I Found My Favorite Lip Balm On My Dad's Vanity

On the spectrum of things one can inherit from parents — a trust fund! diamonds! thick hair that never ever tangles or poofs out in humidity! — callused hands, smelly feet, and cracked skin fall very, very low in terms of desirability. And yet, my father seems to have passed all those on to me.

While I currently win for the best all-around beauty collection, he's spent decades building up an arsenal of creams, lotions, and ointments that soothe anything, all of which sit atop his vanity. With the temperatures much colder here by the Northeast coast, my lips went Code Red as soon as I went home for the holidays and, of course, I didn't pack anything to treat them. I scoured the house for lip scrubs, balms, or expensive formulas I left behind, but came up short. So I snuck into my dad's sanctuary where I found the secret fix: Aquaphor.

Boring, you say, and I hear you. You've probably been looking at the stuff your whole life — in drugstore aisles and your grandma's cabinet — but this tube has stuck around for a reason. The formula inside really does cure just about any skin irritation — from fresh laser wounds to rough heels to flaking lips. The petroleum and panthenol locks in the hydration, glycerin draws in more moisture, and bisabolol soothes and calms. Not only that, it also doubles as Zendaya’s favorite highlighter, and has quickly become my go-to gloss. Because when you find a product this functional, you don't miss any of the frills.

Aquaphor
Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment, $8.96, available at Walmart.
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