Top 38 Best Japanese Lip Balms to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 38 Best Japanese Lip Balms to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

If eyes are the windows to your soul, your lips are the shape to its voice. They’re worth taking good care of, especially because they’re tender and prone to aging, just like the rest of your skin. And in Japan, as in America, lip balm is cheap and plentiful, so you’ve plenty of choices–choices between brands, as well as between medicated, tinted, or organic balms.

So which balms are worth your money and which aren’t? To answer that question, we ordered the 38 most popular lip balms from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following:

  1. Hydration
  2. Application

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese lip balms.

Table of Contents

How to Choose Japanese Lip Balm – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a Japanese lip balm.

① Choose Only after You’ve Learned the Differences Between Drugs, OTC Drugs, and Cosmetics

In Japan, lip balm can be considered a drug, an OTC drug (also known as quasi-drug), or a cosmetic. They’re governed by rules that are quite similar to the ones laid out by the FDA and quite intuitive–let’s go over them.

Drugs: Repairs Heavily Irritated or Chapped Lips

Drugs: Repairs Heavily Irritated or Chapped Lips

Lip balms that are drugs※1 will have ingredients that repair severely chapped and irritated lips. Their main purpose is healing–that is, changing something about your body–so you should think of this kind of balm as medicine, rather than basic skincare. If your lips are really in poor condition, then consult with a specialist about what kind medication would be right for you.

※1 医薬品: drug

OTC Drugs: Prevents Chapping or Irritation

OTC Drugs: Prevents Chapping or Irritation

Many OTC drugs※2 are also labeled as “medicated※3,” and they’re meant to prevent irritation. That means you should be using medicated lip balm as a protective measure and not to repair cracked or bleeding lips.

※2 医薬部外品: translated here as OTC drug (also often known as a quasi- or semi-drug)

※3 薬用: medicated

Cosmetics: Hydrates and Acts as a Tint or as a Base for Lipstick

Cosmetics: Hydrates and Acts as a Tint or as a Base for Lipstick

Most cosmetic lip balms are packed with hydrating ingredients. You can also find cosmetic balms that have SPF, are tinted or scented, or are meant to be used as a base for lipstick. If you’re looking for a balm that can hydrate and double as makeup, then you’re looking for a cosmetic.

② Then Choose Something with Hydrating Ingredients

What’s a balm if it doesn’t hydrate? Below are some ingredients you should be searching for.

Naturally-Occurring Ingredients are Safe and Gentle

Naturally-Occurring Ingredients are Safe and Gentle

There is not one cosmetic ingredient that is supposed to be dangerous, but if you’re worried about the possibility of unknown side effects cropping up, then look for materials that are naturally occurring. Honey and hyaluronic acid draw in water from the air and are quite effective.

You also want oil, which acts as a lid and seals in moisture: squalane, as well as jojoba, castor, olive, and macadamia seed oil are good choices. Botanical extracts are generally non-irritating and can keep lips hydrated for hours. However, depending on the person, they can stir up allergic reactions. It’s best to use ingredients you’re familiar and comfortable with.

Petroleum Jelly Locks in Moisture

Petroleum Jelly Locks in Moisture

Petroleum jelly is often used in skincare. It forms a membrane over skin that not only keeps water from evaporating, but also shields against irritants. That means it doesn’t actually moisturize deep into the skin; it simply sits on top, making sure nothing escapes or enters.

While petroleum jelly does feel a bit greasy, it’s a must-have for those with dry, flaky lips.

③ Finally, Choose Something that’s Easy to Use

Finally, Choose Something that's Easy to Use

Lip balm can come as a chapstick, or in a tube or jar. Chapsticks are easy to apply and carry around. They’re solid, though, and can tug on your lips. You want to stay away from chapsticks that are too hard as they rub against skin, and the friction can end up doing more harm than good.

