We all keep, or at least try to keep, a tube of lip balm on our person at all times. Although, it’s a rarity to actually finish a stick of lip balm without losing it — whether it gets dropped, goes missing in the depths of a pocket in some pair of jeans, or you just buy so many little tubes that none of them ever wear down completely — it’s one of those things that always gets replaced, and is almost always stocked in your desk, car, purse, and pockets because no one wants to walk around with cracked, chapped lips.
Not only is lip balm the best tool for healing and soothing dry lips, but there’s an extensive list of little life hacks you can use your lip balm for. If you’re ever in a jam and all you have is lip balm, it can be the beauty equivalent of a swiss army knife if you follow these tips.
Protect Paper Cuts and Shaving Nicks
Pesky paper cuts and shaving nicks should ideally be stopped up and protected while the body naturally heals the wounds. If you’re in a pinch and don’t have a bandaid, you can achieve this by smoothing a thick lip balm over the cut.
However, this isn’t applicable for a deep cut that’s bleeding heavily. Anything more serious than a surface scratch requires adequate cleaning and wrapping, so don’t put yourself at risk of infection by trying to stitch a serious wound with your lip balm.
Avoid shaving nicks in the first place with these shaving tips for sensitive skin.
Dry, cracked cuticles are an unavoidable effect of washing your hands often and surviving through cold, winter months. If you can’t get an appointment for a manicure, use lip balm to soften and smooth your skin so you can prevent the pain that comes with peeling, split cuticles.
Hold your Brows in Place
If your brows are looking unruly and you’re more fond of a sleek, tamed brow, but you’ve run out of brow gel, substitute it for lip balm! Use your finger or apply directly from the tube onto your brows and comb through with a spooly brush or the wand from an empty brow gel.
Soothe Nose Irritation from a Cold
When the winter months roll around, you’re almost guaranteed to come down with a cold or at least a persistent runny nose. After constantly rubbing and blowing your nose, it can get dry and chapped along with the top of your lips. Use your lip balm like you normally would, and use a bit more around your nose to soothe the irritated, red skin.
Hydrate Dry Patches
If you choose products with simple ingredients, lip balm has a lot of the same ingredients as body lotion like the ultra-hydrating shea butter, so if you have a dry patch of skin, use some lip balm as a spot treatment.
Tame Frizz and Flyaways
While we recommend our leave-in conditioning mist for taming frizz on-the-go, if you find yourself with only a lip balm on hand, and flyaways flying free, rub some lip balm on your fingers and use it to smooth down rogue hairs.
Looking for a little more than just a lip balm? Our Leave-in Conditioning Mist is another great on-the-go essential.
Clean up makeup smudges - One of the most frustrating things that can happen in your morning routine is when you’ve finally finished applying eye makeup, and then accidentally get mascara on your eyelids. All that effort gone to waste! Lip balm can salvage your hard work. Wait until the mascara dries so it doesn’t smudge any further, and then use a little bit of lip balm on a cotton swab to rub off the smudge of mascara. A couple of touch ups of eye shadow, and your makeup will be flaw free.
Smudge your eyeliner - On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, if you want an intentionally smudged smokey eye, use a bit of lip balm on a clean finger or cotton swab and use it to smudge out your eyeliner for that perfectly imperfect grungy look.
Use it as glitter glue - Trying to pack on glitter for a fun new makeup look, but can’t get it to stick to your skin? Lip balm can act as an adhesive for your cosmetic glitter.
Add a dewy glow - If you want to add a quick glow to the high points of your face (cheekbones, nose, cupid’s bow) then you can highlight your features with a shimmery lip balm, but if you’re more fond of a natural looking highlight, a clear, non-tinted lip balm will give you a dewy, natural glow. A pink or red tinted lip balm can also double as a blush. Use your finger to lightly dab it on the apples of your cheeks for a gentle, flushed look.
Control Itchy Bug Bites
A lip balm, especially one that contains shea butter, can help calm the irritation and itchiness from a bug bite.
Fix a Stuck Zipper
Got a zipper that just won’t budge? If it doesn’t appear to be off track, your zipper may just need some slip. Apply lip balm around the zipper and wiggle, push, and pull until it budges.
Loosen a Tight Ring
Have you ever felt the instant fear when you try on someone else’s wedding ring and can’t get it off? Or even just dealt with puffy, bloated fingers after eating too much salt, and your rings are stuck? Your first instinct may be to reach for butter or oil, but save your butter for toast, and grease up your finger with lip balm instead. Rub the balm on your finger above and below the edges of the ring, and with a little bit of twisting, it should slip right off.
Protect Hairline from Hair Dye
If you’ve been dyeing your hair at home since it’s hard to secure a hair appointment nowadays, or you just prefer a DIY dye job, you’ve probably dealt with a stained hairline. You can either give it a couple days to wash away in the shower, and live with blotches of dye across your forehead and ears, or you can try this lip balm tip. Rub lip balm over your hairline and your ears to create a barrier between the dye and your skin. When you’re all done, the lip balm will wash right off, taking the dye with it.
Make Perfume Last Longer
Fragrance sticks better to moisture, so dab some unscented lip balm on your pulse points like your wrists, neck, and collarbones before spritzing on your perfume.
Choosing the Right Lip Balm
Since you’ll be using your lip balm anywhere and everywhere, you want to be even more cautious of the ingredients it contains. If you’re using lip balm to smudge your eyeliner, the last thing you want is the sting from a mint lip balm going in your eye, and if you’re using the long lasting perfume tip, a cherry lip balm will clash with your perfume. Smoothing a lip balm with fragrances, dyes, and mint on your skin (and your lips) can cause irritation and breakouts for those with sensitivities and allergies. Remember: fragrance and mint are two of the most common irritants that are commonly found in skin care and cosmetics.
Stick to a flavor free lip balm that uses naturally soothing ingredients like shea butter and cocoa butter for healthy, soft lips year round. Then, when you’re in a pinch, these tips and your lip balm can save the day.
While having an arsenal of personal care products is ideal for the best results for your self-care needs, sometimes all you have is a trusty tube of lip balm, and luckily it does a solid job stitching up so many of life’s little snags.