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Posted by 12.14.09

PHOTO CREDIT: amazon.com

PHOTO CREDIT: amazon.com

Tonight I am thinking about spending my dreidel loot on lip balms that have attained iconic status.  Their packaging has become visual shorthand for “good stuff.”  They dwell at the bottom of every it bag, grace the lips of fashionistas, celebrities and everyday ladies.  But do they really work?

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 works magic on weather-beaten lips with key ingredients cottonseed oil and Octinoxate/Octyl Methoxycinnimate, which delivers SPF 4 protection.  Since Lip Balm #1 debuted 40 years ago Kiehl’s has trotted out numerous variations on the theme including scented and tinted versions, but plain old #1 remains their bestseller, which comes as no surprise given its $6.50 price tag, great textures and excellent results.  File under weird: I get much better results with Kiehl’s in a tube than I do with Kiehl’s #1 in a jar.

Recently TWA gave Smith’s Rosebud Salve a try and loved it.  I’m a sucker for its gorgeous vintage packaging and amazing fragrance.  Rosebud Salve has a history as rich as its texture, as the flagship product of the Rosebud Perfume Company which was founded in 1895.  Its applications go far beyond lip conditioning, as an aid for chapped skin, diaper rash and dry elbows.  Like Kiehl’s, Smith’s main ingredient is cottonseed oil in a petroleum base.  A pretty little tin retails for $6.

I couldn’t possibly spend eight nights talking about lip care products without mentioning ChapStick.  Like Smith’s ChapStick’s history dates back to the 1800s, and Cherry Chapstick has one of the most distinctive scents around.  The classic provides SPF4, and ingredients include camphor, lanolin, mineral oil and white wax from bees.  I can do without the animal products, and at the end of the day the smell-o-riffic nostalgia isn’t enough to keep Chapstick in rotation for me.  At $2 a tube I can do better.  In a pinch, I’d sooner borrow a smidge of my son’s Aquaphor.

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