There are few things more repellent for your long-suffering partners than puckering up to a set of chapped lips every day.

Dry, cracked skin isn’t the greatest of turn-ons, so why not give your significant other a break and start caring for your pout by throwing away your grotty container of petroleum jelly and replacing it with a good quality lip balm? But coming in a variety of containers, tubes and flavours, which should you be buying? Fear not – Guy Style Guide is here to help!

So let’s get started with the most basic question…

“Okay, so what should I be buying?”

There are such a wide range of lip balms available nowadays that choosing the right one can be a mind-blowing task. However, there are three key factors you should bring to the forefront of your mind when selecting a ‘chapstick’:

Nourishment & repair – make sure your choice consists of fortifying and/or protective agents. Many cheaper balms feature inert, oily bases; these may provide relief in the short term, but before long your lips are going to become dry and start looking unattractively waxy because the delicate skin underneath can’t breathe. Instead, invest in a top quality emollient with a natural base (e.g. shea butter) that can penetrate the skin, leaving your lips soft and full.

Fragrance – nothing’s worse than walking into a boardroom stinking of coconuts or wild cherries. Find an odor-free variety if possible or, if you must insist on a flavored balm, something with clean aromatic properties like mint or vanilla.

SPFshield your lips from those damaging UVA/UVB rays with a decent sun blocking agent. Most good products should start out around SPF 5, but some balms have been known to include protection as high as SPF 50.

“How should I use my balm?”

Put simply: sparingly, but often.

You need enough of the product to coat your lips without them becoming too shiny: you don’t want to present the illusion you’ve just applied lip-gloss, do you?! Re-apply your balm when necessary, or as directed on the packaging.

“…I feel so girly putting it on though…”

You needn’t feel effeminate applying balm, but if you do have a sudden Freudian moment pressing the retractable stick to your lips, why not consider a brand with an alternative applicator?

There are plenty of products you can apply directly with your fingers, and even a few that come complete with tiny brushes (similar to those found in bottles of correcting fluid) to paint the balm over the surface of your lips.

If all else fails, you can always slip into your nearest bathroom cubical; at least that way you’ll be the only one to know…

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.

2 Responses

  1. Brian

    Informative article. I wish you would include some product recommendations. I’ve gone through the gauntlet of drugstore options with little or no success.

    • Johnathan

      While I’m reluctant to recommend brands that I haven’t tried personally, I’ve always found Neutrogena’s range of lip balms to work especially well:

      Firstly, they’re not too expensive which is always a good thing, especially in these global economic times.
      Secondly, they come in a lighter cream format as well as the heavier balms; a great alternative for those who don’t like that ‘waxy’ texture on their lips.
      Lastly, most of the creams come in tubes that can be squeezed like toothpaste – therefore, you don’t have to worry about the girly ‘lipstick effect’, plus it’s a lot more hygienic than repeatedly rubbing the same wax-like stick over your mouth.