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Five Lip Balms For Soft Lips All Year Round

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Esther keeping her lips hydrated in between surfs in the Maldives

How often are our lips overlooked in the whole sun-protection scheme of things? When I was younger, feeling invincible thanks to youth and ignorance, I would romp in surf or snow for hours, without a second thought about preserving my lips. It wasn't until I suffered sun blisters on a boat trip in Southeast Asia that I wised up. Now I keep a stash of lip balms for day (with sun protection) and for night (with reparative powers). I also stay hydrated with water and coconut water to avoid the dreaded flaking that makes lip color impossible to wear. With a few, quick swipes throughout the day, these lips are safe to pout, pucker or smile without cracks or damage.

The MOR lip macaron ($10) comes in a variety of colors and flavors in tins that look like French macarons. Fun to carry and to wear, lip care never feels like a chore. But without sun protection, I use this one for hydrating my lips in dry climates.

The Marc Jacobs Beauty Lip Lock Moisture Balm ($24) absorbs quickly, leaving lips smooth and primed for even color application. And with SPF 18, it's a great option to tote around for day trips and for fun in the sun. This one also packs a minty punch so a little sniff before purchase is the best call for the mint-averse.

The Rosebud Salve ($6) by Rosebud Perfume Co. is an old standard for lip balms and a total cult-favorite. I use this one to treat skin irritations (like surf wax rashes) more often than I do to treat my lips. But when my lips are cracking from dehydration, I reach for this tin to reverse the damage. With such versatility, I never regret carting it around.

Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment with SPF 15 ($22.50) is the workhorse of lip balms by nourishing, protecting and plumping lips. It also comes in a variety of colors including clear. This is my everyday staple that I lean on for my pout's longevity. The only downside is the ingredient list that may include a suspect chemical or two. So be sure to check the label if you're ultra-sensitive to certain additives.

The EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm ($3.29) made a big comeback this summer with the help of Miley Cyrus and her music video full of twerking and these colorful spheres. Easy to pick up at local drugstores and fun to carry, this lip balm also offers broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection. But quick to wear off, be ready for constant reapplication, which may actually work to your advantage as an easy conversation starter about the packaging and its recent claim to fame.