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The Best Lip Balm - 2022

Last updated on June 30, 2022

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Our Picks For The Top Lip Balms

Show Contents
Our Take
  Top Pick

Burt’s Bees Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil Lip Balm, 4-Pack

Don't Waste Your Money Seal of Approval

Burt's Bees

Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil Lip Balm, 4-Pack

Overall Take

Thick and RejuvenatingGive chapped lips a layer of protection with this healthy balm.

  Runner Up

Jack Black Intense Therapy SPF 25 Sunscreen Lip Balm

Jack Black

Intense Therapy SPF 25 Sunscreen Lip Balm

Overall Take

Goes On SmoothIndoors or out, this fast-acting balm delivers relief.

  We Also Like

eos 24-Hour Hydration Shea Lip Balm

eos

24-Hour Hydration Shea Lip Balm

Overall Take

Yummy Organic FlavorsA tasty way to guard against dry lips.

  Strong Contender

Cliganic Organic & Paraben-Free Lip Balm, 6-Pack

Cliganic

Organic & Paraben-Free Lip Balm, 6-Pack

Overall Take

Perfect Travel PackTake these effective organic bottles on the go.

Guide written by Tod Caviness
Last updated on June 30, 2022

We’d have a hard time talking, eating, whistling or kissing without our lips. Even so, it’s surprising how much we take them for granted — until they start getting chapped. When that happens, there’s only one remedy: A good lip balm. You can find cheap tubes of balm at any supermarket or convenience store, but how can you tell which one is the best for you?

The best lips balms should do two basic things: Moisturize the lips to prevent that chapping, and form a layer to lock that moisture in (and protect your lips from the climate that causes the dryness in the first place). These balms use a variety of ingredients to do that, both natural and otherwise. It’s worth giving that ingredient list an extra look, especially if you have sensitive skin or fully cracked lips.

For moisturizing, there are a number of natural oils that will do the trick. Sunflower, almond and coconut oil can all be found inside many balms, and unless you’ve got a specific allergy they’ll all have your lips feeling better almost instantly. Shea and cocoa butter are two very common moisteners that you’ll find in lip balm, and they do a lot more than just wet your whistle. Each of them contain fatty acids that can soothe inflamed and cracking skin, and they’re both packed with vitamins that can speed up healing.

When it comes to locking in that moisture, few things work better than beeswax. It’s natural and can stick to even the driest lips, which is why you’ll find it in many popular brands. The only downside is that some might find it a little thick and waxy. Many brands also use lanolin, which goes on smooth to both moisturize and protect the lips. While most don’t have a reaction, lanolin can irritate sensitive skin, especially if it’s broken. And then there are petroleum jellies and mineral oil, which can both be very effective at protecting the skin against dryness along with harmful bacteria. These last two can also be a bit much for those with touchy skin (especially if they’re overused) but for the most part they are harmless.

Unfortunately, many lip balms include substances that aren’t really there to moisturize or protect. Some common examples are fragrances or flavoring. A lot of those can be OK, but camphor and menthol are two minty additives that can actually strip some protection away from your lips. You’ll also want to look out for parabens (which has been linked to hormone irregularities) and salicylic acid (which can treat numerous skin conditions but can irritate your lips).

If you’re going to wear your lip balm for an extended period outdoors, you’ll definitely want to consider one that doubles as a sunblock. Many balms do, and this is especially important at the beach since lips don’t have sweat glands and will dry out quicker in the heat. An SPF of 15 or 20 should be enough for most outings, and your best bet is a balm that uses zinc oxide as the active sun-blocking ingredient.

The Best Lip Balms

1
  Top Pick

Burt’s Bees Vitamin E & Peppermint Oil Lip Balm, 4-Pack

This go-to balm does a lot more than simply wax your lips. The beeswax and vitamin E mixture protects chapped areas yet keeps them moisturized at the same time. Peppermint provides a bit of cooling flavor without being overpowering.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Burt's Bees
Model
2
  Runner Up

Jack Black Intense Therapy SPF 25 Sunscreen Lip Balm

Apply this balm to chapped lips and you can expect it to stay working even in cold weather or high heat. Its moisturizing properties help it soak into the skin quickly and stay there through meals and hot drinks. This one works especially well when applied overnight.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Jack Black
Model
3
  We Also Like

eos 24-Hour Hydration Shea Lip Balm

Come for the bright flavors, stay for the healing properties. This balm contains a laundry list of ingredients to soothe chapped lips, and they're all natural. A single application can last for hours.

