Chapstick is a staple in millions of people’s purses, nightstands, car consoles and coat pockets. Did your last tube just run out? While there are probably thousands of different lip care products out there, StudyFinds set out to find the very best lip balm for smooth kisses.
Speaking of smooches, do you know how to kiss correctly? Turns out the way you tilt your head for a smooch corresponds with your dominant hand, which explains why most people who initiate a kiss tilt to the right. But which way you tilt your head is secondary to how soft your lips feel. If you want to avoid dry and chapped skin, you need lip balm.
While everyone needs lip balm, it has an added benefit for women who want to look younger, especially the tinted version. A recent Swiss study showed women appear more youthful when their lips stand out (as well as their eyes and eyebrows). Researchers call this “facial contrast.” The age perception holds true across all cultures, according to the research team.
“People of different cultures use facial contrast as a cue for perceiving age from the face, even though they are not consciously aware of it,” said Aurélie Porcheron, one of the study authors. “The results also suggest that people could actively modify how old they look, by altering how much their facial features stand out, for example by darkening or coloring their features.”
A good lip balm can enhance your lips and provide the sensitive skin on your lips with much-needed nutrition and protection, ideally including UV protection. And quality doesn’t have to be expensive! Whether you prefer something fun or a more natural product, StudyFinds went over ten expert websites and created our top-five list to help you find the best lip balm that’s perfect for you. Did we miss your favorite smacker? Let us know in the comments below!
The List: Best Lip Balm Most Recommended by Experts
1. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm
Beauty experts love Burt’s Bees. The natural skincare retailer’s lip balm received nine recommendations out of ten websites and is the top choice of two experts. “It doesn’t get more classic than the Burt’s Bees lip balm. This formula has been around since 1991, and continues to be Burt’s Bees’ bestseller. We love that it’s made with natural ingredients while doing a really effective job of hydrating the lips,” writes People. Choose between Original, Flavored, Moisturizing, and Tinted.
The Strategist is one of the experts who picked Burt’s Bees as the best lip balm, stating: “Burt’s Bees is a long-loved classic and comes recommended by both Strategist staffers and celebrities (Michael Strahan swears by it for TV-ready lips). It has all the trappings of a solid lip balm: deeply hydrating ingredients (beeswax and fruit extracts), affordable, and widely available.”
Burt’s Bees balm is also Byrdie‘s favorite: “The definition of a true crowd-pleaser, this cult favorite truly holds legendary status in the lip balm world. It’s super affordable (AKA you can easily stock up to ensure you have one on hand at all times) but rivals any of its pricier counterparts when it comes to delivering lip-smacking levels of hydration. Credit a 100 percent natural formula infused with beeswax (duh) plus vitamin E. There are flavored options, but you really can’t go wrong with the OG, which has just the slightest peppermint flavor.”
While not all reviewed products by the brand are lip balm per se, Aquaphor was the second-most recommended lip care. Good Housekeeping recommends the Aquaphor Healing Ointment for peeling lips: “This Beauty Lab gold standard ointment is a cure-all healer for everything from diaper rash to cracked knuckles, so of course, it’s a star on irritated, dry lips. Clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin, it locks in moisture and creates a healthy barrier on skin to lock out irritation on even severely chapped, peeling lips.”
“When it comes to lip balms, a top-quality product doesn’t necessarily have to come at a high price,” says Travel + Leisure about their “Best Overall” lip balm, the Aquaphor Lip Protectant & Sunscreen Ointment SPF 30. “Aquaphor’s drugstore staple is a rich tube of goodness that proves just that. Its leading ingredient is petrolatum, which is a nourishing element recommended by [one of our experts]. Castor oil and shea butter up the hydration as well, which makes this a great companion for trips to cold, dry climates. Still, it’s equally suited for trips to sun-splashed locations. Broad spectrum SPF 30 helps protect lips against UVA/UVB rays and the damaging effects of the sun. The balm is preservative- and fragrance-free, so it’s apt for sensitive skin.”
