8 Best Lip Balms

8 Best Lip Balms


After 15 hours of research evaluating 100 products, we picked Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick - 3 pack as our top choice.

When Dr. Jessica Wu spoke with Today about the cure for chapped lips, it’s no surprise that she mentioned lip balm (especially one that includes SPF). 


If you’re not currently using lip balm on a daily basis or if you’re unsatisfied with the one you currently have, what are you waiting for? Lip balm isn’t just for people who suffer from chapped lips. In fact, lip balm works great as a protectant from the sun, heat, dryness, and even from your own saliva.

Whether you’re reading this in the summer or the dead of winter, now is the perfect time to get on board with one of the best lip balms. You take such great care of your skin otherwise when you apply sunscreen, anti-aging creams, and other moisturizers. Your lips deserve just as good of treatment, if not better.

And for you ladies that want to give your pout a boost once you’ve found your best lip balm, check out our list of the best lip plumpers.

Our editors independently research, test, and recommmend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

8 Best Lip Balms

  • 8. Clinique Superbalm™ Lip Treatment
  • 7. Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm
  • 6. Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Lip Balm
  • 5. Carmex Original Lip Balm - 12 pack
  • 4. Lab Series PRO LS Lip Tech Lip Balm
  • 3. Blistex DCT Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF
  • 2. Natural Ice Original - SPF 15 lip balm - 12 pack
  • 1. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick - 3 pack

Best Luxury Lip Balm


Clinique Superbalm™ Lip Treatment

Best Luxury Lip Balm: Clinique Superbalm™ Lip Treatment
228 Bought
76 % Editor Score
82 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Perfect nighttime treatment for chapped lips
  • Works well in hot and arid climates
  • Good for sensitive skin

Seventeen calls the Clinique Superbalm the best for intensive care—and they’d be right. Customers who have used this lip balm swear by its hydrating capabilities even in the hottest and driest of climates.

Some people don’t like how sticky the lip balm feels when first applying; however, they say that it absorbs quickly.

Hydration: No climate too hot nor too dry will prevent this lip balm from keeping your lips hydrated. Customers find its best if you apply it at night for all day moisture the next day.

Texture: This is probably the only drawback to the lip balm, as some customers don’t like how sticky it feels. However, it does apply evenly, so you won’t have to worry about that. 

Convenience: This is a pretty small tube, so it’s definitely handy enough to carry around with you. And, unlike many of the tins that appear on this list, this applicator is easy to open and use.

Price: This is one of the more expensive lip balms we’ve seen, but customers swear by its hydrating capabilities. It’s also great for people with sensitivities who can’t rely on cheaper formulas.

Most Relieving Lip Balm for Dry Lips


Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm

Most Relieving Lip Balm for Dry Lips: Smith's Minted Rose Lip Balm
264 Bought
79 % Editor Score
84 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Moisturizing formula keeps lips soft
  • Feels light and minty
  • No need to reapply throughout the day

Most of the top fashion sites—Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Total Beauty, and Into the Gloss, to name a few—consistently name this lip balm as one of the best. They love the light feel and minty scent, as well as its moisturizing properties. (I think they also like how cute the little tin is, we definitely do.)

Many customers seemed to be confused when they discovered the lip balm isn’t tinted. There are others who claimed that the tin is too hard to open.

Hydration: Made from essential oils as well as peppermint oil, Smith’s lip balm does a great job of softening lips and keeping them that way.

Texture: This lip balm will go on nice and smooth. It’s also light enough where you can wear it beneath lipstick without feeling weighted down.

Convenience: You can bring this tin with you wherever you go.

Price: A little more expensive than drugstore lip balms, but cheaper than some of the other tin lip balms on our list.

Best Tinted Lip Balm


Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Lip Balm

Best Tinted Lip Balm: Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Lip Balm
288 Bought
80 % Editor Score
85 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Pretty pop of sheer color
  • Smells delicious
  • Will keep lips moist for hours

This lip balm does a fantastic job not only of hydrating lips, but it also comes in a variety of flattering shades of sheer tints. People also love the corresponding scents.

Some customers said the jelly-like consistency of the lip balm is difficult to apply.

Hydration: Customers rave about how this lip balm keeps their mouth moist for hours on end without having to reapply .

Texture: The jelly-like consistency of the formula is either loved by users or… not. It probably just depends on what you’re used to.

Convenience: These tiny tin lip balms are always super convenient to carry around or leave on your desk/nightstand/bathroom sink/etc.

Price: For such a small tin, this is a bit expensive.

Best Cheap Lip Balm


Carmex Original Lip Balm - 12 pack

Best Cheap Lip Balm: Carmex Original Lip Balm - 12 pack
188 Bought
96 % Editor Score
87 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Great for healing chapped lips and cold sores
  • Light formula that coats lips well
  • Best value lip balm

In terms of the best cheap lip balms, you really can’t do better than Carmex. It does a great job healing lips, it comes in a convenient container, and it goes on smooth.

