As we make our way through the winter months, you may find yourself contending with one of the most unpleasant side effects of the chilly season: chapped lips. While there's little you can do about the weather, the best thing you can do for your lips besides staying hydrated is regularly using a lip balm that helps protect you against the ill effects of the cold.
However, with lots of options out there, it can be hard to decide which balm will meet your needs and become your ride-or-die. To help you out, we've gathered up some of our—and customer—favorites that will keep your lips soft and kissable long after the mistletoe comes down.
What Ingredients Should I Look For?
There are a numberless key ingredients in lip balms that help to make them protective, hydrating, and long-lasting. Here's what to look for before you buy.
Oils, butters, and waxes: These three ingredients are crucial for locking in moisture and keeping your skin hydrated. Popular choices are shea butter, avocado oil, and beeswax—though there are often many variations of this holy trinity in lip balm. Having two or more of these ingredients in your lip balm is crucial to it working well and lasting long.
Vitamin E: Many lip balms include vitamin E, which helps promote the regeneration of skin cells and brings new skin cells to the surface of dry lips faster. It also has a thick, oily viscosity, which helps protect that outer layer and locks in moisture.
SPF: SPF is so, so important, especially for your lips. If you want to compass the health and suppleness of your lips as you age, you need to protect them daily with SPF 15 or higher—particularly if you are a runner or spend a lot of time outside. You will need to reapply after you eat, or every hour or so you spend outside, so choosing a lip balm that has that SPF built in can help make this an easy part of your daily routine.
How We Chose
To find the best lip balms among the numerous contenders on the market, we looked at expert reviews from trusted sources like Byrdie and The Strategist. We then took into account price, ingredients, size, look, and feel. Finally, we consulted more than 71,000 reviews, written by people who’ve bought these products on Amazon to identify the cream of the crop.
- Protective Ingredients: Beeswax, vitamin E, peppermint oil
- SPF: No
If you're looking for a basic lip balm, you can't go wrong with good ol' Burt's Bees. Made with beeswax, vitamin E, and peppermint oil it is nourishing, hydrating, and has a satisfying cooling feeling from the mint.
This lip balm comes in a pack of four and, with over 35,000 reviews on Amazon, has maintained a 4.5/5 star average. Unlike a lot of lip balms, this one doesn't have much shine, so it's a great choice for those who don't want to look like they're wearing anything on their lips.
- Protective Ingredients: Aloe, vitamin E
- SPF: Advanced and Basic Fitness Trackers for Runners
If you run outside, you need to be wearing SPF, period. And while you may be good about using SPF moisturizer or spraying on a quick layer of sunscreen before heading out, chances are you are regularly forgetting your lips. Since your lips are among the most delicate areas on your body, they are also among the most sensitive to the sun.
These Sun Bum lip balms come in coconut, banana, and watermelon scents and pack SPF 30, making them ideal for runners. They also contain aloe and vitamin E, which help keep your lips feeling smooth and looking healthy.
- Protective Ingredients: Castor seed oil, sesame seed oil, beeswax
- SPF: No
If you were an ’80s or ’90s baby, you’ll definitely remember the complete obsession we had with Lip Smacker lip balm. This pack comes with eight different balms in scents like Oatmeal Cookie, Vanilla, Mango, Watermelon, Tropical Punch, Cotton Candy, Kiwi, and Strawberry.
Original & Best Holiday Lip Balm Party Pack customers love how comfortable they feel on the lips, as well as the ample hydration and protection they pack. Plus, the yummy scents will have you reapplying often.
- Protective Ingredients: Petroleum jelly, peppermint oil, cotton seed oil
- SPF: No
This lip balm has been my personal go-to for about a decade now. It is soothing, hydrating, and lasts forever. It gives a pretty, glossy look without being overly sticky, and it's a lifesaver during dry winter days.
The rose and mint scent smells clean and fresh and can even be applied on other areas of the face where you may have dry skin. If you don't like to stick your fingers in your lip balm pot, it also comes in tubes.
- Protective Ingredients: Jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, avocado oil
- SPF: Yes, SPF 15
The Sugar tinted lip treatment has been a favorite of lip balm enthusiasts for years now, and with good reason. There are 14 beautiful shades to choose from, they work great on all skin tones, and it has a signature delicious sugary scent.
The formula is buildable and free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosan. It also has SPF 15, which makes it a great choice for everyday wear to keep your lips healthy.
- Protective Ingredients: Avocado oil, açai extract
- SPF: No
This tinted balm from Honest Beauty is cruelty-free, vegan, and made without petrolatum, paraffins, parabens, synthetic fragrances, silicones, and mineral oils. Instead, it uses avocado oil and açai extracts, which give the formula a buttery-smooth application.
The color is buildable, so you can either go for a slightly tinted look or a more pigmented lip in any of the balm's seven colors.
- Protective Ingredients: Olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba seed oil, shea butter, beeswax
- SPF: No
Eos lip balm is organic, gentle, and super hydrating. It uses natural oils, waxes, and butters to help lock in moisture, which also gives it a super smooth feel.
The mint flavor is subtle and won't burn the lips even when chapped. Instead, it provides a soothing, cooling feel that's not sticky whatsoever. The unique round shape is also a plus, making it easy to find in the bottom of your bag.
- Protective Ingredients: Lanolin oil
- SPF: No
Not only does this balm work great for moisturizing the most dry, chapped lips, but it works to hydrate other parts of your body as well including hands, dry patches, or even nipples for nursing moms.
It is made from 100% natural lanolin—an oil present in sheep's wool—that mimics the naturally-occurring oils in human skin. It is super hydrating and can hold up to 400% of its weight in moisture, creating a protective barrier for your skin.