I just bought a tube of Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. The thought process and, subsequently the research, that took me to the point of purchase was circuitous to say the least (I obviously need to get out more), but led me to make a couple of interesting discoveries. One was that our smackers aren't like the rest of our skin. The other is that lip salve can be addictive (and not in a good way).

Lips contain no sebaceous (oil) glands, no sweat glands, nor pigment. They do contain lots of nerve endings, three to five very thin layers of skin and have blood vessels right near the surface. No wonder that they suffer such wear and tear.

I have long harbored a suspicion that lip balm is addictive. By which I mean that whenever I use one of those chap sticks or little tins of balm, I seem to be constantly applying it. It turns out that wax (particularly bees') is very drying and, hence, the more you use, the more you need. So rule number one of lip salve purchases is to choose one that is wax-free.

Jack Black's Intense Therapy Lip Balm has two sunscreens (apparently harmless ones) and shea butter, avocado oil, green tea and vitamin E. And that's it. Sold.

I rejected Pevonia Power Repair Youthful Lip Serum. It has retin, which seems to me to be at bit harsh for the lips. And there is nothing soothing, only glycerin and lubricant. Dr Hauschka's has lots of plant extracts, but also plenty of bees wax (several reviewers remarked on how drying it is).