When the weather takes a turn for the worse, visit this dry, physician cracked and chapped lips become increasingly widespread. Therefore, it’s never too early to take the preventative measure of stocking up on a quality lip balm. The sheer volume and variety of available choices can be a bit vexing, so we’ve cultivated the best of the balms.

fresh brown sugar lip polish all-natural lip primer exfoliant balm skincare 2011 beautyAn important, if not undervalued, product to integrate into your winter beauty regimen is a good lip primer or exfoliant. Slather or slough your lips with one of these to buff away any flakes before applying your balm. Primers can come in non-sticky lotion formulas (like Clinique All About Lips) or as mild scrubs. Fresh Brown Sugar Lip Polish, the end-all be-all of lip scrubs, is made with real brown sugar crystals, grapeseed oil, jojoba seed oil and Shea butter, and doesn’t contain any parabens, sulfates or synthetic dyes. To use, just take a pinch of the exfoliant and gently rub using your finger (or rub your lips together) until it’s completely dissolved.

As the adage goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kiehls lip balm 1 skincare beauty 2011— this certainly applies when considering the fact that two of the top lip balms are time-honored favorites. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 and Smith’s Rosebud Salve are classic best-sellers, and rightfully so. The former offers SPF 4, providing protection from the sun, and is formulated with Vitamins A and E, as well as natural emollients like Sweet Almond Oil. In it’s instantly recognizable tin container, Rosebud Salve is a multi-purpose wonder, as it relieves dry lips, heals irritation and soothes dry skin on the knees and elbows. In addition to the original formula, it’s available in minted rose and strawberry scents. Both of these picks earn points for their smooth, non-sticky consistencies, neutral tint and lasting power; whether you choose the Kiehl’s jar or the Smith’s tin, you should be well-equipped through the winter season and then some.

clinique repairwear intensive lip treatment lip balm beauty skincare 2011If the prospect of repeatedly sticking a digit into a container filled with amorphous gunk is less than appealing, there are stick and tube options that will put your everyday convenience store ChapStick to shame. Check out Caudalie’s lip conditioner, an eco-friendly option that packs a punch of potent, all-natural antioxidants and nutrients. It also offers the twofold benefit of protecting and hydrating dry lips, while also providing anti-aging benefits. Clinique Repairwear Intensive Lip Treatment is another excellent pick. In a sleek, silver tube resembling a lipstick container, its formula is gel-based but it doesn’t leave a waxy or goopy finish. Sonya Dakar Lip Juice SPF 15 in Peppymint also works wonders when it comes to healing, moisturizing and protecting winter-whipped lips, and its minty-fresh scent is tough to beat.

Proving that balm can in fact be butch, Jack Black Intense Therapyjack black intense therapy lip balm natural mint skincare beauty 2011 conditions and protects lips with SPF 25, as well as restorative and all-natural ingredients like Shea butter, avocado oil, Vitamin E and green tea. Just in time for the holidays, it’s also available in a stocking-stuffer ready deluxe pack, including four scents: Lemon & Chamomile, Natural Mint & Shea Butter, Shea Butter & Vitamin E, and Mango & Mandarin. They’re strong enough for a man, but..well, you know the rest. On the other hand, if a little color is what you crave, try Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment balm. In addition to the standard clear formula, it comes in Rosé (pinky rose), Plum (purple-tinted berry), Honey (warm nude), and Passion Fruit (crimson red), all of which are sheer, for a subtle wash of pigment that will enliven your lips while also hydrating them.

Looking for something slightly more regimented? Look no further than bliss Fabulips, a systematic four-pronged treatment touted as “a facial for your lips.” It perfects your pout with a foaming cleanser, a sugar lip scrub, an instant lip plumper and a softening lip balm. Once you’ve properly winter-proofed your pucker, you’ll be more than ready for your next rendezvous, be it underneath the mistletoe or otherwise.

by Gianna Froccaro