The 20 Best Lip Balms for Baby-Soft Lips

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Byrdie / Sabrina Jiang

It doesn’t matter if you’re the biggest beauty lover out there or the most minimalistic of beauty minimalists—we’re willing to bet good money that you own and regularly use, a lip balm. Sure, you could consider it a beauty product (any lip color is simply not going to look good applied on chapped lips), but it really does border on a personal care necessity.

These days, there are more to choose from than ever before. Per our previous point, do you want something simple and straightforward that’s going to do its hydrating duties and that’s it? Or do you want a balm with more bells and whistles, perhaps some color and treatment ingredients? You want it, you got it.

Ahead, the best lip balms for any and every lip preference. Swipe on and pucker up.

Best Overall: Burt's Bees Original Beeswax Lip Balm

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Natural formula

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Can become softer in hot places

The definition of a true crowd-pleaser, this cult-favorite truly holds legend-status in the lip balm world. It’s super affordable (AKA you can easily stock up to ensure you have one on-hand at all times), but rivals any of its pricier counterparts when it comes to delivering lip-smacking levels of hydration. Credit a 100% natural formula infused with beeswax (duh) plus vitamin E. There are flavored options, but you really can’t go wrong with the OG, which has just the slightest peppermint flavor.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Tinted: Fresh Sugar Lip Balm with SPF 15

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm SPF 15

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Buildable color

  • Smells good

  • Contains SPF

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

There are 14 shades and finishes of this classic to choose from, and trust us, they’re all good. But, according to Karli Bendlin, Email Editor for Byrdie, it’s this subdued rosy hue that takes the cake. One swipe delivers a gorgeous wash of the pink color (which works surprisingly well on all skin tones), though it’s also easily buildable if you want more of a punch of pigment. Bonus points for the completely addicting sugary scent.

Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Drugstore: Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm in Quenched
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Long-lasting

  • Creamy consistency

What We Don't Like
  • Not as moisturizing as other options

The drugstore is a treasure trove for all kinds of great lip balms, but if you’re forced to choose just one, make it this guy. A classic for years, it’s beloved among beauty editors, both for its creamy consistency, as well as the gorgeous shades it comes in, ideal for anyone craving just a hint of color.

Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Multi-Tasker: Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment Superbalm

Lanolips 101 Ointment

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose product

  • Natural formula

  • Travel-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note tube comes half full

As the name suggests, there are in fact 101 different ways to use this ointment—we’re talking everything from dabbing it onto nipples that are sore from breast-feeding to using it on your dog’s dry paws (seriously). Go ahead and try them all, but don’t forget that it’s an awesome option for chapped lips, thanks to the pure lanolin it uses to create a protective seal against the elements.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Natural: Olio E Osso Natural Lip & Cheek Balm

Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek Tinted Balm
What We Like
  • Long-lasting

  • Natural formula

  • Multi-purpose product

What We Don't Like
  • Some may want something with more pigment

This multi-purpose stick nabbed a coveted Byrdie Skincare Award in 2019; our judges raved about the velvety texture and long-lasting hydration. The ingredient list is squeaky clean, with plenty of natural moisturizers such as beeswax and olive oil. The clear option is great for lips as well as any other dry areas on face or body (or even hair), and there are nine tinted versions, too.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Runner-Up, Best Natural: Kaike Lip Frosting

Kaike Lip Frosting
What We Like
  • Natural formula

  • Long-lasting

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Can become softer in hot places

Key Ingredients

Pressed from castor seeds found in the tropical Ricinus communis plant, castor oil is a moisturizer for the skin, hair, and nails, and can be used alone or with other products.

No icky ingredients here! This lip balm is sure to moisturize your lips with all-natural ingredients that you can feel great about (and pronounce). Castor oil keeps lips hydrated all day long.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Variety: Glossier Balm Dotcom

What We Like
  • Easy to use

  • Mess-free packaging

What We Don't Like
  • Formula may separate

This boasts a rich, salve-like consistency but comes in an easy-to-use, mess-free tube. Three hydration heavy-hitters—castor oil, beeswax, and lanolin—do the moisturizing work to soothe and condition chapped lips. There’s a clear, fragrance-free variant for purists, but, per the variety point, it also comes in seven other tints, finishes, and flavors.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best With Shine: Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose product

  • Shiny finish

  • Not sticky

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Key Ingredients

Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin and oil often found in anti-oxidant blend topicals or moisturizers. It also helps soothe the skin and protects the lipid barrier.

