We buy different products for our faces but our lips are often forgotten. Unfortunately, our lips take a real beating from the elements, what we eat, what we drink, and products that we wear such as lipstick.
We’re going to look at some of the best lip balms on the market and see if we can determine which is our favorite and why.
Your lips need and deserve as much love and attention as the rest of your body. They need protection from extreme temperatures whether that be the sun, wind, or rain.
But there are so many different brands available all promising to be the best thing that you should put on your lips. So what should you be looking for in a really good lip balm? Let me help you figure it out!
Table of Contents
- 1 The Guide To Lip Balm
- 2 What Is A Lip Balm?
- 3 What Are Its Uses?
- 4 What To Look For In A Good Lip Balm?
- 5 Precautions For Using Lip Balm
- 6 Make Your Own Lip Balm
- 7 The Best of The Best
- 8 1. Carmex Classic Lip Balm
- 9 2. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm
- 10 3. Blistex Lip Medex Lip Protectant
- 11 4. Chapstick Lip Moisturizer
- 12 5. eos USDA Organic Lip Balm
- 13 FAQ
- 14 Main Differences Between The Brands
- 15 The Final Thought
The Guide To Lip Balm
So you’re probably thinking that this isn’t as complicated as I am making it out to be, that you have made far bigger and more important decisions in your life so far.
To be honest, yes, you probably have made bigger and more important decisions in your life. However, that still doesn’t mean that this is going to be an easy decision and that you should just pick up the first lip balm off the supermarket shelf!
If you purchase the wrong product, not only would you have wasted your money but you may end up causing more problems than you will solve. So here is our ultimate guide to lip balm and the best ones on the market.
What Is A Lip Balm?
Lip balm or lip salve is a wax-like substance that you typically apply to your lips to moisturize, relieve chapped lips, or to protect from the elements.
Lip balm often contains beeswax or carnauba wax. Its purpose is to look after your lips in the same way as your very expensive face cream does your face but at a fraction of the cost usually.
What Are Its Uses?
The primary use of lip balm is to provide a protective layer on the lip surface which helps to seal in moisture and protect from external elements such as heat, wind, or cold.
These elements can have a drying effect on skin by drawing the moisture away from your body. Lip balm is also great for treating other conditions such as
What To Look For In A Good Lip Balm?
To make sure that the lip balm that you are buying is the right one for you, you need to know certain things about it first. These things include the following.
The ingredients of your lip balm are very important, even more so if you have any known allergies or irritants. So take the time to read the ingredient list.
There are also certain ingredients that are known to dehydrate the lips further and also to cause irritation which is the last thing you want – things like Salicylic acid, menthol, and peppermint are all culprits.
If you’re concerned about any ingredients that are contained in your lip balm, you can always stick to the ones that contain mostly natural ingredients such as EOS Organic Lip Balm or Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Lip Balm.
Stick or Round Container
You might not think that this is an important factor but take my word for it, it really is. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to open one of those round containers while trying to do a million other things at the same time.
You need convenience and ease of use!
Carmex classic lip balm traditionally uses different packaging such as tubes that you squeeze and apply directly to your lips. These are super simple to use and also allows you to use the full content of the tube.
From personal experience, you want your lip balm to come in packaging that combines both form and function.
This is a super important thing to consider and is very much down to personal choice. Some people prefer a lip balm with a thicker consistency while others prefer more of a liquid consistency.
What you must remember is that the texture of the lip balm will determine how easy it is to apply and how quickly it is absorbed into your lips.
The lip balms that we are reviewing vary in thickness from extremely thick and quite difficult to apply to thinner with not as much coverage. It really will come down to your personal preference.
Most lip balms come colored but they are clear when applied. Personally I think these are the best as they offer you the potential to use even over lipstick as well as on their own.
Lip balms come in a whole host of different flavors from common things like strawberry to the less common flavor of chamomile.
The 100% natural lip balms like Burt’s Bees are available in original beeswax flavor among others while both the Carmex Classic and Blistex Medicated have no definite flavor and a very mild scent.
Again, this is something that is going to be very much a personal choice and will be different for each individual.
Precautions For Using Lip Balm
You may be under the assumption that lip balm can be applied as many times in a day as you like and that the more you apply it the better it is for your lips.
Unfortunately, this is not true. Most dermatologists recommend that you only apply lip balm when you wake up, after eating or drinking, and just before you go to bed.
By using a lip balm excessively, you may be causing more damage to your lips as it could lead to increased dehydration and increased chapping.
If you have cold sores, you need to be particularly careful with regard to applying lip balm to them. Cold sores can be particularly painful and you really need to use a lip balm that has natural analgesics to help with this and prevent any further issues.
Ideally, for cold sores, you need to use a medicated cream that is specifically designed for the treatment of them.
Make Your Own Lip Balm
If you feel that none of the lip balms are suitable for you, you can always craft your very own version from scratch. It is really very simple and will take around 10 minutes from start to finish.
- 3 tbsp. Beeswax pellets
- 3 tbsp. Shea butter
- 4 tbsp. Coconut Oil, you can use other liquid oil such as almond, olive, or grapeseed oil.
- Essential oil of your choice 10-20 drops or Flavor oil 1/2 dram
- Melt the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl in increments of 30 seconds, stirring really well after every 30 seconds.
- Stir in the essential oil that you have chosen or flavor oil.