Then there’s balms that come in a tube or jar. Most of these are slightly more liquid in form; they melt when exposed to body heat, spreading onto and absorbing into skin easily. These are best for when your lips are feeling a bit tender or irritated. The only thing is, most of the time, you have to apply with either your finger or a cotton swab, so they can get messy.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 38 most popular Japanese lip balms that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. DHC Medicated Lip Cream (DHC 薬用リップクリーム)
  2. Mentholatum Melty Cream Lip (メンソレータム メルティクリームリップ)※
  3. NIVEA Deep Moisture Lip (ニベア ディープモイスチャーリップ)※
  4. Mentholatum Lip Baby Natural (メンソレータム リップベビーナチュラル)
  5. PAX NATURON Lip Cream (パックスナチュロン リップクリーム)
  6. Curél Moisture Lip Care Cream (キュレル リップケアスティック)
  7. CareCera Hydrating Lip Cream (ケアセラ 高保湿リップクリーム)
  8. Mommy! Lip Cream (マミー リップクリーム)
  9. yuskin Lip Care (ユースキンリップケア)
  10. ettusais lip essence (エテュセリップエッセンス)
  11. recipist moist lip cream (レシピスト うるおいとどめるリップクリーム)
  12. yuskin Lip Cream Perilla Essence (ユースキン ブルーナ スキンケア リップクリーム)
  13. Mentholatum Deep Moist (メンソレータム ディープモイスト)
  14. freeplus medicated lip treatment (フリープラス 薬用 リップトリートメント)
  15. Manuka Honey Lip (マヌカハニー リップ)
  16. AQUA・AQUA Organic Sweets Lip ~Apple Red~ (アクア・アクアオーガニックスイーツリップ)
  17. Lip the Color ~Foggy Rose~ (リップザカラー フォギーローズ)
  18. Nivea Rich Care & Color Lip ~Bordeaux~ (ニベア リッチケア&カラーリップ ボルドー)
  19. recipist color lip cream ~pure red~ (レシピスト ほんのり色づくリップクリーム ピュアレッド )
  20. Atorrege AD+ Medicated Lip Cream (アトレージュAD+ 薬用リップエリア)
  21. 24h cosme Natural Lip Cream (24h cosme ナチュラルリップクリーム)
  22. Naiad Beeswax Lip Cream (ナイアードビーワックスリップクリーム)
  23. DHC Color Lip Cream ~Red~ (DHC 濃密うるみカラーリップ レッド)
  24. DHC Extra Moisture Lip Cream (DHC エクストラモイスチュア リップクリーム)
  25. Mentholatum Lip fondue ~Aurora 3D Pearl~ (メンソレータム リップフォンデュ オーロラ3Dパール)
  26. kate CC lip cream ~01 Blood Red~ (ケイトCCリップクリーム 01 くっきり血色 レッド)
  27. Shiseido Water in Lip (資生堂ウォーターインリップ )
  28. Menturm Petroleum Jelly (メンターム ワセリン)
  29. Country & Stream Natural Honey Lip (カントリー&ストリーム ハニーフルリップ)
  30. Mama Butter Natural Shea Butter Lip Treatment (ママバターナチュラル シアバター リップトリートメント)
  31. Metholatum Medicated Lip Stick (メンソレータム 薬用リップスティック)
  32. Kenei Pharmaceutical Co. Baby Vaseline (健栄製薬ベビーワセリン)
  33. Nivea Moisture Lip Unscented (ニベア モイスチャーリップ 無香料 )
  34. Nivea Moisture Lip Water Type Unscented (ニベア モイスチャーリップ ウォータータイプ 無香料)
  35. ADDICTION Stolen Kiss Enhancer ~001 Bitten Rose~ (アディクション ストールンキス エンハンサー 001)
  36. Wonder Honey Juicy Honey Lip ~Plum~ (ワンダーハニー色づくジューシー蜜リップ)
  37. Arouge Total Moist Veil Lip Essence (アルージェトータルモイストベール リップエッセンス)
  38. Argelan Oil Lip Stick (アルジェラン オイルリップS)

We then tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Hydration
Test ②: Application

※Mentholatum was bought out by the Japanese company Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. in 1988 and is thus included on this list. Likewise, Nivea is a joint venture between the Japanese corporation Kao and Beiersdorf AG.

Test ①: Hydration

Hydration

The first thing we tested for was hydration.

We used a moisture analyzer, the SKICON-200 EX, for this test.  We applied all of the lip creams on to our arms and compared the state of our skin before application to its state eight hours after application. We then graded the results using a five step scale (D to A+).

We had our eight test participants stay cooped up in a room where temperature and humidity were kept constant and where they moved as little as possible.

The Big Takeaway: Products Featuring Petroleum Jelly were Great at Retaining Moisture

The Big Takeaway: Products Featuring Petroleum Jelly were Great at Retaining Moisture

Most products that came out on top for hydration featured petroleum jelly in their formulas. Because petroleum jelly seals in moisture, our lips stayed hydrated for the whole of eight hours.

We can’t point out any other definitively moisturizing ingredients, as hydration depends on the overall makeup of the formula–how ingredients play off of each other and how much of each specific ingredient is included–but products that contained squalane and castor oil also tended to work well.

Test ②: Application

Application

Next, we tested for how sticky the balms were, whether the packaging was convenient, and how it felt as we were putting them on.

To check for stickiness, first we applied the balms. We then held a bunch of Frisk breath mints against our lips and looked at how many stuck. We rated each product on a scale from D to A+.

The Big Takeaway: If You Prize Convenience over All, Get a Chapstick; If You Want Smooth Application, Get a Tube

The Big Takeaway: If You Prize Convenience over All, Get a Chapstick; If You Want Smooth Application, Get a Tube

Most chapsticks tugged on our lips. They did go on thin and weren’t sticky for the most part, but many also didn’t spread well. A few better performing chapsticks melted into oil when they were exposed to body heat, but they still didn’t feel as gentle as balm in a tube.

Tube balms usually had a lot of oil and were more liquid, meaning they spread easily and didn’t tug on chapped lips. However, they also felt sticky, were messier to apply, and we had to worry about squeezing out too much or too little. Once you do get tube balm on your lips, though, it won’t fade easily, so save it for overnight use.

