These Unconventional Moisturizers Work Wonders on Dry, Sensitive Lips


We all know the uncomfortable feeling of having dry, chapped lips. Your lips are flaky, and rubbing them together can make it feel like you’re going to accidentally start a fire. Sometimes they feel drier than a Popeye’s biscuit (and though you may risk the Saharan desert-like dryness for a delicious treat, the same can’t be said for your lips). In those instances, most of us reach for our trusted lip product to restore moisture. 

But, unfortunately, sometimes lip balms are not enough and can potentially be irritating to sensitive skin types, according to New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist Shereene Idriss, MD. For this installment of the Allure Skinfluencer video series, she recommends a few fragrance-free moisturizers that are perfect for sensitive-skinned folk — and they aren’t your typical lip balms

Meet the experts: 

  • Ginger King, a New Jersey-based cosmetic chemist with over 15 years of experience creating hair and skin-care products as well as color cosmetics.
  • Shereene Idriss, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City who specializes in facial aesthetics and rejuvenation.

The very first product she suggests is familiar to many of us: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. “This baby is great for your lips and even your undereyes,” she shares while swiping the translucent jelly on her undereyes. The multipurpose moisturizer has been smoothed on chapped lips, slathered on faces before bedtime (also known as slugging), and even used to remove makeup. She also notes that it’s the most occlusive of the bunch, which means it creates a protective layer over the skin.

Another favorite is Aquaphor, which is basically petroleum jelly and lanolin, she says. However, Dr. Idriss prefers Lanosinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream — yes you read that right, put nipple cream on your lips — because it contains 100 percent modified lanolin, which is a wool alcohol derivative. However, cosmetic chemist Ginger King notes that although lanolin is highly emollient, it can be irritating to some. Despite that, the nipple cream is actually a very popular option for moisturizing lips, which people have noted in reviews and on Reddit

Next up is Boiron Homeoplasmine Ointment. “If you’re feeling French, Homeoplasmine has [petroleum jelly] plus calendula, which has some anti-inflammatory products that help with skin healing,” she explains. That’s not the only French product in this lineup. She enjoys Biafine Emulsion Tube Cream, which she dubs a”personal French favorite,” because it contains sodium alginate, which “has directly been proven to help with wound healing.” She notes that she has personally used it to treat wind burns. 

Boiron Homeoplasmine Ointment

Biafine Emulsion Tube Cream

The very last recommendation is Bepanthen Ointment, which is a cream typically used to treat nappy rashes on babies. “Never underestimate a nappy cream loaded in panthenol for lipid production,” she shares while slathering the chalk-white product on her lips. Panthenol, which is also known as pro-vitamin B5, helps retain moisture, according to King.


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