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Lip balm is one of those staple beauty products that you use from the time you’re a child until you’re old and gray. Though your taste in products may evolve over the years, lip balm will always have a place on your vanity, in your purse, in your car, in your medicine cabinet, and pretty much everywhere else. But with so many on the market, it’s almost impossible to know which one works best.
Though lip balms used to just be medicated and non-medicated, they are just as diverse in formulation as moisturizers now. From ones that have shimmer and shine to ones infused with gold,there are a variety of lip balms to address any concerns you might have for your lips. Read on to check out our top picks for all of the best lip balms you can buy.
Best Overall: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
This lip mask from Bite Beauty has almost 3,600 five-star reviews on Sephora.com, and for good reason. Though you can wear it daily as a lip balm, it’s actually an overnight lip mask, so the formula is much thicker than your typical balms. It’s made with agave nectar and jojoba oil to provide a deep nourishment and help improve the texture of your lips. Like all Bite Beauty products, the Agave Lip Mask is formulated without parabens, sulfates, phthalates, silicone, gluten, and petrochemicals.
It works well on its own for no makeup days because of its natural shine, but also works well as a primer for other lip products. It layers well with lipstick on top of it, and because of its sticky formulation, it doesn’t cause your lip products to bleed. The original formula is clear with no tint, and you can also buy one of the tinted versions for the perfect your-lips-but-better sheen.
Best Budget: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm - 2 count
Burt’s Bees’ Beeswax Lip Balm has been a long-time favorite of many lip product enthusiasts because of its lightweight formula and tingly cooling sensation. The package of two gives you more bang for your buck—and you can keep one in your purse and another on your vanity.
With over 1,200 reviews on Target’s website averaging at five stars, it’s safe to assume that this lip balm actually works. With all that hype, the vitamin E-rich formula is sure to leave your lips feeling refreshed.
Best For Chapped Lips: Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm
Nothing is worse than when your lips are chapped and the balm is more sticky so it skids over your lips instead of glides. Drunk Elephant’s Lippe Balm is the perfect solution. It is formulated with a concoction of natural oils, including avocado, mongongo, cranberry, and marula oils, to deeply hydrate and soothe dry, cracked lips. It also contains peptides and sea fern algae to help make lips appear a little plumper, as well as green tea leaf and vitamin C to protect against environmental stressors.
The formula is buttery in its texture and feels weightless on the skin. It also has no fragrance or taste, so you don’t have to worry about it messing with your food and drinks. The formula is certified “Clean at Sephora,” meaning that it doesn’t contain harmful ingredients like Sulfates SLS and SLES, parabens, formaldehydes, formaldehyde-releasing agents, phthalates, mineral oil, retinyl palmitate, oxybenzone, coal tar, hydroquinone, triclosan, and triclocarban. Though it is a little pricey at first glance, we believe it’s well worth the coin.
Best Drugstore Option: Eos Crystal Lip Balm - Hibiscus Peach
In addition to having super cute packaging and a unique, completely clear formula, Eos’ Crystal Lip Balm is worth a visit to the drugstore. This vegan balm is wax-free, so it doesn’t have the heaviness that a lot of lip balms can leave on your lips. It’s also vegan, gluten, paraben, and petrolatum-free, so you know you’re putting a clean formula on your lips. It’s lightly scented, but not overpowering in any way, but has virtually no taste.
Best For Winter: Tatcha Camellia Goldspun Lip Balm
If you’re looking for the most luxurious lip balm you could possibly own, the Tatcha Camellia Goldspun Lip Balm is it. The 23-karat gold flakes are just the beginning. As the name implies, the balm’s main ingredient is camellia oil, which is scientifically-proven to have anti-aging properties. Camellia also helps induce the production of collagen in your lips to make them look fuller and plumper. The gold isn’t just for show, either. When it melts into your lips with the rest of the balm, it gives them a shine reminiscent of your favorite lip gloss.
It’s an extremely moisturizing formula that is perfect for harsh winter months. You get the effects of a gloss without the stickiness (which is especially helpful in winter winds), and it layers well with other products if you choose to wear lipstick. The best thing about it, though, is that it looks great when it’s worn by itself. Between Tatcha’s and Sephora’s website, the product has well over 600 five-star reviews, with some users claiming that it’s the “best lip balm they’ve ever tried.”
Best With SPF: Supergoop! AcaiFusion Lip Balm Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Lips are actually one of the most sun-sensitive parts of the body, so SPF protection for your lips is a must, especially if you’re headed out into the sun. Supergoop! is known for all of their SPF-fueled products, and their lip balm is no different. The AcaiFusion Lip Balm has SPF 30 for ultimate coverage, and it’s also a rich, hydrating formula that will help with dry, chapped lips. Acai berry is rich in antioxidants to help protect against environmental stressors—not just the sun—and the shea butter in the formula helps to lock in hydration.
One commenter called it their “favorite lip balm of all time,” writing, “I threw out my old [lip balms] after trying this one. Smooth, non-sticky product, protects and smooths my lips even on the hottest summer days. I have very sensitive skin and have fantastic results. And I am super picky about lip balms, but this one is a winner.”
Best Medicated: Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment - 3 count
Blistex’s Medicated Lip Ointment has been a staple in many people’s medicine cabinets for years. It is formulated with Camphor, Dimethicone, Menthol, and Phenol to help soothe and protect dry, cracked lips. It also helps with relieving pain and itchiness caused by chapped lips, cold sores, and/or blisters. And with three tubes in the package, you get a great value for your money.
Best Vegan: Herbivore Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner
All of Herbivore’s products are vegan, which only makes our love for their Coco Rose Coconut Oil Lip Conditioner that much stronger. Rose is an ingredient commonly used to help soothe and moisturize tired, dry, or irritated skin, and its purpose in this lip balm is the same. The rose isn’t overpowering in its flavor or scent. It is mixed with extra virgin coconut oil to provide an intense, yet lightweight, layer of moisture to the lips. Though it’s made with coconut oil, it’s noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.