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 ingredients list. Specifically, look for a high-emollient balm enriched with fatty acids.
Effective moisturizers contain emollients. The word “emollient” itself refers to a whole variety of ingredients that hydrate the skin. They form a protective layer to keep in moisture and keep out irritants.
Petrolatum is one of the most commonly used emollients in lip balms. It is highly refined and approved by the FDA. Lanolin is another. Then you have the kings–natural beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter, coconut oil and nut oil. These are often found in natural or organic lip balms.
Low emollient content means only temporary relief. And if you’re stuck applying the balm again and again, you can actually damage your lips. So, make sure your balm is simply oozing with those oils and butters.
The Bad: Allergens and Irritants
Ironically, many lip balms, natural and non-natural, contain allergens and irritants that can make your chapped lips even worse. If you’re getting rashes or your lips are splitting apart after application, one or more of these ingredients could be the culprit.
Peppermint and camphor smell great, but can cause lip irritation. Some are allergic to lanolin, which’ll give you a rash. Preservatives such as formaldehyde, Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, Methyldibromo glutaronitrile, isothiazolinones, propyl gallate, and BHT can cause dermatitis. Chemicals such as octinoxate and oxybenzone keep out the sun, but, again, you might be allergic.
Beeswax is a very common ingredient in lip balms. It’s lovely, but if you’re allergic to bee products, then it’s not for you. So, check the ingredients list, and make sure nothing is going to make your skin peel.
Top 10 Best Lip Balms to Buy Online
Here are 10 lip balms we find actually work. Hopefully, one of them will make your lips sweet and lush again.
10. DHC Lip Cream – Fragrance Free (Pack of 2)
Nourishing Lanolin-Rich Lip Cream
DHC Lip Cream is enriched with lanolin, and has all those delicious plant products, such as aloe, olive oil, and vitamin E. It provides long-lasting hydration and leaves your lips velvety soft.
This lip cream is fragrance- and flavor-free. It’s silky, glides on smoothly, and leaves your lips glowing. Use it as a primer before applying lipstick. And the 0.05-ounce stick is the perfect size for a trial–it’s pretty much begging to be taken out for a spin.
9. Mentholatum Natural Ice Medicated Lip Balm SPF 15 (Pack of 12)
Medicated Lip Balm with UV Protection
Mentholatum Natural Ice Lip Balm is a medicated lip balm and contains lanolin and mineral oil. And if you’re a hiker, kayaker, traveler, the SPF 15 will keep the sun from burning away your lips.
You’re getting 12 sticks for under $15. The balm is cooling–one application leaves your lips fresh and tingling. It’s a good choice for all the sun worshipers out there.
8. Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy (Pack of 2)
Overnight Lip Treatment Recommended by Doctors
Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy contains a unique combination of emollients and antioxidants: white petrolatum, lanolin, cocoa butter, and vitamins. The formula works to repair your lips as you sleep. When morning comes, you’ll see a definite improvement: the flakes have been smoothed over, the cracks filled in.
Doctors have tested it; it has no artificial flavors, no weird smells, and no preservatives. So, if you have sensitive skin, this one’s a safe bet.
7. Qtica Intense Lip Therapy Balm
Heavy-Duty Balm for Instant Relief
This rich cream is for sandpaper lips. It’s bursting with lanolin, glycerin, beeswax, panthenol, and aloe, which’ll keep out the elements. There’s also menthol, which leaves your lips feeling fresh as mint. Because it’s so heavy duty, though, it gets a bit sticky.
The balm pumps in so much moisture that it actually fills out your lips. If you have those cracks and potholes which make it impossible for lipstick to go on smoothly, smear this on, sit back, and enjoy the ride.
6. Organic Tinted Lip Balm by Sky Organics Assorted Colors (Pack of 4)
Lip Plumping Colors
In come the organic ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, essential oils. This balm is natural and gives off a whiff of peppermint, which tingles, but isn’t overpowering.
It’s tinted, too, bringing a bit of color in your life. The pack comes in 4 different tones, so you can mix and match with your outfit, the occasion, how you’re feeling.
5. Hurraw! Moon Lip Balm
Natural Overnight Lip Treatment for Dry, Chapped Lips
This balm emanates vanilla and chamomile, rocking you to sleep. And while you’re dreaming, the formula, enriched with fatty acids and vitamins, heals and nourishes your lips from the inside out.
If you are looking for 100% natural ingredients but are allergic to beeswax, this lip balm is perfectly safe. Slather it on before bed, fall into a deep sleep, and wake up with smooth, lovely lips.
4. Beauty by Earth Organic Multi-Pack Fruit Flavored Lip Balm (Pack of 4)
Intense Moisturizer with Refreshing Flavors
Here are some more heavy hitters: beeswax, coconut oil, lanolin and vitamin E. This pack also comes in 4 refreshing flavors: Asian pear, acai berry, grapefruit pomegranate, and green tea. The scent is delicate, a mere breeze wafting through the orchard.
It’s organic, doesn’t irritate; a child with Celiac disease used it and didn’t react. There’s no waxiness; this balm just melts into your lips. It’s silky, long-lasting, fruity, and utterly delicious.
3. Aquaphor Lip Repair – Fragrance Free
Dermatologist Recommended Lip Care for Sensitive Skin
This balm is meant to soothe cracking, sensitive lips. You’ve got your vitamins, shea butter and chamomile. And there’s no artificial fragrance, no preservatives.
Smooth it on before bed; wake up in the morning and feel the vestiges still on your lips. But it doesn’t shine like grease, or wash off your lipstick.
2. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
Great Protective Moisturizer for All Seasons
Shield yourself from both the winds of winter and the rays of summer. With an SPF of 25, it protects your lips from both UVA and UVB rays. It slides right into your lips, then stays there; it’s not messy, but keeps you hydrated.
You could be backpacking across Europe, picnicking on the beach, or shredding the slopes. Just a dollop of this balm will leave your lips moist and safe from the elements.
1. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm (Pack of 4)
100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm
This is definitely a name you’ve seen around. For a reason. Beeswax forms a protective, cozy little little home for your lips, and coconut oil, sunflower oil and vitamin E provide the nourishment. And there’s a touch of peppermint, just as a freshener.
Sometimes Burt’s Bees customers try out other brands, just to see what it’s like, but they always come back. It’s thick, but smooth. It’s pretty much married to your lips. Sometimes, following the crowd just might be a good thing.
So, we hope we’ve narrowed down the options for you. Just remember step one–check the ingredients–and you’re more or less good to go.
You need a good lip balm year round. Even if you wake up with nice, smooth lips, external factors–dry winds, the hot sun–can make them dry out and crack. Your lips are delicate, so swipe a liberal amount on daily to keep them sweet and luscious.