- Carefully decant into pots or tubes and allow them to cool before using.
You can also prepare your lip balm using a cooker. You would need to remove the pan from the heat once the butter has all melted and before you add in the essential oil or flavor oil.
The Best of The Best
Carmex is a long-lasting lip balm that is fantastic at relieving dry chapped lips. It comes in various packaging from tubes to round containers.
Personally, I prefer the tubes as it makes application very simple. Carmex has quite a thick consistency so should last for quite a few hours without needing to be reapplied.
This lip balm is medicated and has some great ingredients such as camphor, menthol, and phenol which helps to kill germs and relieve the discomfort and pain caused by chapped lips.
It will also help to exfoliate your lips ensuring they are always at their best. Be warned that your lips will tingle shortly after applying this lip balm but it is nothing to worry about. This lip balm is also extremely affordable.
This 100% natural lip balm is fantastic at moisturizing your lips with its beeswax and peppermint formula. Your lips will feel fully hydrated and super soft after using it.
This lip balm also has quite a thick consistency similar to Carmex and is easy to apply but this thickness also means that you do not need to continuously reapply it.
It’s available in a range of flavors as well as the original beeswax flavor. You can also purchase a tinted lip balm from Burt’s Bees that will give you a hint of color while still providing hours of moisturizing.
Blistex formula is designed to restore the moisture balance in your lips by providing a cooling lip relief.
It contains medicated ingredients that help to alleviate the uncomfortable sensation of itching and burning that is associated with chapped or excessively dry lips. It’s easy to apply whether in the stick form or round container.
It has no particular scent but I feel that it has a scent almost similar to disinfectant. Not sure if this is a good thing, but it does a good job of keeping your lips hydrated!
Chapstick is one of the most well-known lip balm brands and has been in the market for many years. If you don’t like a flavored lip balm then its original formula might be for you. It also comes in a variety of other flavors.
This lip balm is fantastic at moisturizing. It has a special formula containing 11 moisturizing ingredients such as aloe and vitamin E.
It also provides SPF 15 protection and UVB and promises to keep lips moisturized for up to 8 hours before needing to be reapplied.
This 100% organic and gluten-free lip balm finishes off my top 5 list. This lip balm was the winner of the women’s choice award 2018 and is designed to lock-in moisture with its formula that contains soothing shea butter and jojoba oil.
It contains no paraben or petroleum which means it is 100% natural. The eos lip balm comes in a strange little pot that almost resembles a roll-on deodorant, great for convenience, and looks good in your bag too.
Does lip balm have an expiry date similar to make up?
It’s a difficult one to answer as each brand will have a different expiry time depending on what ingredients are contained in their formula.
Generally, lip balm will last from 1- 5 years. There are exceptions to the general rule and these are:
- Any lip balm that contains SPF generally become less effective after the first year of use. Both Chapstick and Burt’s Bees recommend disposing of balms after one year.
- Lip balms that come in little round tins are more prone to picking up bacteria from your fingers, so best not to keep them past a year due to health reasons.
- Lip balms that hydrate and moisturize tend to dry out faster than the protective ones. So won’t be much good after the first year of use.
What does medicated lip balm mean?
According to the AAD, certain ingredients such as camphor, some flavors, and scents like menthol and salicylic acid can irritate lips.
Those lip balms that contain healing ingredients such as castor seed oil and are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic are the best-medicated ones available.
This means that a medicated lip balm is one that is going to help to soothe, protect, or repair your lips.
Why does lip balm need to contain SPF?
Lip balms do not need to contain SPF in order for them to be sold. But if you have a lip balm that comes with SPF, it will not only moisturize your lips but it will also protect your delicate lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays too.
Main Differences Between The Brands
Carmex vs Burt’s bees
These are my top two lip balms but they have some differences that may influence your choice.
- Carmex has SPF 15 whereas Burt’s Bees has no SPF.
- Carmex has a thick oily texture and is quick and easy to apply while the Burt’s Bees is a harder less oily texture so will need to be layered on your lips a few times to get the best coverage.
- The Burt’s Bees flavor lasts for a while but the Carmex flavor disappears very quickly after application.
- Carmex is the most affordable of the two brands and is widely available, whereas Burt’s Bees is more expensive and not so widely available.
Blistex vs eos
- The packaging of the Blistex is either sticks or round containers whereas the eos only comes in their trademark egg shaped packaging.
- Blistex is medicated and contains ingredients that will help to repair and protect your lips while eos is only a moisturizing formula.
- Blistex is very affordable and is readily available in most supermarkets while the eos brand is quite expensive and usually only available online although it does sporadically pop up in supermarkets.
Chapstick vs Carmex
Chapstick is one of the most well-known lip balm brands and Carmex is one of the best lip balms so let’s see what the differences are.
- Carmex provides great moisturizing, is medicated, and helps heal chapped lips whereas Chapstick is great at moisturizing but does not have the medicated label.
- Carmex does make your lips tingle after use and Chapstick definitely does not.
The Final Thought
Lip balm is a very personal choice. For me, if you’re looking for one that is great at protecting your lips from the elements, keeping them moisturized for long periods of time without reapplying then it has to be Carmex Classic Lip Balm.
It’s also widely available and very affordable. It also comes in a variety of flavors, some with SPF and in a different container so you will be sure to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.