The 17 Best Lip Balms for Dry, Chapped Lips

Isotretinoin, also commonly known as Accutane, is not for the faint of heart. One of the most aggressive acne treatments available, although highly effective, taking this prescription comes with a host of side effects. That was the case for me, after undergoing two rounds of the medication to treat my persistent cystic acne. After months on isotretinoin, virtually every pore of your body shrinks to dried up pockets of flaky, moisture-deprived skin. As someone who has battled with excessively oily skin since childhood, I enjoyed the temporary reprieve from pools of oil collecting on my face, however, my lips did not.

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

In conjunction with the dry, cold weather, my lips were on an uphill battle towards proper hydration. It only took a few weeks after taking isotretinoin to realize that lip balms were going to be a huge necessity. It wasn’t before long that I amassed an arsenal of them–hiding in every nook and cranny of my office, apartment, and handbags. Needless to say, I became an experienced purveyor of lip balms, and finally, here I’m writing them all down. Ahead, see the best of the best balms that completely transformed my cracked, parched lips.


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