The Final Verdict: Top 38 Best Japanese Lip Balms to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 38 best Japanese lip balms available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests (hydration, how sticky the formula was, how it felt to apply–whether it was too hard or soft and how it spread–and how easy it was to apply–that is, how convenient the packaging was).

Each product was then given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

38. Mentholatum Lip fondue ~Aurora 3D Pearl~

Mentholatum Lip fondue

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $4.42

Maybe if You Enjoy Smearing Gooey Cream on Your Lips…

This chapstick, for the oddest reason, was not retractable; so if you twist and the products extends too far out, there’s no going back. It was also too soft and felt like goo; when we pushed too hard, we simply flattened the tip. If you’re not careful, you’ll get sticky residue all over the casing.

This was supposed to add a pearl-like sheen to lips, but it looked unnatural. The chapstick didn’t spread easily and imparted a greasy shine to our lips, so we wouldn’t recommend using this as a moisturizer or a gloss.

Formula Glossy Hydration C
Stickiness C Application (Feel) D
Application (Ease) C Overall Score D

37. Wonder Honey Juicy Honey Lip ~Plum~

Wonder Honey Tinted Lip Balm

Visit VECUA Honey for more details

Price: $16.00

Who Knew a Hard-to-Open Cap Could be So Irritating?

The cap was small and wedged itself firmly on to the casing, so even opening up this chapstick was a pain. It’ll be especially annoying in summer, when palms get sweaty, or right after you apply hand cream, when there’s oil on your hands.

We did like that the formula itself was quite soft and spread well–just be careful not to have it extend too far. There’s a chance it’ll melt like chocolate if you leave it someplace too warm.

Formula Tinted (Plum); Scented (Honey) Hydration D
Stickiness C Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) C Overall Score D

36. DHC Color Lip Cream ~Red~

DHC Color Lip Cream ~Red~

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $4.47

Feels Lacking as Both a Lip Tint and a Moisturizer

This applied thin and the color was subtle. We didn’t feel like it was actually setting in to our lips. That may be why moisture was lacking at the end of eight hours. Honestly speaking, the other DHC products we tested performed far better.

Formula Tinted (Red) Hydration D
Stickiness D Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) A Overall Score D

35. Mommy! Lip Cream

Mommy! Lip Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.43

Is Sticky and Yet Hydration Doesn’t Last All Day

This came out to a nice, glossy finish. Even though it felt light going on, the formula left our lips tacky. It also didn’t do much to retain moisture, so you’ll probably be reapplying numerous times throughout the day.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness D Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score D

34. Shiseido Water in Lip

Shiseido Water in Lip

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $2.97

Went on So Thin, It Felt Like We Weren’t Wearing Chapstick at All

This chapstick was solid and didn’t really melt with body heat. It might tug too much on sensitive or cracked lips. It did feel light and didn’t make hair stick to our lips, but that was because we might as well have been wearing nothing at all.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness A Application (Feel) C
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

33. Argelan Oil Lip Stick

Argelan Oil Lip Stick

Visit Amazon for more details (Japan only)

Price: $9.65

It’s Got a Relaxing, Olive-Like Scent to It

This felt good going on, melting right into our lips and leaving behind only a small amount of sticky residue. The cap was a bit small and could be hard to open at times, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. This chapstick started losing its shape when exposed to warmer temperatures, so store it in a cool place.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

32. PAX NATURON Lip Cream

PAX NATURON Lip Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $5.21

Is Hard to Open and Doesn’t Have Any Redeeming Features to Make up

Packaging was a pain. The cap was too small, so when we had lotion or sweat on our hands, they kept slipping and we couldn’t get the chapstick open. When we extended the product too far out, we couldn’t get it to retract.

We might have been able to live with all of these pitfalls if only the formula had been good. However, hydration was just decent, and there was some stickiness after application.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness C Application (Feel) C
Application (Ease) D Overall Score C

31. yuskin Lip Care

yuskin Lip Care

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $4.92

Smells like Medicine, but isn’t as Effective as One

Now we’re on the other end of the spectrum–this time, the cap was so easy to open, it came off in our makeup bags. The chapstick also gave us trouble during application: it was too stiff, thin, and short. It also smelled cold and sharp, like herbal medicine.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness B Application (Feel) D
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

30. NIVEA Deep Moisture Lip

NIVEA Deep Moisture Lip

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.97

The Scent of Olive and Lemons is Soothing. Not Sure if We’d Call the Moisture “Deep,” However

This chapstick was just a bit too rough; it also didn’t impart any sort of glow. It didn’t feel like the moisturizing ingredients were traveling deep into our skin either; better use this balm to simply smooth out and refine the surface of your lips.

In addition to olive & lemon, you can also find this chapstick in vanilla & macadamia, honey, and unscented varieties.