Features


Specifications

Brand
eos
Model
4
  Strong Contender

Cliganic Organic & Paraben-Free Lip Balm, 6-Pack

With six varieties to choose from, there's a flavor for every mood. The bottles are small enough to travel in a purse or pocket, and each of them provide relief for hours. There's no caked-on feeling when you apply thanks to the carefully formulated organic ingredients.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Cliganic
Model
5
  Also Great

Sun Bum Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Lip Balm, 3-Pack

With an SPF of 30, this is the balm you want for beach day or an extended hike. The texture is gentle, not oily and the ingredients are both organic and vegan-friendly. The flavors are very vibrant and lasting.

Features


Specifications

Brand
Sun Bum
Model

Our Lip Balm Buying Guide

We’d have a hard time talking, eating, whistling or kissing without our lips. Even so, it’s surprising how much we take them for granted — until they start getting chapped. When that happens, there’s only one remedy: A good lip balm. You can find cheap tubes of balm at any supermarket or convenience store, but how can you tell which one is the best for you?

The best lips balms should do two basic things: Moisturize the lips to prevent that chapping, and form a layer to lock that moisture in (and protect your lips from the climate that causes the dryness in the first place). These balms use a variety of ingredients to do that, both natural and otherwise. It’s worth giving that ingredient list an extra look, especially if you have sensitive skin or fully cracked lips.

For moisturizing, there are a number of natural oils that will do the trick. Sunflower, almond and coconut oil can all be found inside many balms, and unless you’ve got a specific allergy they’ll all have your lips feeling better almost instantly. Shea and cocoa butter are two very common moisteners that you’ll find in lip balm, and they do a lot more than just wet your whistle. Each of them contain fatty acids that can soothe inflamed and cracking skin, and they’re both packed with vitamins that can speed up healing.

When it comes to locking in that moisture, few things work better than beeswax. It’s natural and can stick to even the driest lips, which is why you’ll find it in many popular brands. The only downside is that some might find it a little thick and waxy. Many brands also use lanolin, which goes on smooth to both moisturize and protect the lips. While most don’t have a reaction, lanolin can irritate sensitive skin, especially if it’s broken. And then there are petroleum jellies and mineral oil, which can both be very effective at protecting the skin against dryness along with harmful bacteria. These last two can also be a bit much for those with touchy skin (especially if they’re overused) but for the most part they are harmless.

Unfortunately, many lip balms include substances that aren’t really there to moisturize or protect. Some common examples are fragrances or flavoring. A lot of those can be OK, but camphor and menthol are two minty additives that can actually strip some protection away from your lips. You’ll also want to look out for parabens (which has been linked to hormone irregularities) and salicylic acid (which can treat numerous skin conditions but can irritate your lips).

If you’re going to wear your lip balm for an extended period outdoors, you’ll definitely want to consider one that doubles as a sunblock. Many balms do, and this is especially important at the beach since lips don’t have sweat glands and will dry out quicker in the heat. An SPF of 15 or 20 should be enough for most outings, and your best bet is a balm that uses zinc oxide as the active sun-blocking ingredient.

DWYM Fun Fact

It will come as no surprise that one of the most popular brands of lip balm was also the first. Charles Browne Fleet is widely credited as the inventor of the stuff, and his 1880 creation Chap Stick is still on store shelves today.

This is not to say that people hadn’t caught on to the idea of wax-protected lips before Chap Stick. Lydia Maria Child’s 1833 book “The American Frugal Housewife” was full of home remedies for resourceful gals — one of which was the use of earwax as a salve for sore or chapped lips.

The Lip Balm Tips and Advice

Many makeup professionals already know this, but lipstick and lip balm can be a dream team. Due to its waxier build, a little bit of balm around the outer edge of the lips will help keep you from “coloring outside the lines” with your lipstick. The nice, clean borders you create will especially work wonders if you’re using bold, glossy shades.


About The Author

Tod Caviness 

Tod Caviness has been a features journalist and writer for the past 20 years. He took the easy route to grooming and shaved his head decades ago. Little did he know it would open up a whole new world of expertise in razors, hats and suntan lotion. He is still learning how to braid his daughter's hair.