BATTLE OF THE BALMS: Make Marine Salve, Abnomaly Petrowhat?, Peach & Lily KBeauty Rescue Balm
Ready for some salv-ation? 😉 Today I’m going to review three pretty closely-related products: Make Beauty’s Marine Salve, Deciem’s Abnomaly Petrowhat? and Peach & Lily’s KBeauty Rescue Balm. These all are marketed as multi-purpose balms that you can use on lips and other parts of your body to heal, moisturize, prevent chafing, etc. All of these are are on the skin care side of the balm spectrum (vs. makeup) — no tints, just unctuous gloop that is supposed to make things soothed and hydrated.
As in other ‘Battle of the Balms’ I’ll be looking at:
Deployment Mechanism: the main question here is 'do I have to get my finger dirty'? Preference is put on tubes that deploy product directly to your lips (no appendages involved).
Goo Effect: 'will my hair stick to this'? Points off for an overly sticky or tacky texture.
Hydration: 'will this chap my lips'? (Looking at you, Dior Glow!) Preference given to formulas that either actively seem to moisturize lips or leave them in the same state as pre-application.
Shade: 'is this a pleasant color'? A good tinted balm is one that gives you more life, not one that makes you look hypothermic. I also look for consistent deposits of color. Longevity isn't a concern, because I don't think it's fair to hold a product whose entire purpose is to to be sheer to the same standards as a regular lipstick in terms of staying-power. It's a balm, you'll have to re-apply!
Extra Benefits: 'does it have SPF? Can I use this as a lipstick primer? Can this layer over other lip products nicely'? Just the other little things that can make a lightweight lip product extra special.
Right off the bat: all three fail in the deployment mechanism department. These are just tubes with a screw-top cap, nothing fancy! I guess because these are multi-purpose this makes sense, but I still would prefer a taped tip so it’s easier to apply without using my fingers.
Also: as none of these have tint, I’m replacing Shade with Flavor — how do they taste?
Balm #1: Deceim’s Abnomaly Petrowhat?
Full disclosure: I love petroleum jelly. I slather it on my face in the winter as an overnight mask and have no problem with products that feature it as an ingredient. (It’s safe to use!) Petrowhat however, seems to be positioned as an ‘anti-petroleum’ product. I don’t endorse it for these reasons and I don’t think it’s even necessary for them to market this product this way, especially because you could just sell it with its ingredients (e.g. ‘Squalane-based balm!’ or something). Anyway, Deciem claims ingredients like squalane, amino-acids and baobab oil in the balm help repair and moisturize skin.
Goo Effect: 5/5
This is super lightweight and definitely ‘soaks’ in the best out of all the three. The texture is really odd and kind of hard to describe — it’s tacky and a bit sticky, but very thin. It absorbs fast, so it’s a nice product to use on cuticles or ‘rough bits’ like heels because you don’t have to worry about getting greasy paste on your clothing, appliances or significant other. I might be wrong in the actual chemical breakdown aspect of this, but in this sense, it’s definitely a moisturizer over an occlusive. In practical use I reach for Petrowhat when I want more serious moisture than lotion, but don’t want to deal with waxy smears on everything I touch.
The least hydrating of all of these. I picked up a tube in NYC when the weather had left my lips really chapped and dry and … I don’t know. I don’t think it really did much. It did sting, but that’s about it? I don’t think it dried my lips, it just didn’t hydrate them that much. I do think it’s better than nothing, so I am continuing to use it for my cuticles and heels before I go to bed, but I don’t think I’ll repurchase. (I don’t think I’ll even need to repurchase because I bought an additional two online when they first came out anyway!!! 😅)
Flavor: ?/5 … divisive.
I’ve tried ‘baobab’ (unflavored), ‘milk’ (coconut) and ‘rio’ (guava). They all have some kind of underlying taste which is sort of medicinal — I think it might be the baobab oil? The actual flavored ones are distinctive from one another, but I can’t decide if I like the taste or not. I’ve gone through periods where I love the coconut and hate the guava and vice versa — it’s so strange! Both are more like food flavors than perfume flavors, but also don’t really taste like the food either. Reviews on Reddit echo this mixed consensus of the flavors: a lot of people hate them, a lot of people like them, so YMMV.
Extra Benefits: 1/5
No SPF and not a great lipstick primer. If you put it on at least half and hour before you apply lipstick it’s ok, but I’ve used better.
Balm #2: Peach & Lily KBeauty Rescue Balm
Part of their new collection (which I hope to review soon! It’s all pretty great tbh) this is another ‘petroleum free’ salve that gets its moisturizing power from sunflower seed extract and ceramides. (Again with the petroleum hate! Why?)
Goo Effect: 3/5
More gooey than Petrowhat but not that gooey. Especially once you warm it up and massage it a bit, it gets a thickish oily texture. It’s really soft and smooth, and easy to spread around. On lips, your hair will stick but it’s easier to massage it in afterwards than it would be with say, Vaseline. It’s not sticky, just rich and oily. Very luxurious texture.
This is pretty nice stuff. It doesn’t sink in as fast as Petrowhat, but it definitely feels more moisturizing. I brought it with me on a flight and my lips survived without chapping (it was annoying constantly trying to find a napkin to wipe my fingers off on tho). It’s great on calluses and cuticles. I am scared it’s a bit too rich for my face-skin, so I haven’t tried it as an overnight mask but it does do a good job on my lips.
VERY medicinal and herbal. Definitely tastes, smells and feels like some kind of magic herbal ointment. It’s not as strong as Petrowhat so I think if you were turned off by the smell it wouldn’t be a dealbreaker.
Extra Benefits: 2/5
This is a good lipstick primer, as long as you let it sink in for a while. No SPF. It’s not shiny enough to wear as a cosmetic balm, but it’s good if you need to do some heavy lifting in the moisture department. At $28 it’s also prettttty expensive, so I’d shave off some points for that. You do get 50 ml though, which is significantly more than Make or Petrowhat so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Balm #3: Make Beauty Marine Salve
This has PETROLEUM in it!!! **dramatic music** Which I happen to think is one of its strengths! It has a petroleum base with some other oils like shea and olive. Make also says it has marine algae that eats free radicals or something but there is no SPF in this so don’t use it as your only defense against the sun! (I saw an Instagram post once of someone saying this and the Glossier sunscreen were their daily ‘wardrobe’ and well, the Marine Salve will not protect you against the sun! Algae does not equal SPF!)
Goo Effect: 2/5
Surprise! With petroleum as the first ingredient, this is definitely the stickiest. Your hair will be annoyed by this. Not a good product for cuticles areas that will touch clothing.
For me, this is the most hydrating of the bunch. If my lips are messed up, this is what I reach for as an overnight treatment. Personally, I think the petroleum really helps, because when combined with all of these oils it really locks everything in. It reminds me of the Cerave Ointment in that it is petroleum +! (Just much more portable and with chicer packaging). I carry this with me everywhere because it works so well and is just so versatile.
Very mellow, almost non existent.
Extra Benefits: 4/5
While it doesn’t have SPF, this works GREAT as a gloss. It’s my favorite gloss currently! It has a really great sheen and spreads easily on lips. My favorite summer look was to use Glossier Cloud Paint in Dawn as a lip stain and layer Make Marine Salve over it.
I wouldn’t use this as a lipstick primer, because it never really soaks in. That’s what makes it so great as a topper! I am consistently surprised and impressed by how shiny this stuff is — when I bought it I had no idea I’d use and love it so much. It seems relatively unimpressive, but is super awesome — definitely recommend!