Formula Scented (Olive & Lemon) Hydration D
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

29. Mentholatum Melty Cream Lip

Mentholatum Melty Cream Lip

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.46

Even Goldilocks Would Approve of the Texture–Not too Hard nor Too Soft

We only wish this lip balm were more hydrating. It did add a nice dewiness to our lips, so at least they looked moisturized–better than nothing, right? This line is also available in milk vanilla and rich honey, so if you wanted to add a little bit of aroma to your day (we tested the unscented version), feel free to give those a try as well.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness C Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) A Overall Score C

28. Arouge Total Moist Veil Lip Essence

Arouge Total Moist Veil Lip Essence

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit ichibankao for more details

Price: $14.47

Acts Like a Gelatinous Block of Oil and Doesn’t Spread

It didn’t spread, so rather than smearing this on our lips like we would with most balms, we had to tap it in. Rather than melting into our skin, Arouge’s lip essence felt more like a veil of oil that locked in moisture–the product was aptly named at least. It lasted for quite a long time, but it might be annoying to touch up after meals or tea.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A+
Stickiness D Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

27. recipist moist lip cream

recipist moist lip cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $7.51

A Lip Balm that Doesn’t Fail at Anything, but Doesn’t Excel Either

This felt soft in its casing, but it didn’t spread easily onto our lips. The cap was quite loose, and we were worried about it coming off in our bags. It was a bit sticky and kept lips only decently hydrated–so there was nothing about this balm that made us want to go out of our way to buy it. We tried the unscented one, but this line is also available in apple.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness C Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

26. Nivea Moisture Lip Unscented

Nivea Moisture Lip Unscented

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.27

Simple and Easy to Use

Nivea put a lot of thought into packaging–the cap went on and came off easily, and the twisting mechanism was easy to use. It felt light on the lips and left behind almost no shine, so it’s a good one to use if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing gloss.

It’s also available for cheap in Japan. It’s worth buying if all you need is something to smooth out the surface of your lips.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

25. Mama Butter Natural Shea Butter Lip Treatment

Mama Butter Natural Shea Butter Lip Treatment

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $5.28

Feels Amazing to Apply, which is Good, as You’ll Probably Need to Reapply. A Lot

The formula was soft and buttery, and yet it wasn’t sticky, so we were very happy with how this balm applied. It actually felt like it was setting into and hydrating our lips. However, it did fade and lose moisture over time, so be prepared to reapply throughout the day.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A+
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

24. Lip the Color ~Foggy Rose~

Lip the Color ~Foggy Rose~

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $4.56

Shines in a Vivid Rose Pink

This chapstick was cut at an angle, as lipsticks usually are, so it was easy to apply. It was a cooler rose pink, a color that may suit warmer skin tones more. This line is also available in Pink Coral and Precious Red. You could use the chapstick on its own for a more natural look or as the base under a more brilliant lipstick.

Formula Tinted (Foggy Rose) Hydration B
Stickiness C Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

23. Metholatum Medicated Lip Stick

Metholatum Medicated Lip Stick

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $2.42

If You’re Looking for Cheap, Cool Relief

This chapstick was on the firmer side, but it had that minty chill after application. It wasn’t that hydrating, so it might be a keeper in summer. There was almost no shine to the finish, which is good if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing gloss.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness A Application (Feel) C
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

22. Atorrege AD+ Medicated Lip Cream

Atorrege AD+ Medicated Lip Cream

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $9.18

Spreads Softly and Quickly onto Lips, Leaving them Moist and Sticky

The formula was quite oily and made our fingers slippery. There was hardly any friction during application, so it’s suited for weak and peeling skin. It was sticky, but because of that, lips felt moist and soft for a couple of hours.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness D Application (Feel) A+
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

21. recipist color lip cream ~pure red~

recipist color lip cream ~pure red~

Visit YesStyle for more details

Visit Kirei Station for more details

Price: $7.51

Applies Well and Would Make a Decent Cosmetic

This went on thin and even when we applied multiple layers, we couldn’t really get the color to pop. It gave our lips a translucent, glassy look, and they appeared naturally more red and flushed. This won’t be hydrating anything, but you could use it as a lipstick base or when going for a no-makeup look.

Formula Tinted (Red) Hydration D
Stickiness A Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) A Overall Score C

20. yuskin Lip Cream Perilla Essence

yuskin Lip Cream Perilla Essence

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $3.79

Goes on Light but Keeps Lips Hydrated for Hours

This balm didn’t melt easily, but that also means it’ll last you through the summer. They formula was hydrating but sticky, and strands of hair kept getting glued to our lips. We wouldn’t recommend this for windy days or if you need to wear a surgical or air pollution mask.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness C Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

19. Kenei Pharmaceutical Co. Baby Vaseline

Kenei Pharmaceutical Co. Baby Vaseline

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit DOKODEMO for more details

Price: $4.58

If You’re Looking for Petroleum Jelly Balm that Doesn’t Stick

Petroleum jelly-based moisturizers are nothing rare, but we were pleasantly surprised by this one because it wasn’t tacky. It melted quickly into skin. Though it wasn’t hydrating, you could use it as a veil to protect your lips from drying winds and other irritants.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness A+ Application (Feel) A+
Application (Ease) C Overall Score C

