Dry lips, please meet nipple cream.
Most people associate them with winter, but for me, at least, chapped lips are a year-round concern. Salt water, UV rays, and air conditioning always seem to dry out my pout just as much as winter’s low humidity and freezing temps, if not more so—which means I’m constantly on the lookout for hero products that will lock in moisture once and for all.
If, like me, your lips are chronically chapped and regular balms aren’t doing the trick, you might want to turn to an unlikely source: nipple cream.
“Nipple creams are super-hydrating,” says New York City dermatologist Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules. “You only have to dab a small amount to get your lips fully covered, and it doesn’t just sit on top of your lips, but penetrates it.”
Since the main purpose of these creams is to soothe the nipples of breastfeeding moms, they’re completely safe to have near your mouth. The formulas are usually clear with a thick consistency that’s heavier than Vaseline, Dr. Jaliman adds.
Here, three ultra moisturizing nipple creams that double as the best lip balm you’ve ever tried.
• Lansinoh Breastfeeding Salve ($9; amazon.com). Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness recently shared a photo of this lanolin salve on Instagram, revealing that both he and co-star Tan France use it. Dr. Jaliman is also a fan: “Many lactation consultants recommend 100% lanolin nipple creams such as this one,” she tells us. And if that didn’t already convince you, the bestselling product also boasts more than 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon.
• Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm ($15; amazon.com). This ultra-rich formula (which also contains pure lanolin) is a personal favorite of mine. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way—dab on the tiniest pea-sized amount at night, and wake up to the super-soft lips of your dreams the next morning.
• Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter ($8; amazon.com). Although 100% lanolin creams are usually recommended—the ingredient, comprised of a combination of lipids, is great for skin, Dr. Jaliman says—it’s not uncommon to be allergic to it. Those with a lanolin allergy can still reap nipple cream’s ultra-moisturizing benefits, though. Dr. Jaliman recommends this plant-based formula from Earth Mama; it’s lanolin- and petroleum-free, made with organic calendula and oils.