Some Lip Balms Make Chapped Lips Worse—Here Are the Ingredients You Should Avoid

It’s officially lip balm season. Cold, dry weather conditions can make your lips chapped and cracked, so it’s a good idea to stock up on moisturizing ointments for winter. But before you go out and buy the first product you see, check the ingredients. Some products could end up drying out your lips even more and perpetuating the cycle (especially if you overuse them). Here are a few tips for keeping your chapped lips in check this season:

1. Avoid lip balms with salicylic acid.

This ingredient, which is found in some acne medicines, helps remove dead skin cells and soften your lips. However, it may also irritate your skin and cause inflammation and dryness over time, as New York-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Refinery29.

2. Stay away from phenol, menthol, and camphor.

These are a few other common ingredients that Dr. Zeichner suggests avoiding. They can cause dryness in the long run, even if they seem to be helping at first. “Yes, they soothe immediately, but in the long term may be irritating to the lips,” Zeichner said.

3. Ditch the fragrance.

This might be a tough one for lovers of minty and fruity-smelling balms, but fragrances can irritate your lips—especially if you already have sensitive skin. "Many people actually have allergies or other reactions to fragrances that are put in lip balms to make them smell and taste a little better, and those are really the cause of most of the irritant reactions,” Dr. Diane Madfes, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Dermatology, told Prevention magazine. If your lips are severely chapped, try switching to a non-scented lip balm to see if it makes a difference.

4. Balance out drying agents with oils and butters.

Many lip balms contain humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, which means they remove moisture from your lips if they’re not offset by an occlusive agent, which prevents the loss of moisture. So, as dermatologist Leslie Baumann, MD points out to StyleCaster, if you see either of these ingredients in a lip balm, make sure it also contains an occlusive agent such as beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, mineral oil, petrolatum, or squalene.

Celebrate the Holidays With the 2020 Harry Potter Funko Pop Advent Calendar


Though the main book series and movie franchise are long over, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter remains in the spotlight as one of the most popular properties in pop-culture. The folks at Funko definitely know this, and every year the company releases a new Advent calendar based on the popular series so fans can count down to the holidays with their favorite characters.

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Right now, you can pre-order the 2020 edition of Funko's popular Harry Potter Advent calendar, and if you do it through Amazon, you'll even get it on sale for 33 percent off, bringing the price down from $60 to just $40.

Funko Pop!/Amazon

Over the course of the holiday season, the Advent calendar allows you to count down the days until Christmas, starting on December 1, by opening one of the tiny, numbered doors on the appropriate day. Each door is filled with a surprise Pocket Pop! figurine—but outside of the trio of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, the company isn't revealing who you'll be getting just yet.

Calendars will start shipping on October 15, but if you want a head start, go to Amazon to pre-order yours at a discount.

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Turn Your Couch or Bed Into an Office With This Comfortable Lap Desk


If you're not working in an office right now, you'll understand the freedom of taking a Zoom meeting from your back porch, jotting down notes from your bed, and filling out spreadsheets from your sofa. But working from home isn't always as comfortable as everyone thinks it is, especially if you're trying to get through the day while balancing a notebook, computer, and stationery on your lap. To give you the space you need while maintaining your well-earned place on the couch, LapGear has the perfect solution to your problems with their lap desk, which you can find on Amazon for $35.

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With more than 6000 reviews and a 4.8-star rating on Amazon, the lap desk can fit laptops and tablets up to 15.6 inches across and includes an integrated 5-inch-by-9-inch mouse pad and cell phone slot for better organization. There's even a ledge built into the desk to help keep your device from sliding when you're at an angle.

For some added comfort, the bottom of the desk is designed with dual-bolster cushions, so you'll never have to feel a hot laptop on your thighs again. The top surface is available in various colors like white marble ($30), silver carbon ($35), and oak woodgrain ($35) to work with your design aesthetic.

Find out more about LapGear’s lap desk here on Amazon.

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