It's balm season

New formulas for face, hair, eyes, and more

Balms are some of the best skin- and hair-nourishing products you can find—especially in the cold, dry winter months. They shield you from environmental factors (like sun, wind, and cold) as well as pollutants, while simultaneously fortifying cells and restoring moisture.

“Balms can have consistencies ranging anywhere from a liquid to a solid and are tailored to a specific purpose,” says board-certified dermatologist Jennifer S. Kitchin, based in Harrison, New York. In other words, you’re unlikely to achieve the desired result if you apply the same balm to your lips, hair, face, and eyes. Each of the five below, from skincare brands that have thoughtfully considered their ingredients, has its own unique use case.

healing: doctor rogers restore healing balm

Many “healing” balms—for cuts, dry patches, and the like—are petroleum-based. “Petroleum jelly doesn’t contain any healing or nourishing factors and it might actually trap bacteria or other pathogens that can be found on our skin,” says Kitchin. Instead of petroleum, this balm uses three hypoallergenic, plant-based ingredients: Castor seed oil and wax protect the skin while hydrating it with fatty oils and glycerin pulls moisture to the surface to help heal.
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hair: scotch porter hair balm

You can use this hair balm in place of a heavy gel or pomade, or as a more absorbent alternative to wax. Three ingredients—marshmallow root, agave nectar, and broccoli seed oil—work together to improve the texture and definition of hair without weighing it down. This balm also has a slight shine and a peppercorn, citrus, and woody scent that lingers like a fragrance in your hair all day.
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beard: northern fir quality beard balm

This balm employs essential oils like juniper berry, cedarwood, and sandalwood to strengthen and condition a healthy beard. “Using a lightweight balm will not only help to control the hair, but it will also help to heal the effects of exposure to pollution, the sun, and other irritants that lead to dryness and damage,” says Kitchin.
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eyes: l:a bruket 168 cottonseed eye balm

“The skin around our eyes [and on our eyelids] is very thin and delicate, and therefore more susceptible to the damaging effects of the environment and other chemicals that we are exposed to on a daily basis,” Kitchin says. “An eye balm serves to protect the skin, as well as prevent and treat long-term photoaging.” This one contains hydrating cottonseed oil and babassu seed oil. Blueberry extract strengthens the capillaries, which in turn reduces dark circles, while cucumber extract combats swelling.
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face: kora organics noni glow face balm

This face balm from Miranda Kerr’s organic skincare line can go on top of makeup for a dewy finish, as well as under or sans makeup. It combines coconut and rosehip oils (which both contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) with extracts of calendula, a flower rich in flavonoids, and noni fruit, a superfood that has over 100 vitamins and minerals, making it a suitable seasonal swap for your go-to summer moisturizer.
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