Yes, a lip balm and lip gloss are two different things, but if you’re on the hunt for something that marries the best of both worlds, this can’t be beaten. Senior Editor for Byrdie Hallie Gould loves it for the high-shine finish, non-tacky feel, and intense hydration (it uses coconut oil, shea butter, vitamin E, and squalane). Also nice: You can even use it dabbed on lids or cheeks to impart added sheen.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Dry Lips: Kosas Kosasport LipFuel Hyaluronic Lip Balm

Kosas Lipfuel

 Courtesy of Kosas

What We Like
  • Designed to lay flat in your pocket

  • Long-lasting

  • Not greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Some may want something with more pigment

Obviously, any lip balm is going to help quench dry lips, but if your pucker is parched with a capital P, reach for this formula. It contains hyaluronic acid—one of the best hydrating ingredients out there— and plenty of natural oils, so chapped flaked lips don’t stand a chance. There’s a clear option, but it’s the two tinted varieties, a soft pink and coral rose.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best for Sensitive Skin: Dr. PAWPAW Multi-Purpose Soothing Balm

Dr. PAWPAW Multi-Purpose Soothing Balm

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose product

  • Affordable

  • Award-winning formula

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note needing to reapply often

The lips and area around your mouth can be just as prone to sensitivity as the rest of your face. When it comes to choosing a lip balm, that makes seeking out a fragrance-free pick imperative (since fragrance is a common irritant). This soothing balm fits the bill, and also happens to be cruelty-free and vegan. Not only does it work well on lips, but you can also dab it elsewhere on your face and hair, and there are plenty of fun tinted options to choose from, too.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Budget: eos Natural & Organic Lip Balm

EOS Natural & Organic Sphere Lip Balm

Courtesy of EOS

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • USDA certified organic

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Not as moisturizing as other options

At this price, you can go ahead and stock up on this bargain-friendly balm to make sure there’s always one within arm’s reach. We love the lip-smacking fruity flavors, and moisturizing feel, not to mention the unique egg shape that’s both cute and easy to find in a crowded makeup bag.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best With SPF: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25
What We Like
  • Not sticky

  • Contains SPF

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note tube comes half full

Your lips need daily sun protection like the rest of your face—if you don’t know, now you know. Make this your go-to balm every morning or before a beach day and you won’t ever have to worry about ending up with a ridiculously painful lip burn. Not only does it have the necessary SPF, but it’s also just a darn good balm in general, hydrating but not sticky, and available in six delish flavors.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Plumping: Image Skincare ORMEDIC Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex

Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex

Courtesy of Image Skincare 

What We Like
  • Defines lip contours

  • No stinging

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

If you feel like your pucker could use a little plumping pick-me-up, try this option, a top choice for Byrdie’s Senior Editor Lindsey Metrus. It’s very hydrating, which goes a long way to make lips look instantly fuller, but also touts a polypeptide complex that defines lip contours, too. And, best of all, there’s none of the stinging or irritation that comes along with so many other plumping lipsticks.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Splurge: Clé de Peau Lip Glorifier

Cle de Peau Lip Glorifier

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

What We Like
  • Multi-purpose product

  • Tube lasts a long time

  • Dermatologist-tested

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

Yes, it may feel a bit extra spend big bucks on a lip balm, but this guy is worth every penny. You’re actually getting the benefits of three products in one; it moisturizes, of course, but also delivers a gorgeous tint and even acts as a lipstick primer. Whether you wear it alone or do layer it under your fave lip color, you really can’t go wrong. Plus, one tube lasts surprisingly long.

Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best in a Pot: INC.redible Just Kinda Bliss Hemp Hydration Lip Jelly

Inc.redible Just Kinda Bliss Hemp Hydration Lip Jelly

 Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Absorbs fast

  • Smells good

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

Byrdie’s Group Editorial Director Elspeth Velten vouches for this pick. While it starts as a more of a solid jelly, it melts into lips quickly, imparting plenty of hydration thanks to cannabis sativa seed oil. It’s choice for anyone who likes swiping balm on from a pot or tin, and also has a rose-like scent.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Best for Lipstick Lovers: RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm

RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm

Courtesy of Sephora

What We Like
  • Creamy consistency

  • Great color payoff

  • Multi-purpose product

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note needing to reapply often

For those who can’t go a day without swiping on their favorite lip color, this pick is choice. It’s tinted, yes, but we find it to be slightly more so than other tinted options—hence why lipstick lovers will be all about it. And it’s not just the color we love; jojoba oil and cocoa butter make for an ultra-creamy base that makes lips feel oh-so-soft.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Overnight: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

4.5
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Laneige

What We Like
  • Jar lasts a long time

  • Don't need to rinse it off

  • Smells good

What We Don't Like
  • Pricier than other options

Okay, technically this is a lip mask and not a lip balm, but the hydrating benefits are so good that we had to put it on this list. You probably already swipe on some lip balm before bed, so swap that out for this guy instead and prepare to be amazed. It has a rich, balm-like texture (and insanely addicting berry scent and flavor) that melts into lips while you snooze, imparting plenty of hydration from hyaluronic acid along with protective antioxidants. And nope, there’s no need to rinse it off come morning.

Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Best Vegan: KNC Beauty Supa Balm

knc supa balm

Courtesy of Revolve

What We Like
  • Vegan formula

  • Smells good

  • Long-lasting

What We Don't Like
  • Not as moisturizing as other options

Of all the beauty products out there, lip balms are one of the categories where it can be hardest to find a vegan option; many use beeswax. If you’re in search of a vegan formula (or are just looking or a great balm in general), try this guy. It uses plant-based oils and butter for hydration and also happens to be cruelty-, paraben-, and petroleum-free, too. Bonus points for the refreshing mint flavor.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best With Shea Butter: SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Butter Lip Balm

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Shea Butter Lip Balm

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Vegan formula

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note it's hard to squeeze out

Key Ingredients

Shea butter is a plant lipid that comes from African shea tree nuts and is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. It's used to help moisturize, nourish, and soothe the skin.

Shea butter, which is excellent at hydrating and nourishing the skin, is the hero of this vegan lip balm. Coconut and sunflower oils round out the formula, as well as hibiscus flower, which is a natural emollient and helps improve skin tone. A bonus? It's super affordable.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Best Fair-Trade: Alaffia Everyday Coconut Vegan Lip Balm

Alaffia Everyday Coconut Vegan Lip Balm

Courtesy of Alaffia

What We Like
  • Vegan formula

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • May irritate sensitive lips

There are several reasons to feel great about snagging this lip balm. Yes, your lips will thank you, but it's also made with fair-trade-certified ingredients like virgin coconut oil and cocoa butter. The flavor you see here is pure coconut, but it comes in refreshing mint coconut and sweeter pineapple coconut versions, too.

Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Final Verdict

At the top of our list of the best lip balms is Burt's Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm (see at Amazon). The definition of a true crowd-pleaser, this cult-favorite truly holds legend-status in the lip balm world. It’s super affordable but rivals its pricier counterparts when it comes to delivering lip-smacking levels of hydration. For hydration plus color, give RMS Beauty Tinted Daily Lip Balm a try (see at Sephora). It’s tinted yes, but we find it to be slightly more so than other tinted options. Plus, it contains jojoba oil and cocoa butter for an ultra-creamy base.

What to Look For in Lip Balms

Hydration

Lip balms are meant to protect moisture loss and provide hydration for dry and/or chapped lips. Look for ingredients such as beeswax, vitamin E, lanolin, olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and other plant oils and butters. Other unique ingredients to boost moisture include hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture and locks it in for extra hydrating action.

Treatment

If you want more out of your lip balm, look for products that provide additional treatments. For instance, some lip balms include ingredients meant to soothe and heal damaged or cracked lips. They will likely be richer and thicker than everyday lip balms. 

Others may be made specifically for wearing overnight to treat and heal over several hours. Some types provide a protective seal to prevent moisture loss and are excellent for dry, colder weather when lips can lose moisture easily.

Color

Lip balms can be pigmented to provide a burst of color. When looking for a lip balm you may want to choose one with some pigment. Typically, the color will be subtle and sheer. Look for one that suits your skin tone or looks good on all skin tones.

Sun Protection

Sun protection is crucial for your lips. The skin on your lips is thin and prone to burning. Sun exposure can also cause dryness, blistering, and cracking. Look for a lip balm that offers sun protection with at least SPF 15 if you are concerned about burns and sun exposure.

FAQ
  • What is the use of lip balm?

    Lip balm is primarily used to protect the lips from drying and chapping by sealing in or providing moisture. It can also be used to provide a sheer or lightly pigmented pop of color. Lip balms may include treatment ingredients and/or SPF to soothe and protect lips from damage.

  • What lip balm is best for dry lips?

    Dry lips can benefit from a lip balm with moisturizing oils and ingredients that lock in moisture, such as beeswax and vitamin E. Richer, thicker consistencies may work best for very dry lips. Consider an overnight treatment to further address damaged lips.

  • Can I use lip balm every day?

    You can use lip balm every day, and this is ideal if you tend to have dry lips or are in the sun. In this case, choose a lip balm with SPF for daily sun protection.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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  2. Jang HJ, Shin CY, Kim KB. Safety Evaluation of Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) Compounds for Cosmetic Use. Toxicol Res. 2015;31(2):105-136. doi:10.5487/TR.2015.31.2.105

  3. Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatologyIndian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7(4):311-315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494

  4. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant OilsInt J Mol Sci. 2017;19(1):70. doi:10.3390/ijms19010070

  5. Dos Santos Nascimento LB, Gori A, Raffaelli A, Ferrini F, Brunetti C. Phenolic Compounds from Leaves and Flowers of Hibiscus roseus: Potential Skin Cosmetic Applications of an Under-Investigated Species. Plants (Basel). 2021;10(3):522. doi:10.3390/plants10030522

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