18. Nivea Moisture Lip Water Type Unscented

Nivea Moisture Lip Water Type Unscented

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.17

Moisturizing Chapstick without the Gloss

This was also quite solid, so you might not want to apply it on tender or hurting lips. It was hydrating without being greasy, so you could use it in both summer and winter. It also didn’t melt when it got warm, so we’d recommend this chapstick if you need something to get you through hot and humid days.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration B
Stickiness B Application (Feel) C
Application (Ease) B Overall Score C

17. freeplus medicated lip treatment

freeplus medicated lip treatment

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $11.50

A Well-Balanced Balm that’s Above Average in Every Way

Not only was it hydrating, it applied easily and didn’t stick. If you’re looking for a simple, high-quality chapstick that works, then freeplus is for you. It is quite pricey for a lip balm, however; try looking over the other options on this list and then deciding whether or not it’s worth the money.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness B Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score B

16. AQUA・AQUA Organic Sweets Lip ~Apple Red~

AQUA・AQUA Organic Sweets Lip ~Apple Red~

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $14.47

 Leaves Your Lips Gleaming in a Fresh, Natural Red

This chapstick had our lips dewy but not greasy. It would look good on days you want to wear minimal or no makeup at all. This line’s available in six different colors, so it should be fun finding one that appeals to you. However, we didn’t like how the chapstick was stiff and rubbed against our lips or how hard the cap was to remove.

Formula Tinted (Red) Hydration A
Stickiness B Application (Feel) D
Application (Ease) C Overall Score B

15. ettusais lip essence

ettusais lip essence

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $14.95

Applies and Shines like a Gloss, but Doesn’t Stick like One

This was a soft, buttery-smooth balm. Though it won’t do much as a hydrating base, you could use it in place of a gloss. The tube is quite large, though, so it may be tough to carry around.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration D
Stickiness A Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) C Overall Score B

14. Country & Stream Natural Honey Lip

Country & Stream Natural Honey Lip

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $7.42

Smells like Honey, but Sure Doesn’t Feel Like It

This smelled of natural honey, which we found uplifting. It was decently hydrating; our skin hadn’t completely dried out after eight hours, though we’d recommend a few reapplications. And it melted into our lips, leaving no stickiness behind.

Formula Scented (Honey) Hydration C
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score B

13. DHC Extra Moisture Lip Cream

DHC Extra Moisture Lip Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $11.02

We Love the Dewy Finish

This melted with body heat, turning into oil as soon as it touched our skin. It spread easily and was gentle to our lips, which is rare in a chapstick. But because it was so soft, expect this lip balm to run out fast.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration B
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) C Overall Score B

12. kate CC lip cream ~01 Blood Red~

kate CC lip cream ~01 Blood Red~

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $3.55

A Balm that Does It All–Use it as a Lipstick, Base, or Hydrator

This was a pinkish red. The color was vivid and long-lasting, so this chapstick could stand in for lipstick. It also wasn’t too tacky, so you could use it as a base as well. There are currently four colors out, and it’s worth owning all of them so you can mix and match.

Formula Tinted (Red) Hydration B
Stickiness B Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) A Overall Score B

11. Mentholatum Deep Moist

Mentholatum Deep Moist

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $3.16

Oval Chapsticks are Apparently Difficult to Use

This chapstick was quite solid, and body heat wasn’t enough to have it melt into our skin. And its unique oval shape actually made tracing out lips more difficult. It also smelled slightly of menthol. However, it did live up to its claims of being deeply moisturizing, so it was a shame that Mentholatum’s Deep Moist wasn’t easy to apply.

Formula Scented (Menthol) Hydration A
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) C Overall Score B

10. Nivea Rich Care & Color Lip ~Bordeaux~

Nivea Rich Care & Color Lip ~Bordeaux~

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit alpha beauty for more details

Price: $5.60

Will Have Your Lips Looking Dewy but Not Sticky

This was a soft, bright wine red and looked good against all kinds of skin tones. The color showed up brilliant and glossy, so you could use this chapstick as a lipstick as well. It faded kind of quickly and wasn’t able to keep our lips hydrated, but at least it was also easy to reapply.

Formula Tinted (Bordeaux) Hydration C
Stickiness A Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A

9. Naiad Beeswax Lip Cream

Naiad Beeswax Lip Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $9.65

Hydration that Comes with a Relaxing Botanical Scent

This spread like jam but wasn’t sticky. The packaging was cute, but it was difficult to get product out of it. When we wanted more balm, we ended up having to dig it out with our fingernails. It smelled like something that would come out of an aroma diffuser.

Formula Scented (Essential Oils) Hydration B
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) D Overall Score A

8. DHC Medicated Lip Cream

DHC Medicated Lip Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $5.57

Glides over Lips for Light Hydration

This chapstick wasn’t soft enough to get crushed or to melt at the slightest rise in temperature, but it applied like butter. You might worry about it running out, but it felt amazing to have all of that moisture melting into our lips. Hydration didn’t last that long, but this wasn’t a chapstick we’d mind reapplying.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness A Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A

7. 24h cosme Natural Lip Cream

24h cosme Natural Lip Cream

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $22.71

Chapstick that Has It All. Organic Ingredients that Hydrate and Apply Well

This balm struck a good balance between hydration, application, and price. It shone on all of our tests, and we especially liked that 24h cosme’s balm didn’t leave our lips tacky at all. (And no problem with the cap being either too loose or too tight here.)

