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Combination of vaseline and shea butter provides health benefits to the skin and lips. Hypoallergenic and paraben-free, making it safe to use. Tinted with a simple raspberry fragrance for a subtle aroma. Subscription service available.
May not be the best choice for those who prefer unscented lip balms.
Original stick contains no artificial flavoring or perfumes that might cause irritation. Contains SPF protection, making it an excellent choice for outdoor activities. Reliable and long-lasting, allowing for everyday application.
Texture can feel somewhat thick compared to other lip balms.
Variety pack of flavors includes peppermint, pomegranate, vanilla, and green tea. Each pack includes 8 lip balms. Designed from an organic formula, with ingredients such as coconut oil, vitamin E, rosemary leaf oil, and more.
Scents are more subtle than some users would have preferred.
Composed of a natural blend of butter, oils, and waxes that offer a smooth texture. Slim tube allows for a smooth and clean application. Partners with Global Shea Alliance to help with sustainability and positive community development.
Effects don't last too long, so users may have to reapply throughout the day.
This medicated lip moisturizer has integrated sunscreen and other protectant ingredients to help combat dry lips caused by cold wind and dry weather. It contains cocoa butter, camphor, and menthol for a cooling effect and it's easy to apply.
It has a mild menthol smell some users may find unpleasant.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Dry, chapped lips aren’t just unsightly, they can be downright painful. If you’re struggling with cracked, peeling lips, the right lip balm stick can help soothe and heal the skin so it looks and feels better quickly. Nearly everyone needs lip balm from time to time, but it’s crucial if you live in a dry climate. And it’s essential for keeping your lips from getting chapped in winter when the air is drier.
The primary purpose of lip balm is to hydrate and protect the lips against external stressors. It has a smooth, waxy texture that glides easily over the skin and forms a barrier that seals in moisture. Lip balm sticks are particularly convenient because you can apply the balm directly from the stick to your lips, making it perfect for use on the go.
If you’re looking for a high-quality lip balm, a buying guide can help you understand what causes chapped lips and what a balm should do for your skin, identify the best ingredients, and choose the flavor or fragrance and SPF that best suit your needs.
The skin on your lips is thinner than the skin on other areas of the body, so it’s highly sensitive and loses moisture easily. Dry lips can start to crack and peel. Not only does that leave your lips looking rough, but it can also be extremely painful.
Because the skin on your lips is so delicate, it’s highly vulnerable to environmental stressors, such as cold weather, dry air, wind, and the sun’s UV rays. Unfortunately, lips don’t have any oil glands, so they’re prone to dryness when exposed to these environmental factors.
It’s not just environmental factors that can cause chapped lips, though. Certain medications, health conditions (including autoimmune disorders), and irritation from ingredients in lip products can also dry out your lips. In addition, some vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, such as low iron, folic acid, and vitamin B levels, can also affect your lips.
Certain habits can irritate your lips and exacerbate chapping or peeling too. For example, if you tend to lick or smack your lips when they feel dry, you might get momentary relief, but the moisture eventually evaporates and leaves your lips even drier and more chapped than before.
The ingredient list is the most important thing to consider when choosing lip balm. You want to choose a formula that includes ingredients that hydrate the lips and lock in the moisture to provide protection from the elements. It’s also crucial to avoid certain ingredients that can irritate the skin and dry out your lips.
Look for these ingredients to find an effective lip balm stick formula:
Beeswax and other waxes help soften the lips and prevent moisture loss. They also form a protective layer over the skin, which can help reduce the chance of chapped lips.
Shea and cocoa butter are emollients that help hydrate and provide antioxidant protection for the lips. They work especially well in extreme weather and dry air.
Lanolin helps soften the skin and lock in moisture to soothe chapped lips.
Oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and apricot kernel oil, helps hydrate the lips and adds a flattering shine for healthy-looking lips.
Avoid lip balms that contain these ingredients:
Camphor and menthol are often used to provide a cooling sensation. They can irritate the skin and make it more prone to dryness.
Salicylic acid is another problematic ingredient that also can cause irritation and dryness.