Some people say Carmex leaves a bad taste while others don’t think the lip balm holds up all day.

Hydration: For the most part, customers are obsessed with what a good job this lip balm does of making and keeping lips moist. But it is a cheap lip balm, so it might not last as long as more expensive ones.

Texture: This lip balm goes on nice and smooth and leaves the slightest of a glossy finish.

Convenience: These tins are nice and small, so you can carry them on you easily enough.

Price: You likely won’t find a better deal or a cheaper lip balm.

Best Lip Balm for Chapped Lips


Lab Series PRO LS Lip Tech Lip Balm

Best Lip Balm for Chapped Lips: Lab Series PRO LS Lip Tech Lip Balm
203 Bought
87 % Editor Score
90 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Super hydrating lip balm that relieves chapped lips
  • Goes on smooth with a matte finish
  • Light minty scent

When you’ve got chapped lips, the last thing you’ll want to do is messy around with a lip balm that requires multiple applications to keep your lips feeling soft and moisturized. You won’t have that problem with this lightly scented and soothing lip balm.

It’s more expensive than what you’d find at the drugstore.

Hydration: Made with beeswax and shea butter, this lip balm strikes the perfect mix between a thick and soothing lip balm and super hydrating lip moisturizer.

Texture: This lip balm goes on smoothly and evenly. It also doesn’t leave a glossy sheen, which makes it a great lip balm for men.

Convenience: This tiny tube of lip balm is easy enough to pop in your pocket or bag and carry around wherever you go.

Price: It’s a little on the pricey side, but it’s worth it if you need relief from chapped lips.

Best Drugstore Lip Balm


Blistex DCT Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF

Best Drugstore Lip Balm: Blistex DCT Daily Conditioning Treatment SPF
188 Bought
92 % Editor Score
92 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Provides immediate relief for dry lips
  • No scent or flavor so great for sensitive skin
  • Simple, shine-free formula works great for both men and women

This is one of the best lip balms for men and women because of how simple the formula is. With no scent or flavor, no tint, and no uncomfortably thick waxy layer, this lip balm is best for no fuss, no muss moisture. Oh, and it provides SPF protection, too!

None noted.

Hydration: This lip balm not only provides immediate relief for dry lips, but it also works really well in extremely dry climates.

Texture: This formula goes on smooth and soaks in right away for all day softness and hydration.

Convenience: This one’s easy to bring with you whenever, wherever, though you probably won’t need to use it that often.

Price: It’s a little more expensive than other drugstore lip balm tins, but it’s worth the bump in price.

Best Lip Balm with SPF


Natural Ice Original - SPF 15 lip balm - 12 pack

Best Lip Balm with SPF: Natural Ice Original - SPF 15 lip balm - 12 pack
194 Bought
96 % Editor Score
95 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Heals chapped lips fast
  • SPF for added protection from the sun, heat, and dryness
  • Cooling sensation feels great without being overpowering

Chapstick brand is synonymous with lip balm, so we’d be remiss in our duties to leave them off this list. This particular lip balm is much loved by customers for its hydration and SPF protective powers, but is so hard to find in drugstores now a days so it was a pleasant surprise to find it online.

Be careful about ordering this from Amazon. You’ll want to make sure it comes from Chapstick and no third-party providers.

Hydration: This lip balm will not only make your lips feel better as they heal and soften, but the cooling sensation feels pretty rad, too. 

Texture: If you want a lip balm that will go on smooth and easy, look no further.

Convenience: Chapstick knows what they’re doing with their packaging, and this one is no different. Carry it with you everywhere.

Price: Price is not a problem with these, especially if you get the 12-pack on Amazon.

Best Lip Balm Overall


Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick - 3 pack

Best Lip Balm Overall: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick - 3 pack
495 Bought
96 % Editor Score
97 % User Score

Why People Love it

  • Goes on soft and smooth
  • Works great for moisturizing any dry skin, including lips
  • Great value

In addition to being an all-around amazing lip balm that feels great and performs well, it’s also one of the best value lip balms too as it comes in a giant container and lasts a long time. So if you like your lip balms to come in a convenient swivel container, to keep your lips moist, and to smell great, too, this is the absolute best.

Probably just the size of the container.

Hydration: Cocoa butter and vitamin E work together to soften and moisturize lips all day long.

Texture: Unlike a lot of the tin lip balms that feel oily or like jelly, this one has a consistency similar to Chapstick—which customers really like.

Convenience: This is probably the one main drawback; because the container is as big as a glue stick, it’s not as easy to carry around as some of the others on this list. 