The formula featured argan and olive oil that’s been certified organic, so if you’re looking to start stocking up on green beauty products, here’s a good place to start.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A

6. Mentholatum Lip Baby Natural

Mentholatum Lip Baby Natural

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $2.99

Soft, Light Texture Make This Chapstick the Perfect Base

This chapstick also went on thin–but even though it didn’t feel like we were wearing anything, there was some hydration. It didn’t feel oily, so it’s ideal as a base under lipstick or gloss. It was also the perfect size for carrying around in a makeup bag or purse.

We tested the unscented version, but this line also comes in Sweet Cherry, Pure Honey, and Rich Yuzu. They’re all worth a try if you like a bit of sweetness to your balms.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration C
Stickiness A+ Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) A Overall Score A

5. Menturm Petroleum Jelly

Menturm Petroleum Jelly

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $3.36

Works, and There’s Enough to Go Around for the Whole Family

Like the Baby Vaseline formula we introduced above, this was a rare petroleum jelly-based formula that felt light and soft. The tube’s huge so you can slather it liberally on your lips and any other areas that need extra hydration.

This kept us moisturized for the whole of eight hours, so we recommend dabbing some on before going to sleep. It was also non-tacky enough for daytime use.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A

4. CareCera Hydrating Lip Cream

CareCera Hydrating Lip Cream

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Price: $5.57

Light Chapstick that Doesn’t Stick but Locks in Moisture

This didn’t feel oily, but it still skated over and melted into skin. It set with almost no tackiness, so you could use this as a lipstick base.

This added just a faint sheen to our lips; no one will be able to tell you’re wearing chapstick. It’s available for about $6 at drugstores in Japan.

CareCera sourced naturally occurring ceramides for this balm, which help protect and hydrate the skin. We couldn’t feel the chapstick on our lips, but it locked in moisture for eight hours, so you don’t have to worry about frequent reapplications.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) A Overall Score A+

3. ADDICTION Stolen Kiss Enhancer ~001 Bitten Rose~

ADDICTION Stolen Kiss Enhancer ~001 Bitten Rose~ 

Visit ebay for more details

Visit ichibankao for more details

Visit Kirei Station for more details

Price: $35.76

Moisturizes and Puts on a Spin on Your Lipstick

This went on so thin, it looked like an untinted chapstick right after application. However, as time passed, our lips became a soft baby pink. The color was subtle, though, so this chapstick is a good one to use when you want to wear light or no makeup at all.

You can also use it as a base under lipstick or to add gloss on top. This little tube actually effected some big transformations.

Hydration also earned an A+. Not only did ADDICTION’s Stolen Kiss Enhancer function well as a cosmetic, but it also worked as a moisturizer. It’s a chapstick that does it all.

Formula Tinted (Baby Pink); Scented (Juniper Berry Essential Oil & Geranium Rose) Hydration A+
Stickiness A Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A+

2. Curél Moisture Lip Care Cream

Curél Moisture Lip Care Cream

Visit Amazon for more details

Visit ebay for more details

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Price: $6.14

Doesn’t Feel or Look like Anything, but Keeps Lips Hydrated

This chapstick was quite thin, and it was easy to trace lips with it. There wasn’t much shine to the finish, and it felt extremely light. It set right after application and kept skin moisturized for hours; you won’t have to worry about reapplying with this one.

It’s a year-round chapstick–light enough for summer and hydrating enough for winter. It also spread easily and a little went a long way.

Again, you could use it as a base for lipstick. It’s also plain enough to be gender-neutral–there’s hardly anyone we wouldn’t recommend Curél’s chapstick to.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A
Stickiness A+ Application (Feel) B
Application (Ease) A Overall Score A+

1. Manuka Honey Lip

Manuka Honey Lip

Visit Global Rakuten for more details

Visit YesStyle for more details

Visit CosmeStore.Online for more details

Price: $12.40

Simple Ingredients, No Greasiness. A Down-to-Earth Hydrating Balm

Most tube lip balms leave your lips greasy, like you just had some steak and fries and forgot to use a napkin, but this one didn’t. The tip of the tube was also cut at an angle, and you’re meant to put product directly on your lips. It was nice to be given the option of not applying with fingers–just remember to wipe off the tube after application.

It did smell faintly of honey, but there were no added fragrances and the sweetness wasn’t strong at all. Actually, this lip balm was made up of just two ingredients: manuka honey and petroleum jelly. There’s very little in here that could possibly be irritating.

Yet, the Manuka Honey Lip managed to be incredibly hydrating. Since manuka honey is high in sugar, it can retain a lot of water for a long time. This balm didn’t taste like honey or sugar, but it wasn’t bitter when we accidentally licked some off of our lips.