If you have extremely dry, chapped lips, you might want to consider a medicated lip balm stick. These balms are formulated to penetrate the skin easily and provide intense hydration. As a result, you usually don’t need to reapply these formulas as often as you would a regular lip balm. In addition to treating severely dry or chapped lips, some medicated lip balms also provide relief for cold sores.
A tinted lip balm is an excellent alternative to lipstick in cold weather because you don’t have to worry about the color clinging to dry patches or flakes.
Because you’re likely to lick your lips from time to time when wearing lip balm, many formulas are flavored to give them a pleasant taste. Many of these sticks are fruit-flavored, including strawberry, cherry, raspberry, watermelon, and citrus options. Other popular flavors include vanilla, coconut, chocolate, mint, and cinnamon.
Some manufacturers offer limited edition seasonal flavors too. You can often find flavors like gingerbread, sugar cookie, and candy cane during the holiday season. In the fall, pumpkin is a popular option. For summer, you can often find carnival-inspired flavors like cotton candy.
Keep in mind that many balms use artificial flavorings, so their taste can be somewhat strong. However, if you don’t enjoy flavored balms, you can find unflavored options you might prefer.
In addition to flavor, many lip balms typically have a scent that usually corresponds to the flavor. However, you can find some balms that don’t have a distinct flavor but have a scent, such as rose or lavender, to provide aromatherapy benefits.
You might prefer an unscented lip balm if you have sensitive skin. Artificial fragrances can be irritating if your skin is reactive.
Lip balms contain hydrating ingredients, so they tend to leave a slight sheen on the lips. However, some formulas absorb quickly and easily into the skin, so they look practically matte once applied. Other balms are shiny, so you can wear them on their own without needing to add lip gloss.
Most lip balm sticks are clear, so they don’t deposit any color on the lips, but you can also find tinted formulas. These offer a slight, sheer color that eliminates the need for a separate lipstick or gloss. Tinted lip balms typically come in rose, berry, red, and nude shades.
Since the skin on the lips is so thin and delicate, it can be prone to sunburn and other damage. Many lip balm sticks contain SPF to protect your lips from UV rays. Choose a formula with at least a broad-spectrum SPF 15 to ensure that you have adequate protection from UVA and UVB rays.
If you have dry, chapped lips, removing the dead skin can help smooth and soften them to ready the skin for more effective hydration. A lip exfoliator can help buff away dry, flaky skin to give you smoother, plumper lips in a matter of minutes.
A lip balm stick alone might not be enough for extremely dry, cracked lips. A lip sleeping mask provides intense overnight hydration for your lips, so you wake up with smooth, healthy lips.
The most affordable lip balm sticks are usually formulas with lower-quality ingredients. They typically don’t offer long-lasting moisture, so they must be reapplied more often. You’ll usually pay $1 to $5 per stick for these.
Mid-range sticks usually offer average-quality ingredients. They provide longer-lasting moisture, so you don’t need to reapply them as often. You’ll typically pay $5 to $10 per stick for these.
The most expensive lip balm sticks contain high-quality ingredients. They provide excellent hydration, so you don’t need to reapply them as often. You’ll usually pay $10 to $25 per stick for these.
Many lip balm sticks come in recyclable packaging, so you don’t have to worry about creating plastic waste when the tube is empty.
A. There’s long been a myth that you can develop a dependence on lip balm if you use it too often. However, dermatologists generally don’t believe it’s possible. If you find that your lips are still dry and chapped after using lip balm regularly, it might be time to change the formula. That’s because there could be ingredients in the stick that are irritating your lips rather than hydrating and soothing them.
A. It’s usually a good idea to apply lip balm throughout the day so your lips stay hydrated. Using your lip balm at least two to four times a day typically provides adequate hydration, but you might need to apply it more often if you have extremely dry lips or live in a dry climate.
A. Not only can you wear lip balm under your favorite lipstick, but it’s actually better if you start with a lip balm base. It helps prevent your lip color from drying out the skin and also ensures that you have a smooth, even surface for lipstick application. The hydrating ingredients in the balm can affect the lipstick’s wear time, so you might find that you need to reapply your lip color more frequently than usual.