“I am a longtime fan — it’s been my go-to since 2015, and despite trying a whole host of other lip balms, it’s the only one I come back to time and time again,” reveals a reviewer at The Strategist about Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment. “I have it in just about every size from the tiny half-ounce tube to the larger squeeze bottle. I keep a few around the house at all times and apply it to my lips regularly. It’s softening without being greasy and provides immediate relief. It also doubles as a colorless highlighter.”
Another cure-all that beauty experts love for their lips! “Vaseline has been on shelves since 1870, and it’s stood the test of time,” writes Travel + Leisure. Their drugstore pick is the Vaseline Healing Jelly Cocoa Butter: “This more recent lip-specific formula is non-sticky and melts right onto lips to provide long-lasting relief for dry and chapped lips.”
CNN Underscored recommends not one but two Vaseline products for your lips. The first one is the All-Over Body Balm Jelly Stick. Their expert “loves this multi-tasking product,” stating: “You can use this stick on lips or dry, irritated skin anywhere on the body.” The other product is Vaseline’s Petroleum Jelly: “A nice hydration-boosting tip is to leave the skin on the lip wet and apply a layer of plain Vaseline jelly to the lips to lock in hydration.”
The Strategist‘s favorite Vaseline lip care product is Lip Therapy Original. “Vaseline is another classic option and can be used for just about anything from moisturizing lips to adding a bit of shine to eyelids. It contains just one ingredient: petroleum jelly, an incredibly effective occlusive that locks in moisture and provides nearly instant relief to ultra-dry chapped lips and skin.”
4. Glossier Balm Dotcom
This one is a “real” lip balm. Byrdie likes Glossier’s balm for its variety and the “easy-to-use, mess-free tube. Three hydration heavy-hitters — castor oil, beeswax, and lanolin—do the moisturizing work to soothe and condition chapped lips. There’s a clear, fragrance-free variant for purists, but, per the variety point, it also comes in seven other tints, finishes, and flavors.”
“The Glossier Balm Dotcom […] is smooth to apply, moisturizing, and available in eight different colors and scents (with new options arriving occasionally), but it doesn’t contain sunscreen. It doesn’t add an overly glossy shine to your lips, either, which testers loved. Instead, Balm Dotcom’s tinted versions give you a sheer, natural-looking hue and sheen,” writes Wirecutter.
Travel + Leisure has some important info for vegans regarding this balm: “Glossier’s cheekily monikered Balm Dotcom has risen to cult status. Still, the brand recently refreshed their bestselling formula with some key differences. The multi-purpose balm has gone vegan and done away with petrolatum and lanolin as ingredients. Now, it’s made with castor jelly, which gives the same occlusive barrier sans greasy finish, as well as synthetic beeswax, hydrating vitamin E, and a natural emollient blend. There’s also shiny new packaging with a locking cap (goodbye, purse spills) and an applicator tip.”
5. Fresh Sugar Lip Balm/Treatment
This is the most expensive balm on our list, but it’s still affordable. You can choose between “regular” balm and lip treatment with SPF 15 (tinted or untinted). Either way, with “Fresh’s best-selling balms, the combination of sugar and oils help smooth and moisturize, writes Vanity Fair.
About the balm, Marie Claire says that “the stain-gloss formula is perfectly hydrating, not at all sticky, and [it] comes in 12 bright shades — including everything from a basic clear option to one with a pale rose tint to a deep wine hue — that are so sheer and pretty, they’ll look good on every skin tone. It comes in a handy wind-up tube, has nearly 900 five-star reviews on Sephora’s website, and has become a mainstay in the makeup bags of celebrities like Meghan Markle.”
As for the lip treatment, “the velvety […] Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen looks and feels three times as luxe and expensive as the other lip balms we tried … because it is,” claims Wirecutter.
You might also like:
- Marie Claire
- The Strategist
- Travel + Leisure
- CNN Underscored
- Vanity Fair
- Good Housekeeping
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.