Formula Dye and Fragrance Free Hydration A+
Stickiness B Application (Feel) A+
Application (Ease) B Overall Score A+

How to Get the Most Out of Your Lip Balm

Putting on lip balm isn’t as straightforward as you might think.

Apply Balm from Top to Bottom, Following the Creases in Your Lips

Apply Balm from Top to Bottom, Following the Creases in Your Lips

It’s important that you apply balm at the first signs of drying, but it’s just as important that you don’t overapply. The skin on your lips is incredibly thin, and it stresses your lips every time you put a spoon, fork, cup, or water bottle to them. The less time you give your lips to rest, the faster they dull in color.

However, your lips also heal quickly. As long as you keep them hydrated with a gentle balm, you should be able to prevent a lot of dulling and wrinkling.

When you apply lip balm, swipe vertically. You want to follow the creases in your lips during application, making sure product reaches the depths of those wrinkles. If you’re using a chapstick, you may also end up tugging on your lips when you swipe from left to right–and you want to be as gentle as possible.

Retire Lip Balms after about Half a Year of Use

Retire Lip Balms after about Half a Year of Use

We wish that lip balms lasted forever and that we never had to throw them away, but they too have an expiration date. Most balms will last about three years from the manufacture date, unopened. Once opened, though, they last only about half a year.

Lips are often buried under lipstick or lip gloss, so they’re already prone to hyperpigmentation. On top of that, lip balms–and specifically, natural lip balms–oxidize easily, so over time, they too could lend themselves to the dulling of your lips.

Also be aware that every time you touch your chapstick to your lips, you’re exposing it to saliva and bacteria. We know it’s annoying, but the best way to apply balm, whether in stick or tube form, is with your finger or a brush.

Here’s Some Other Japanese Products to Keep You Hydrated

Here's Some Other Japanese Products to Keep You Hydrated

Doesn’t matter who you are, where you’ve been, or what you do–if you have skin (and we’re pretty sure you have skin), it’s going to dry out. So here’s a bunch of articles on Japanese moisturizers. No need to thank us.

Summary

We rounded up members of our editing department, purchased the 38 most popular Japanese lip balms, and tested them all.

Remember that skin and lip care is all about consistency. Don’t give your lips a chance to dry out–keeping them hydrated is the same thing as keeping them young. And apply lip balm not only during the dry months of winter, but during the sunny days of summer as well.

Original by Haruka Toda; Translation by Jasmine Li

  • Top 10 Best Lip Balms to Buy Online 2018 (Latest Edition)
    If you’re constantly ripping little shreds of skin from your lips, you know you need lip balm. But every lip balm has its own features and benefits: it can be medicated, tinted, scented, or flavored; it can provide UV protection; it can be made up of anything from natural beeswax to petroleum and mineral oils. Choosing the right lip balm can be an overwhelming task. That’s why we’ve done it for you. We have compiled a list of 10 popular lip balms that are truly effective, so you can finally say goodbye to dry, chapped, and sore lips. How to Choose a Lip Balm – Buying Guide It’s not just the icy northern winds; the suns’s beams can also dry out your lips.  In order to keep your lips hydrated, a good lip balm is a must-have item, all year round. Many balms make your lips lush and shiny for a second–and the next second, the desert’s back on your face. Here’s a few tips on how to choose a lip balm that’ll actually last. The Good: Moisture-Boosting Ingredients Step one, read the ingredi

  • Top 10 Best Tinted Lip Balms to Buy Online 2018 (Latest Edition)
    Tinted lip balms, or colored lip balms, are a great way to help you perfect a natural, casual look while moisturizing and softening your lips. Many different tints are available, allowing you to change your look in subtle ways. This article will introduce you to tinted lip balms with different benefits that you can order from sites like Amazon and Walmart. Hopefully one of our favorites will prove to be one of yours too! How to Choose a Tinted Lip Balm – Buying Guide If you are looking for a colored lip balm, you could just go to a drug store or department store to sample different products. However, there are many different types of tinted lip balms available. This buying guide will help you understand the features and benefits of tinted lip balms, as well as familiarize you with some of the best brands out there. Choose a Lip Balm That’s Actually Pigmented Some colored lip balms offer significant pigmentation. Others have so little tint that even applying repeatedly won’t make a diff

  • Top 26 Best Japanese Moisturizing Serums, Essences, and Ampoules to Buy Online 2019
    Winters in Japan can get really dry, especially with offices running their heaters, full blast, at what must be a million degrees (not pointing any fingers, but). Times like these, you need a little extra moisture. Especially because one of the secrets to keeping your skin young is to keep it hydrated. Japanese cosmetics companies caught wind of this and–lo and behold–the market’s swamped with moisturizing serums. Great, but that makes it all the more difficult to tell which formulas will work for you and which… not so much. To save you some guesswork, we ordered the 19 most popular moisturizing serums from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following: Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese moisturizing serums, essences, and ampoules※1. ※1 美容液: serums, essences, and ampoules (all three are basically the same p

