Beauty Throwdown: Battle Imported Multitasking Balms
Multipurpose salves are top of mind for most beauty fiends, but few carry the cache of Homeoplasmine. The French pharmacy staple that was originally developed as a nipple cream for breast-feeding mothers has become a cult-favorite balm for everything from chapped lips and cracked elbows to diaper rash and dry cuticles. The fact that it is touted by fashion’s favorite face painters—and regularly spotted behind the scenes at fashion week—certainly hasn’t hurt the traveling tale of its supremacy. But across the channel in London, another nipple cream has become the discerning shopper’s do-it-all skin saver of choice: That’d be Dr. Lipp’s original balm, which conveniently just launched at Sephora. Which one reigns supreme? Read on below.
The Original: We were first tipped off to Homeoplasmine by makeup artist Tom Pecheux, who told us that his celebrity clients are always asking him to bring back a bounty of the stuff as souvenirs from Paris. After watching him use it backstage at shows from Doo.Ri and Peter Som to Marni and Balmain, we made acquiring our own a top priority when we started covering the shows in Paris. Part of the product’s appeal is its pared-down, pharmaceutical-grade graphic design and old-school squeezable aluminum packaging. But it’s what’s inside that counts—and the clear, unscented balm is amazingly adept at relieving dry skin on contact. There is a major con, though, in that it’s extremely hard to come by stateside, save for at the well-stocked niche local drugstore.
The Challenger: Dr. Lipp’s incarnation possesses a similarly clear, unscented formula that also happens to be 100 percent natural, boasting medical grade sheep’s wool lanolin. The British brand has upped the ante in the packaging department, though, sporting a flashy, Sephora-fied design. The mini dark gray tube with hot pink accents is more easily totable—and reliable than the French mainstay, which can easily bend in the wrong places and ultimately leak.
The Bottom Line: Both are hypoallergenic, versatile ways to treat a laundry list of ailments. But our loyalties still lie with Homeoplasmine (and its nostalgic aluminum tube), which spreads a little easier and leaves a slightly less sticky finish than Dr. Lipp’s. That said, until it too turns up at Sephora, or a similarly accessible beauty emporium, we have full intentions of stocking up on Dr. Lipp’s while we wait for the next round of European shows to commence.