Every product here is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our work.
As someone out there once said, “All I need in this life of sin is me and my lip balm.”
That someone may have been me, it’s true, but nonetheless it should clearly be a universal mantra. Our lips are very important (they might be the most used part of our face?), so it’s only right to slather them with luxurious balms to keep dry skin at bay. But with what?
Sticking to one type of chapstick is a challenge for me because of my uncanny ability to lose a tube in less than 24 hours, and because of my curiosity. As much as I try to fight it, I find myself with chapped lips pretty often and that, dear reader, is something I have decided will only change if I find one ointment to rule them all. Join me on my quest to keep moisturized by any means necessary.
To get to the bottom of which lip balm reigns, I ranked a variety of products using no controlled variables at all and a simple measuring rubric that accounted for smell, design, SPF, ease of application, and price. The more points each balm in got in my mental spreadsheet, the higher the balm charted on my list.
Now depending on your location, different lip balms may work for you. I’m unfortunately stuck in the perpetual snow-globe that is New York City during the winter. These months are dry and during the cold season, I use my mouth to breathe because more often than not, my nose is stuffed with a sickness of some sort (TMI?). Whether or not that impacts my chapped levels, I’m not sure. It just seems important to note.
Let’s dig in, shall we?
Ugh. Only to be used if there is absolutely nothing else. It’s slimy and never gets the job done, and somehow it always leaves my lips even drier.
9. Every free lip balm I’ve ever been given for promotion of a brand or event
They are consistently bad and must only be used in emergency situations!
I remember initially buying this product because of Miley Cyrus. It’s hard to admit, but unfortunately I was the target demographic for their partnership. And while your marketing techniques may have worked, EOS, nothing will hide the fact that your product just isn’t very good.
Disclaimer: I used to love Rosebud Salve. I loved the tin, loved the smell, and loved the application experience. But in recent years, it’s fallen short. Sure it’s pretty, but as someone who touches an unfortunate amount of dirty subway poles and tries (but sometimes fails) to wash her hands regularly throughout the day, dipping my grimey claws into this beautiful tin feels wrong. As it turns out, I’m a stick/tube gal, through and through.
There aren’t many pop culture moments tied to the preservation of lips, but Master of None came out of nowhere with their Vaseline moment in Season 2. Whether or not it was some subtle #sponcon for Aziz Ansari, it caused me to take Vaseline a little more seriously if I’m being honest. I bought a little one and was intrigued enough to keep it around, but not enough to carry with me everywhere.
There’s just something about a Nivea stick that is fun to apply. Perhaps it’s because it kind of feels like a glue stick, and you would obviously never put a glue stick on your lips, but by using this you kind of feel like you’re doing something you’re not supposed to? That’s a reach, I’ll admit it. But the ratio of shea butter to aloe in these really does wonders for me.
Sometimes squeezing this product reminds me of a pimple popper toy, but if you are a sane person and that thought hasn’t crossed your mind, then this stuff is it. It’s only at #4 for the application factor, and I’m still scarred by the time a top-less Carmex once managed to squeeze itself all over the insides of my bag.
3. Burt’s Bees
In high school you were only cool if you had the slightly expensive Burt’s Bees. (My high school was weird.) But the peppermint is a comfort, and the variety of colors and flavors (mango! pomegranate!) are really what make Burt’s stand out from the pack. It does it’s job, and it has fun with it. What a delight!
The way I discovered Blistex is slightly embarrassing. I walked into a bodega and immediately, without question, the man behind the cash register said “Blistex?” to me, showing me the tube of balm. Mortified that my lips were blindingly chapped, I pretended that that was exactly what I had come for all along — not White Chedder Cheez-Its. Luckily, after using it multiple times, I have found it in me to forgive him, because now I own multiple tubes for all my jackets.
Aquaphor doesn’t come in a fancy receptacle. It doesn’t have a particularly enchanting scent. But don’t let that fool you because it really is ~magic~. Have chapped lips? Use Aquaphor. Have a cut? Put some Aquaphor on it. Burn yourself? Aquaphor will help. It’s a tube full of ointment that treats almost anything — and it absorbs so wonderfully and works so effectively that once you use it, you’ll be committed for life.
But, listen, who are we kidding? There’s definitely room for all of the above in our rotations—so don’t set limits, folks.
Yeah so I have a:
-car door chapstick
-center counsel chapstick
-coat pocket chapstick
-and two different backpack chapsticks
— e-mamí (@EmmaHembrough) March 5, 2018
You deserve the best, whatever that may mean to you. Go out there and treat yourself — and your lips.