Accutane destroyed my lips, but these lip balms brought them back to life

Isotretinoin, also known as Accutane, is not for the faint of heart. One of the most aggressive acne treatments available, although very effective, taking this prescription comes with many side effects. This was the case for me, after undergoing two rounds of medication to treat my persistent cystic acne. After months on isotretinoin, virtually every pore in your body shrinks into parched pockets of scaly, moisture-deprived skin. As a person who has struggled with excessively oily skin since childhood, I have enjoyed the temporary respite from the puddles of oil that accumulated on my face, but not my lips.

By its nature, isotretinoin (also a potent retinoid) creates a dry environment all over the body by shrinking the sebaceous glands and reducing the production of sebum. As a result, one of the most notorious side effects is extremely dry and chapped lips. As I also had the pleasure of taking the meds during the winter months (I say this in the most sarcastic way possible), these issues manifested themselves in two ways in my case.

In conjunction with the dry, cold weather, my lips were in an uphill battle for proper hydration. It only took a few weeks after taking isotretinoin to realize that lip balms were going to be a huge necessity. It didn’t take long for me to accumulate an arsenal of them, hidden in every nook and cranny of my office, apartment, and purses. Needless to say, I have become an experienced supplier of lip balms, and finally, here I am writing them all down. Coming up, check out the best of the best balms that have completely transformed my chapped and parched lips.

Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter ($ 7)

First, Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter. The company’s cream version is a must-have for cold-weather skin, so of course on my lip balm hunt this was the first one I bought. It’s incredibly hydrating and I love how affordable it is. Best of all, it’s made from all-natural ingredients.

Beauty first aid Ultra repairing lip treatment ($ 12)

There is an almost cult status surrounding this lip balm, which made me see for myself what it was all about. After several months of aggressively brushing this off my lips, I can assure you that the praise is warranted. It’s a simple lip balm in that it won’t give you a shiny finish or deposit any color, but sometimes all you want is a balm that just does its job and nourishes your scaly lips.

Nivea Moisturizing Lip Care, Pack of 3 ($ 8)

My holy grail, I like to use it as a smoothing basecoat for liquid lipsticks or lipsticks. Wearing something matte is like a death wish for isotretinoin affected lips due to dryness, but I have found it not entirely impossible after a coat to prep my lips. It’s not greasy as far as it shows through the matte finish. You can also pick up a three-pack for under $ 10 – for me that’s a win.

Sisley Paris Nutritious Extreme Comfort Lip Balm ($ 76)

Welcome to candle-ness in a jar. I’m sure you are wondering if $ 76 for a lip treatment is really worth it, but if you feel free to drop piles on your skincare, Sisley’s lip balm is definitely worth it. investment. As the name suggests, it is ideal for emergencies; when your lips are so cracked you start to taste blood. It’s a disgusting situation, but when I went there it was my savior.

Aquaphora Repairing lip ointment ($ 4)

Really an oldie, but a goodie. I don’t remember exactly how I ended up with this-maybe i pawned it on my mother– but he’s my little sidekick when I need intense immediate relief. Just a warning: it won’t leave your lips wet for long periods of time, but for the price, I don’t mind keeping it in stock as a backup.

Dior Addict Lip Glow Reviving Lip Balm ($ 34)

If you want to splurge a bit, I highly suggest Dior Lip Glow. I had my reservations – I thought such an exquisite lip balm couldn’t deliver hydration – but to my shock, this balm made it to my top five picks. It earns bonus points for not being greasy or waxy, and I love the way it glides like butter. This is my favorite when I’m looking for color without piling on a plethora of products.

Lano L’Original 101 Multi-Purpose Superbalm Ointment ($ 14)

Marketed as “The World’s Best Lip Balm”, Lanolips boldly claims the title of “Superbalm”. Made from lanolin, a natural oil derived from the sebaceous glands of sheep, you can technically use it as a multi-purpose balm for your whole body. Is this the best lip balm I have ever tried? No, but it certainly came in handy when I forgot my hand lotion in the car or needed to treat my dry hands quickly. However, after continued use, I felt a noticeable difference in the smoothness of my lips.

Cultured Alchemist Lip balm Antioxidant Complex + 3 ($ 29)

Grown Alchemist, everything smells wonderfully soothing and intoxicating, and it’s no different when it comes to this balm. Every time I applied it was like a personal home spa experience. My boyfriend grabbed this balm, which you might very well consider as an endorsement. I also appreciate that it’s stored in a jar for easy access.

Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment ($ 15)

Like First Aid’s Lip Repair, there was also a lot of hype around it. I was already a fan of the Fresh sugar balm line before my isotretinoin treatment, but found them a bit lacking when it came to relieving my dry and newly affected lips. I found the Advanced Therapy version to be much more hydrating than its predecessors. The only downside? It tends to soften very quickly, so after long term use the stick breaks.

Kiehl’s since 1851 Lip balm # 1 ($ 10)

Think of this as a more sophisticated version of Aquaphor. Its consistency is similar to petroleum jelly, so just be prepared for a gooey texture when applying. When my lips were particularly cracked, I often turned to ointments like this to help seal in the moisture.

By Terry Rose Balm ($ 60)

Also on the candle side of the spectrum, By Terry’s pink lip balm is another cult favorite that caught my eye. Formulated with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid, it’s an ideal hydrating follow-up to an exfoliating lip scrub. I could instantly feel the long-lasting softening effect on my lips and kept it fervently on my bedside table.

Mario badescu Lip balm ($ 8)

When I come out of First Aid Beauty’s lip therapy, I often turn to this. Packed with coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and almond oil, I consider this to be a solid type of balm for every day. After application, you will feel immediate hydration, but for very dry lips, be aware that you will likely need to reapply several times a day.

The snow Lips Sleep Mask ($ 22)

Here’s a product that doesn’t need much of an introduction: If you’ve ever researched lip treatments, you are already familiar with Laniege’s coveted lip sleep mask. It has become a bit of a joke that my former colleagues have this mask on each of their desks in the office. It transformed my lips in their most chapped and cracked moments, especially after starting to apply it every night as the last step in my skin care routine.

Innislibre My lip balm ($ 10)

If you like the smell of tea, you will appreciate this scent. I could sniff this all day, it’s so good, but most of all I loved the subtle touch of color that seemed to liven up my lips. This is the one you will need to reapply regularly throughout the day, but with a smell like this I really don’t mind.

Tatcha Kissus Lip Mask ($ 28)

The newest addition to my lip balm line, Tatcha’s approach to lip masks, has really impressed me so far. Despite the end of my acne meds, I still have chapped lip breakouts, and with constant use it has helped me tremendously. Another plus is its glossy plumping effect. As a gloss lover, I am convinced.

More shiny Dotcom Balm ($ 12)

Similar to Lanolips, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom uses lanolin in addition to castor oil and beeswax to provide a trio of moisturizing ingredients. I like to keep this one in my bag for those “just in case” times.

Glamglow Poutmud wet lip balm ($ 18)

Every day I continually curse the beauty gods for letting go of the Poutmud of Glamglow. First of all it’s super shiny so if you don’t like it you might want to give this one a pass, however after slipping it on I guarantee your lips will have look deceptively plump. It won’t cure chapped lips on its own, but I highly recommend it as a colored add-on to a more hydrating balm. Despite that, it’s one of my favorites on this list.

To come up, The 17 investment skin care products I buy in 2021.

This article originally appeared on Who what to wear

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About Sally Dominguez

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