Luxury doesn't have to mean a Chloé bag under the tree. Often, the ultimate expressions of it are simple, everyday items that are made with extra care, packaged with attention to detail, or just feel better to use. Can you find cheaper versions of these dream products? Sure. But, the experience makes the splurge worth the indulgence.
Take the humble tube of lip balm. The simple salve needn’t cost a lot. And, an effective balm ranks alongside your cell phone as a top must-have, phantom-limb item. While our lips are equipped with glands that constantly moisturize, those glands often lose the hydration battle when radiator heat, dry weather, and cold winds come into play.
“The lips are really resilient in the sense that they sustain a lot of movement and are constantly going from wet to dry," says Chris Adigun, MD, a North Carolina-based dermatologist. "But, in the winter months, they can’t keep up with the wet-dry fluctuation, on top of dry air and cold temperatures, and it becomes difficult to maintain hydration. Once your skin gets very dry, it takes just a little bit of stress and they become very susceptible to cracks.”
To help your lips stay supple, Dr. Adigun says you need a product that will serve as a protective barrier against moisture loss and the elements. Dr. Adigun points to barrier-protecting emollients, like petrolatum, dimethicone, and wax-based products, as well as ingredients that can make a balm less gritty in consistency, like coconut and olive oils.
Balms, at any price point, are well-equipped to fight dry and cracked lips. But, as the seasonal shopping, dealing with family, and general getting-around conditions become considerably more complex thanks to the weather, it’s nice to experience a heavenly scent, chic design, or richer formula.
Here are our favorite luxe balms to treat yourself with this season.