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What's the Best Lip Balm? We Tested 5 Popular Brands

BY: Editors | Oct 26, 2018

When the weather turns cold and frightful, lips are among the first things to become decidedly undelightful. But what's the best lip balm to keep your pout from becoming a dry, flaky, and painful nightmare? To find the answer, we decided to put some of the most popular lip balms and lip treatments for chapped lips to the test.

The Best Lip Balm: Hanalei Lip Treatment

Rating: A

Notable ingredients: Kukui seed oil, petrolatum, castor seed oil, beeswax, shea butter, grape seed oil

What our editors thought:

"This is the best thing I've ever put on my lips, and nothing comes close. It's so nourishing and as shiny as gloss. But my favorite thing is that when I put it on before bed, I wake up with it still on—and I often sleep on my stomach!" – Colleen L.

“100% agree on Hanalei, I’m obsessed with it. I actually wore it under my Fenty lip paint, and it stopped it from getting that matte-drying effect for hours. Also, I just feel like it makes all my lipsticks look better.” – Sarah G.

The Rest

Classic ChapStick

Rating: B

Notable ingredients: white petrolatum, carnauba wax, lanolin, paraffin

What our editors thought:

"It has this weird medicated smell." – Shannon J.

"I experimented with wearing [it] underneath my lip gloss. It did not feel heavy or sticky. It was nice, smooth, and enhanced my lip-gloss wear through longer-lasting glossy moisture." – Katrina T.

SHOP: 5-PACK OF CHAPSTICK ($4.99)

Burt's Bees

Rating: C-

Notable ingredients: beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower-seed oil, peppermint oil, lanolin

What our editors thought:

"I think the peppermint tingle creates an illusion that the lip balm is [penetrating] deeper. … Toward the end of this trial period I began to feel like my lips were dependent on [it] and were more susceptible to dryness if I didn't have the stick readily available." – Katie A.

"I've always enjoyed the refreshing peppermint smell. … But that's about all I give Burt's Bees an A+ in. After a day and a half of using [this balm], I stopped. I felt like I was constantly—and I mean constantly—applying. My lips started to feel drier and drier. It felt like I couldn't get enough moisture. Personally, I think it was causing me chapped lips." – Katrina T.

Smith's Rosebud Salve

Rating: B+

Notable ingredients: white petrolatum, cottonseed oil, essential oils, botanicals

What our editors thought:

"The rose scent made me feel like a classy, grownup lady. I found myself really mining this psychological benefit, slathering it on my lips, my cuticles, and my hands all day long. … The fact that it's a tin, rather than a tube, gave me some hygiene concerns. If I've just grabbed a subway pole or shaken hands with someone, I don't necessarily want to immediately dip my hands into a tin." – Rebecca L.

"It feels wonderful with my initial application and quickly became my favorite! It's super smooth—the smoothest lip product I have ever applied. It's glossy, rosy, and smells pleasant, too. … I rarely applied my normal lip glosses because I was satisfied with the color it provides." – Katrina T.

SHOP: 3-PACK OF SMITH'S SALVES ($25.20)

Nivea Lip Butter

Rating: A–

Notable ingredients: petrolatum, shea butter, castor-seed oil, sweet-almond oil

What our editors thought:

"In general, I am a big fan of this, although I feel like I have to really dig into the lip balm to get how much I want. Update: I dug in and things got gooey. Is it weird that I liked this lip balm more before the added gooeyness?" – Shannon J.

"I really like the consistency. It's not as goopy as the Rosebud Salve and not as waxy as Chap Stick. I can tell that a main ingredient is shea butter, it really smooths and softens. … I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my face if I happened to have a dry patch." – Katie A.

Overview

Properties

Hanalei Lip Treatment

ChapStick

Burt's Bees

Rosebud Salve

Nivea Lip Butter

Moisturizing

X

X

X

X

X

Restorative

X

X

   

X

Long Lasting

X

X

   

X

Glossy

X

   

X

X

Adds Color

     

X

X

Waxy

 

X

X

   

Easy to Apply

X

X

X

   

Smells Good

X

   

X

X

Additional Uses

X

   

X

X

Nice Packaging

X

   

X

 


SHOP ALL LIP BALM DEALS

 

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