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You already know to pack a hat and apply sunscreen, but if you’re going to be spending time outdoors, you’ll need to keep your lips protected too.
Whether you’re heading to a music festival, beach day or just running errands, the best lip balms keep your lips smooth, hydrated and moisturized, while protecting your puckers from the elements. Leaving your lips exposed to sun, wind or cold temperatures could result in them drying out. Your lips get chapped and flaky, and start to lose their shape and definition.
The best lip balms work to keep your lips healthy, sealing in moisture and adding nourishing vitamins and antioxidants too.
What You Need to Know About Lip Balm
Lip balm vs. lip gloss: As its name suggests, lip gloss is designed to add shine to your lips, often as a way to make them appear fuller. A lip gloss often contains pigment to add a touch of color to your lips as well, and the result is often a slightly wet “glossy” look. Lip balm on the other hand, goes on clear and dries matte. Lip balm is designed simply to moisturize lips, not to add any cosmetic effects.
People often use the term “chapstick” interchangeably, but chapstick simply refers to a brand of lip balm.
How to apply lip balm: The lip balms on our list come in a stick form or in a tube. To use a lip balm from a stick, simply swipe along the lips back and forth a couple of times. Press your lips together to smooth out and distribute the formula evenly.
To use a lip balm from a tube, squeeze a pea-sized amount onto your fingertips, then use your fingers to spread the product along your lips. You can also use your fingers to press the product into your lips. Again, follow by pressing your lips together to make sure the formula coats your lips evenly.
How often should you be using lip balm? Apply lip balm about 15 to 20 minutes before going out into the sun, and avoid wiping your lips during that time. You want to give the product time to sink in. Re-apply lip balm after eating or drinking, or whenever your lips feel dry or chapped.
We’ve rounded up some popular lip balms that are made from natural, nourishing ingredients to help coat and soothe dry lips. These pocket-sized lip balms are easy to travel with; keep one in your bag, your jacket, your toiletry kit, your office desk and your car, so you never have to worry about chapped lips again.
1. Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm
A product that’s good for the earth and for your lips? Color us intrigued with Burt’s Bees famous lip balm, which moisturizes with the all-natural goodness of beeswax.
The lip balm is super conditioning, with beeswax and vitamin E helping to moisturize and peppermint oil adding freshness. The balm leaves a shiny-to-matte finish and dries quickly.
This set contains four sticks of lip balm. Stock up and keep one in your pocket, car, desk and travel bag.
PROS: Responsibly-sourced beeswax and sustainably made.
CONS: Some may prefer an unflavored lip balm.
2. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm
Jack Black’s Intense Therapy Lip Balm soothes and moisturizes your lips with the added benefit of sun protection.
The lip balm contains vitamin E to help nourish, shea butter for moisture, antioxidants from green tea, and SPF25 broad-spectrum sun protection. A subtle mint flavor adds freshness.
In addition to preventing your lips from being sunburned, the balm also protects your lips from windburn and extreme cold. What that means: your lips stay smooth and hydrated rather than dry and chapped.
This set includes three small squeeze tubes of lip balm. A little goes a long way.
PROS: Made in the USA, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and free of artificial colors and additives.
CONS: A little thicker than other balms on our list.
3. Sky Organics Lip Balm
Looking for an organic alternative for your lips? We like these sticks from Sky Organics, which contain organic sunflower oil, beeswax, coconut oil, calendula and other natural, lip-smoothing ingredients. Your lips feel softer and fuller.
The lip balms contain no gluten, no chemicals, no petroleum and no artificial fillers. It’s safe even for kids and toddlers.
In addition to the cruelty-free ingredients (the formulas are never tested on animals), Sky Organics uses recyclable packaging.
This set gets you a multi-pack of six different flavored lip balms: vanilla, coconut, mint, cherry, citrus and strawberry.
PROS: The lip balm gives off a subtle sheen that makes lips look plumper.
CONS: The sweet scents may not be for everyone.