips for a long time,” says Guanche. “It’s a great ingredient to look for if you need constant hydration.” Swipe on a natural balm like FARMACY Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm ($10) to soothe, soften, and treat dry, flaky lips.

4. SPF: It’s no secret that daily SPF for the skin is non-negotiable, but the same should apply to your lips. “If you choose a lip balm with SPF, you are ahead of the game,” says Guanche. Not only will it protect your pout from getting a painful, dehydrating sunburn, but it helps keep your lips looking their best. “Using a balm with an SPF of at least 15 can prevent lips from becoming pale and losing distinct borders over time,” she says. A daily application of COOLA Liplux SPF 30 ($12) will prevent damage while providing a nourishing treatment.

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