Price: At first glance this is a mid-range lip balm, but it does last a lot longer than others which makes the price a steal.

Best Lip Balm Tips and Buying Guide

Neglecting your lips is a definite no-go. You could have an immaculate complexion and a bomb AF outfit, but a dry, flaky pout will almost always distract anyone away from the rest of your face. Truly, even the world’s best lipsticks are no match to cracked, peeling lips.

And aesthetics is really just a small part of it. We’ve all experienced the horrors of chapped lips—the discomfort, pain, and occasional bleeding that goes with it. No matter what gender and age, it’s something we all shouldn’t have to go through.

But as annoying as flaky lips can be, they’re also one of the easiest beauty dilemmas to solve. Really, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to achieve kissable lips. All you need is a good lip balm (or five) and some expert tips on how to maximize its benefits.

Below is a comprehensive buying guide that will introduce and immerse you into the world of lip balms. Of course, choosing a random product from the lip balms we’ve recommended above works fine, but if you’re determined to make the absolute best choice of your life (no kidding), read on!

The Benefits of Having Hydrated Lips

Some people think that applying a lip balm every day is an unnecessary step. If you absolutely hate smooth, kissable lips and would rather have them chapped and cracked, then you’re right—lip balms are indeed superfluous.

If you’re like the rest of us, however, you’d want your lips to be hydrated at all times. But did you know that there’s more to using lip balms than enjoying that comfy, moisturized feeling? Read on!

  • Hydrated lips make you look younger. Believe it or not, a hydrated pout can really knock years off your face. Full-looking, smooth lips signal youth and vitality (Just ask the Kardashians). You can even take it a notch higher and get yourself a lip balm that actually has anti-aging ingredients, such as antioxidants, collagen, and SPF.
  • Lip balms help your skin heal faster. You already know this from years of using Aquaphor, but your skin heals better and recovers faster when it is kept moist. Using a lip balm not only seals up nasty cracks on your lips, but it also prevents further irritation and possible infections.
  • You’ll prevent embarrassing chapped lips from making an appearance. If you’ve ever experienced having severely cracked and peeling lips, then you know that it’s not only painful, but downright embarrassing as well! Cracked lips can be really distracting for the people around you, too, and it may even hinder them from focusing on what you’re trying to say.
  • Having moisturized lips improves the look and wear of your favorite lipstick. Prepping with a lip balm is essential for a pretty pout, especially if you like wearing lipsticks. Bright colors, such as coral, orangey red, and hot pink, are especially prone to emphasizing dryness and accentuating chapped lips. If your lips are peeling, it follows that pigments from your fave lippie will easily peel off, too.

What Causes Chapped Lips?

Almost everyone has had chapped lips at one point. But did you know that many of our seemingly-innocent habits actually trigger it?

Unlike the rest of our body, the skin on our lips doesn’t have sweat glands—so it doesn’t have the means to naturally moisturize itself. This is the primary reason why our lips are so much more prone to dryness and dehydration.

Factors and habits that exacerbate this problem include:

  • Frequently licking your lips. The skin covering your lips is very thin and sensitive. When we lick our lips, we expose that skin to digestive enzymes that are far too harsh for this delicate skin layer. Even worse, as the saliva evaporates from the lips, it ends up taking away even more moisture! In a nutshell, the more you lick your lips, the drier they become.
  • Certain lip products. Some products, such as lipsticks and lip glosses, contain ingredients that irritate and dry out the skin. Ultra-matte lipsticks were all the rage a few seasons back, and we can all agree how great they were at making our lips feel like the Saharan Desert.
  • Harsh medication and personal care products. Certain medicines, skin conditions, and excessive Vitamin A intake are all linked to chapped lips. So is using overly-harsh gel toothpaste every day.
  • Too much sun exposure. You already know how the sun affects your skin, and it works pretty much the same with your lips. If you’re constantly out in the open and you fail to put SPF on your puckers, you’re bound to have a lot of run-ins with dry lips.
  • Vitamin B deficiency. If you’re positive that you aren’t guilty of any of the four items listed above, then having severely chapped lips might be a sign of a nutrient deficiency. No lip balm will completely solve your problem if this was the case, so you should definitely consult with your doctor if you suspect that you’re Vitamin B-deficient.

Choosing a Lip Balm That You’ll Love to Use

Decide the type of packaging that you’re into.

Lip balms are available in different types of packaging. Packaging plays an integral role in the user experience, so paying attention to it is a must. If you’re more comfortable dabbing it on with your fingers, buying a lip balm in a jar or pot is probably the best choice. If you prefer a more direct application, a lip balm stick or squeeze tube is your best bet.

Go for multi-tasking wonders.

While some of us prefer to keep things simple, trying a multi-tasking product wouldn’t hurt. For example, you might want to look for a lip balm that doesn’t only moisturize but also protects your lips from the sun.

If sun exposure isn’t an issue, maybe you’d want to score added moisture and a pretty flush—in which case a tinted lip balm should do the trick. Minty balms also help freshen your breath apart from keeping your lips hydrated. Some lip balms even pack all these wonderful benefits in a single stick. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Consider your smell and flavor preferences.

Some people love fruity lip balms, while others won’t even touch fragranced products with a 10-foot pole. We’re blessed with countless scent and flavor options these days -- from fruity berries to decadent vanillas. Think about what you’d like your lip balm to smell like, or if you even want it to smell like anything at all.

Think about the severity of the problem.

We all deal with varying levels of dryness. A slightly-dry pout will need a different level of care compared to extremely cracked and peeling lips. If the latter applies to you, don’t hesitate to go for medicated balms to really treat the problem at the root.

Decide what finish suits your needs and lifestyle: Shimmer vs. Shine vs. Matte

Gone are the days when all lip balms worked and felt the same. Today’s products come in all sorts of finishes to cater to different preferences. Some lip balms feel really moist and slippery, while some sport a waxier feel. Heck, even matte lip balms exist nowadays! If you like to have a bit of girly fun, shimmery balms with micro-glitters are a fun option, too.

Look at the ingredients and benefits that it offers.

Some of the most popular lip care ingredients include beeswax, sweet almond oil, Vitamin E, lanolin, and petrolatum. Consider which ingredients you value the most, as well as whether or not you have special requirements (such as all-vegan ingredients or a paraben-free formula, for example).

Ingredients like petrolatum seal the lips and protect them from harsh weather conditions—making them ideal for outdoor use. Meanwhile, butters and oils provide conditioning and moisture for smoother lips, which makes them a great day-to-day option if you don’t have to battle extreme environments or temperatures.

How Long Should You Keep Your Stick? (Or Tube, Or Jar…)

We’re all guilty of losing our lip balms every now and then. After all, they’re generally cheaper and more accessible than makeup products, and so losing a stick or two doesn’t hurt as much as losing your favorite lipstick.

It’s because of situations like this that lip balm multipacks exist. Buying multipacks is a great way to ensure that you’ll always have access to a lip balm whenever you need it. You probably pop one in your purse, one on the bathroom sink, one on the bedside table, and so on.

But the more lip balms you have in rotation, the likelihood of actually using them all up becomes smaller, too. This makes you prone to holding on to items much longer than you should. Remember: as with all cosmetics, lip balms don’t last forever.

So, how do you know when it’s time to toss an old lip balm? Here are a few guidelines:

  • Lip balms are generally good for 1 to 5 years, depending on the formula. The simplest way to know when it’s time to retire a stick is to check the label. However, its actual lifespan may be shortened by other factors, such as your usage patterns.
  • Lip balms in tin cans and jars tend to pick up extra germs from your fingers, so it’s best to let them go after a year.
  • Once you notice a significant change in texture and/or smell, your lip balm may already be compromised. Once it starts smelling off or feeling crumbly, toss it.
  • Any lip balm with sun protection will become less effective after several months. If you’re serious about your SPF, it’s better to pop a fresh one open once a year.

Expert Tips for Soft and Moisturized Lips

  • Resist the urge to lick your lips—especially when they’re already chapped.
  • Avoid breathing through your mouth. All that hot air you’re expelling from your mouth? It evaporates moisture out of your lips.
  • Regularly exfoliate your lips to get rid of dead skin cells. A trick that many recommend is using a soft toothbrush and some petroleum jelly to give your lips a good scrubbin’.
  • If you prefer to use commercial lip scrubs, that works, too! But always remember to use gentle scrubbing motions to avoid wounding your lips.
  • After exfoliating your lips, always follow up with your lip balm of choice. If you’re about to head out, use a lip balm with SPF as exfoliation makes your lips more vulnerable to the sun.
  • You’ve probably heard this a million times by now, but keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. Drinking the recommended eight glasses of water daily is important if you want to keep your lips nice and hydrated.
  • Don’t be afraid to go crazy! There’s no such thing as applying too much lip balm. Use it as many times as you need (or want). Also, don’t forget to re-apply it after eating or drinking water.
  • Slathering on a thick lip balm right before you go to bed gives you the opportunity to wake up with soft, pillowy lips.

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Article Staff

A six-year marketing veteran and a writer since the womb, Suzanne Scacca now specializes in writing content for a variety of audiences. She has been published on Inc.com, Examiner, SEJ, Elegant Themes, and other marketing, tech, hospitality, and business blogs. When not writing about the latest news and trends, Suzanne can be found hanging out with her dog, eating way too much dessert, and watching horror movies.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
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