  • Top 25 Best Japanese Moisturizers and Face Lotions to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Last time, we talked about toners. Now, we move on to the next step in the Japanese skincare routine: moisturizers and face lotions※1. Face lotions are important–they are, if you remember, the lid that seals your toner in. And, just like in America, in Japan, we have our high-end and drugstore brands, our revolutionary products and dupes. We thought it was high time someone separated the wheat from the chaff. That’s why we ordered the 25 most popular moisturizers and face lotions from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited a skincare specialist and had her compare the following: Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese moisturizers and face lotions. We also talk about the difference between lotion and cream at the very end of the article–be sure not to miss it. ※1 乳液: moisturizer / face lotion Introducing the Expert Who Lent Us Her Knowledge This time around, we borro

  • Top 33 Best Japanese Hand Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    So you’re getting ready to invest in Japanese skincare, down to your fingertips. But if you’re going to pay for that shipping fee (or plane ticket), then the hand cream better be good. It should hydrate, of course, and also smell nice. And you should be able to put it on, start typing, and not have your desk look like a crime scene that’s been dusted for fingerprints. There are perhaps few things in this world more plentiful than hand creams, so to help you narrow down your choices, we ordered the 32 most popular hand creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: Hydration Fragrance Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese hand creams. How to Choose Japanese Hand Cream – Buying Guide We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a Japanese hand cream. ① What Do You Want Your Hand

  • Top 14 Best Japanese Body Moisturizers to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True
    Browsing a Japanese drugstore is like panning for gold. You’re there looking down the aisles and everything seems like silt until you finally find a gem–a body lotion that hydrates (possibly even more than a high-end brand), low price tag, no shady ingredients. The task is fun but time-consuming, especially if you don’t read Japanese. And even if you do, do you really want to go through all of those katakana-ized chemical names? We certainly don’t. But we did. To save you headache (and a trip or ten to the drugstore), we ordered the 14 most popular body moisturizers from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following: Fragrance Hydration Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese body moisturizers. How to Choose a Japanese Body Moisturizer – Buying Guide We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking o

  • Top 14 Best Japanese CC Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Foundation is so yesterday. Nowadays, in Asian beauty, all you hear about is alphabet cream: AA, BB, CC, DD, so on and so forth. CC cream is more a skincare product than a cosmetic; it usually functions as a color corrector and primer, though its properties can differ by brand. Depending on who’s making it, CC cream can be all sorts of shades and do all sorts of things. So which products are actually loved in Japan and which are dupes? To answer that question, we ordered the 14 most popular Japanese CC creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also consulted three experts, who looked for the following: Finish Ease of Application This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese CC creams. Introducing the Experts Who Lent Us Their Knowledge This time around,  we borrowed the expertise of hair and makeup artists Rika Fujiwara and Mutsuki, as well as the former fashion retailer and Instagrammer Chie Kato. [expertprofi

  • Top 28 Best Japanese Toners to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    We don’t know when it started, but Japanese women are known–have been known for a while–for beautiful skin. And walking around Tokyo, you can’t help but think “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.” While there’s no one factor that makes one’s skin what it is, we’d hazard a guess and say skincare is important. The Japanese skincare routine has quite a few steps. There’s cleansing; then the first step after cleansing is toning. To help you ease into Japanese skincare, we ordered the 28 most popular toners※1 from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and @cosme) and tested them all. We also invited an specialist and had her compare the following: Application (How It Feels on Skin) Hydration This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese toners. We also consulted our specialist about skincare–for example, we asked about how to properly put on toner and the order in which we should apply toner, lotion, and essences. We share all this information at the

  • Cow Brand Cleansing Oil Review - mybest
    Cow’s a brand targeted at sensitive skin. Its products are as simple, natural, and mild as possible. Even the white and baby pink packaging makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. This time around, our editing department purchased Cow Brand’s Cleansing Oil. It’s marketed as additive-free, but we looked into the ingredients list to test their claims. We also tried the product out ourselves to check for cleansing power. This is what we learned. Cow Brand Additive-Free Makeup Cleansing Oil Visit Amazon for more details Visit ebay for more details Visit Global Rakuten for more details Price: $11.90 Cow Brand’s famous for their bar soap. Their products cater to delicate skin and are marketed as additive-free and non-irritating. All formulas have to go through allergy testing. This cleanser features naturally derived ceramides to moisturize and protect dry skin. And it’s cheap. In Japan, you can get a bottle for about 500 yen–and though it’s sold for double in the States, the price still i

  • Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Milks to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!
    Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) for the best facial cleansing milk. We then chose the 15 most popular products and tested them for the following: Cleansing Power Hydration (that is, how hydrated your skin is after cleansing) Ingredients We talked to a specialist who used to work in cosmetics R&D about options for sensitive and dry skin. We looked for products that worked on waterproof makeup. What we ended up with was a definitive list of and buying guide about the best Japanese cleansing milks available online and in drugstores. Top 15 Best Japanese Cleansing Milks to Buy Online We tried them out on makeup. We measured moisture levels in our skin to make sure they weren’t drying. We consulted a skincare specialist about fail-proof ingredients. Based on how they performed on these tests, we ranked the top 15 Japanese cleansing milks available online. ※Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted