Best lip balm

Lip Makeup

Many lip balms are edible and flavored, making them even more enjoyable to put on and wear all day.

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Which lip balms are best?

As winter approaches, so does winter dryness for many regions. Lips are often one of the first casualties of biting winds and low temperatures, and keeping them soft and moist is a priority for many. Many lip balms on the market either fade away too quickly to provide any real protection or actually contain ingredients that dry out the lips further. These lip balms are safe and effective choices to protect and heal dry, chapped lips. 

A top pick for the best lip balm is the Lanolips Multipurpose Superbalm, a high end multipurpose lanolin balm that soothes lips and heals broken skin without any potentially damaging ingredients.

What to know before you buy a lip balm

Moisturizing ingredients

A lip balm, combined with a lip exfoliator, can make for the perfect pre-lipstick lip treatment to make sure the color goes on smoothly and stays that way, without any peeling skin or smudging. Lip balms are heavy duty moisturizers for the most part, containing oils and butters to soothe dry and chapped lips.

Medicated balms

Many lip balms are medicated, meaning they contain ingredients that can heal broken or dried out skin. Properly used medicated lip balm can be healing. Beware, however, as ingredients like menthol and camphor can further dry out the lips with overuse. 

What to look for in a quality lip balm


Most lip balms contain a relatively similar collection of ingredients, with some variation. Many lip balms have a petroleum base, which can be extremely moisturizing but some people may wish to avoid it for health or ethical reasons. These are often a slightly cheaper option. Also popular are lanolin and beeswax based lip balms, which are efficient moisturizers but not vegan friendly. There are also a whole host of plant based moisturizing balms, relying on ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter. With so many options available, it’s easy to find a high quality lip balm that suits your needs and tastes.


Even if you remember to wear sunscreen every day, most people don’t think about applying it to the lips, but lips can get burnt and damaged just as much as the rest of the face can. Lip balms that contain SPF are a handy tool to prevent sun damage. Even if you aren’t wearing makeup or other sun protectants, they’re easy to put on and reapply frequently. Make sure the sunscreen in lip balms is safe for use on the lips and won’t leave a white cast before buying.


Lip balms come in a range of colors, from fully clear to deeply tinted to match every skin tone. A tinted lip balm can make a look feel more put together without having to wear a full face of makeup. Look for a tint that matches your skin and natural lip color. You want something that enhances and doesn’t clash when it comes to tinted lip balms, as the natural lip color will show through. 

How much you can expect to spend on lip balm

Lip balms come in a huge range of prices. Standard drugstore lip balms can be as inexpensive as under $2, while pricier name brands can cost as much as close to $20. 

Lip balm FAQ

Is lip balm vegan?

A. It depends on the product. Most lip balms contain ingredients like beeswax or even lanolin, so your best bet is to search for a dedicated vegan lip balm to avoid these common ingredients. These will usually rely on oils sourced from vegetable products (like coconut, olive, hemp and others) and butters or waxes like shea butter or candelilla wax for structure. Vegan lip balms are also often but not always petroleum free.

Does lip balm dry out your lips further?

A. Some lip balms contain ingredients that can dry out lips further, but not all of them. It’s best to figure out what ingredients you’re sensitive to, since even moisturizing ingredients like beeswax, vitamin E oil and lanolin can irritate some people’s skin. Other medicated ingredients like camphor and menthol can also be drying. Overall, it depends on the balm and your own personal skin chemistry, though some ingredients are particularly prone to drying out skin.

What’s the best lip balm to buy?

Top lip balm

Lanolips Multipurpose Superbalm

Lanolips Multipurpose Superbalm

What you need to know: A lanolin multipurpose balm that fights off dryness and peeling, suitable for long term, overnight wear. 

What you’ll love: It’s high quality, petroleum free, unscented, and one tube will last you a long time. It comes in cute, retro packaging. The tube is also easy to use and hygienic.

What you should consider: It’s 100% lanolin, so it’s not suitable for vegans or those with wool allergies. It’s expensive for a lip balm. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta

Top lip balm for the money

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

Smith’s Rosebud Salve

What you need to know: A cult classic salve with a subtle pink shade in a beautiful, old school style tin.

What you’ll love: Fans call it a holy grail product and say it’s the only thing that helps their chronically dry skin. It has a light pink tint and isn’t as expensive as some of the other name brands out there.

What you should consider: Some had difficulty opening the container, and it will melt in high temperatures.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora

Worth checking out

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

What you need to know: An SPF 25 lip balm that comes in five different scents, full of natural healing ingredients.

What you’ll love: It contains antioxidants and superior moisturizers for peak hydration while also protecting the lips, an oft-ignored part of the body, from sun damage. It’s also paraben and sulfate free. 

What you should consider: It does contain petroleum, and the sun blocking ingredients are not reef safe. Some may not like the scents.

Where to buy: Sold by Sephora and Ulta


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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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