The inclusion of shea butter and vitamins in the formulation
Might not sink in well if lips aren't dehydrated
Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment
We put Aquaphor Lip Repair to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Between my phone and my lip balm, I’m more likely to forget my phone. Lip balm is the one essential I must have on me at all times, unless I’m in the mood for peeling, flaking, bleeding lips. (I’m never in this mood.) One of the first drugstore balms I ever used and fell in love with was plain old Aquaphor. Before it was trending on TikTok and Reddit boards for slugging, I’d carry a tube of the regular Healing Ointment formula in my bag and use it to pull double duty on chapped elbows or healing tattoos. When I found out that the brand has long since launched a specially formulated tube of Aquaphor Lip Repair (with the same soothing, nourishing promises but a different ingredients list), I immediately volunteered to review it. Just like its multipurpose cousin, Lip Repair did a stellar job in keeping my severely dry lips nourished. Below, my honest review of this classic drugstore gem.
Best for: Dry and severely dry lips.
Uses: Soothing, moisturizing, healing.
Active ingredients: Shea butter, vitamins C and E, provitamin B5, chamomile essence.
Byrdie Clean?: Yes
About the brand: Aquaphor is the #1 dermatologist-recommended brand for dry, cracked skin and minor wound care, according to the brand. The brand focuses on intensely moisturizing and reparative products that are clinically tested and fragrance-free.
About My Lips: Extremely prone to dryness
While the rest of my face usually doesn’t get dry enough to crack and bleed, my lips have always been prone to extreme dryness. If I don’t apply some sort of balm once in the morning and once before bed, I can guarantee they’ll turn into a chapped, bleeding mess before the end of the day. When I find a balm that’s nourishing enough, they remain in great shape, but I’ve been burned before by balms that wore off in less than an hour. Although I usually have an emergency balm on me at all times, I don’t like to reapply too many times in a day. The mission: Finding a formula that’s nourishing and long-wear enough that it hydrates and heals for hours.
Ingredients: Derm-approved moisturizing benefits
Aquaphor Lip Repair is a petrolatum-based balm, which makes it very effective at preventing trans-epidermal water loss. The formula also contains shea butter, a popular ingredient that provides anti-inflammatory, moisturizing benefits. Nourishing vitamins (C, E, and provitamin B5) round out the list, along with chamomile essence, an ingredient known for its soothing properties.
The Feel: Thick and nourishing
Possibly due to the inclusion of shea butter, I found this formula to have a slightly waxier feel than the original. The thick, nourishing feel and moisturizing effect remain the same. The squeeze tube allows me to dispense and spread the perfect amount directly on my lips without dipping my fingers into a pot (something I used to do when I occasionally purchased Aquaphor in giant tub form). While the fragrance-free balm is on the thick side, it also pairs well with lipstick provided you let it sink in all the way and wipe off any excess.
The Results: Smooth, moisturized lips
Another way to sum up the results: No more bloody lips. In the morning after cleansing, I swipe on a coat of Lip Repair as part of my daily routine, and then go about my day. I find it usually lasts until around dinnertime, except on particularly dry winter days when I’m sitting inside with the heater on. At night, I apply a generous coat before bed, since this is usually when my lips dry out the most if left untreated. I’ve never minded the feeling of a thick coat of balm, so I basically make my lips feel like two salve-slicked pillows before I sleep. It works; in the morning, my lips remain miraculously smooth and hydrated.
While Aquaphor has been a true blessing for someone whose lips get as severely chipped as mine, it might not be for you if you don’t suffer from extreme dryness. I’ve made it work with lipstick before, but it wouldn’t be my first choice for pairing with a long-wear lip color if I didn’t need the extra hydration. As far as keeping dryness and irritation at bay goes, though? It’s a winner.
I basically make my lips feel like two salve-slicked pillows before I sleep. It works; in the morning, my lips remain miraculously smooth and hydrated.
The Value: A drugstore gem
I’ve seen Aquaphor go for anywhere from $4-6 at my local drugstores, but the bottom line is, it’s always affordable and accessible. I do love my luxe balms and have been known to use formulas that are upwards of $60, but when you’re after no-frills moisturizing at a low price point, you can’t go wrong with this steal.
Similar Products: You've got options
Avène Cicalfate LIPS Restorative Lip Cream: Back when I was on an intense search for the most nourishing lip balms, Avène Cicalfate LIPS Restorative Lip Cream ($18) was another favorite discovery. The water-restorative, silky formula seals in moisture while deeply healing with mineral spring water and zinc sulfate.
Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick: If you prefer your balms in glide-on stick form instead of squeeze tubes, Aquaphor also makes a Lip Repair Stick ($4). The formula is supremely comfortable to wear and contains the same mix of shea butter and nourishing vitamins, plus jojoba oil.
SheGlam Nourishing Lip Balm: Another twist-up formula I’ve been reaching for lately is SheGlam's lightweight, smooth Nourishing Lip Balm ($3). It contains a mix of olive oil, avocado oil, and vitamin E meant to leave lips moisturized.
Aquaphor Lip Repair (and all its cousins) has been popular for years for a reason. It’s one of those products that does the job promised reliably and quickly, for the price of your morning latte. For those that can’t seem to find a lip balm to soothe their chapped lips, the answer to your problems might just be on your nearest drugstore shelf.
- Product Name Lip Repair Ointment
- Product Brand Aquaphor
- Price $4
- Full Ingredient List Octyldodecanol, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearoyl Stearate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Panthenol, Bis-Diglyceryl Polyacyladipate-2, Water, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Bisabolol, Beeswax, C20-40 Alkyl Stearate, Magnesium Stearate, Magnesium Sulfate