Let’s be honest, chapped lips are never a fun time. Aside from their not-so-pretty appearance, they can be painful and annoying to deal with — especially in the wintertime. When you first notice the skin on your lips cracking, it can be tempting to load them up with layers of chapstick to ease the discomfort. However, overusing a product can actually worsen the problem. Instead, you need to invest in one of the best lip balms. Similar to a rich hand cream or body oil, a good salve can save your lips during the bitter cold.
In the past, finding a decent lip balm was all about moisturizing properties, but today’s formulas do so much more. Some have the added benefit of peptides to decrease fine lines and plump your lips. Others have natural ingredients that lightly exfoliate and provide antioxidants to protect the delicate area of skin. There are even hybrid versions that offer a glossy finish or a light tint to liven up your look. Whether you’re searching for a new go-to or looking for a fresh tube to get you through the rest of winter, there are plenty of options to choose from.
Ahead, TZR editors have compiled their top picks for conditioning parched lips. Read on to shop their selections.
“While I swear by Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask as a nighttime treatment, I'll admit it's a little too intense for daytime. That's where this small but mighty tube comes into play. Designed to be a lightweight version of the brand's cult-favorite mask, the formula is infused with nourishing butters that keep my lips smooth throughout the day without any stickiness. Bonus: the sheer tints leave the most complimentary, subtle wash of color.”— Erin Lukas, deputy beauty editor, TZR
“A tried-and-true staple, I’ve been using this lip balm for years, and make sure to always have a tube on hand. Winter or summer, it replenishes and moisturizes my lips, never causing it to peel as I’ve found some lip balms to do that. It’s not too thick and stays on for hours, leaving my lips feeling soft and hydrated.”— Kathy Lee, editor-in-chief, TZR
“Nothing cures my painfully dry, cracked lips in the winter quite like Aquaphor's Lip Repair. I always apply a thick layer before bed and wake up with smooth, moisturized lips. Now that I think of it, I'm not sure why I don't have a tube in all my go-to bags.” — Kelsey Stewart, associate fashion editor, TZR
“With the frequency of my lip balm application, I've committed myself to only using organic products (there is no way around consuming the product on our lips throughout the day). Eco Lips Mongo Kiss balm is almost impossibly good. It's incredibly moisturizing, packed with cocoa butter and vitamin E, and hydrates throughout the day without ever leaving my lips feeling dried out, unlike petroleum-based lip balms, protecting my skin even on the coldest of days.”— Rebecca Iloulian, director, newsletter revenue and marketing, BDG
“Out of the sea of lip products I own, nothing compares to Rhode’s Peptide Lip Treatment. No matter if my lips are slightly dry or chapped beyond belief, this tube instantly transforms them. It hydrates the skin, erases cracks, and lightly plumps them in just one swipe. I keep the original by my bed to use at night and a tube of the salted caramel in my rotation at all times.”— Jessica Fields, beauty writer, TZR
“I know this thing's gone viral about a dozen times over, but that's just because it's so legitimately excellent. There's no grittiness or tackiness, just smooth, enveloping balm that leaves lips looking and feeling so soft and supple – and all while looking like a true gloss. Every scent, flavor, and tint is great, but the original vanilla is perfectly paired with a nude liner.”— Amanda Ross, beauty editor, TZR
“I love Lanolips so much. I literally have multiple lip balms stored around my home and in my car for easy access. In addition to pumping my lips with moisture and keeping them soft and smooth for hours, it also doubles as a multi-use formula that moisturizes my cuticles and dry patches on my skin. I'm obsessed.”— Angela Melero, executive editor, TZR
“An oldie but a goodie, this thick ointment-like balm is one of the few things that gets the job done in the peeling, flakey, cracked lips portion of winter.”— Alison Syrett, deputy fashion editor, TZR
“I picked up this jar of lip balm from a French pharmacie the last time I was in Paris. My lips were dry and chapped, and since I've heard countless French women wax poetic about it, I gave it a shot. Unsurprisingly, they were onto something. The formula is heavy-duty enough for overnight repair yet lightweight enough for the day because it isn't overly greasy. Not to mention, the soft, subtle, rosy tint is like a pink blush for your lips.”— Lukas
“I don’t know if I’ve found a lip balm that’s quite as transformative as this one from MUTHA. I could have had the roughest weekend, be so dehydrated, and a single coat of this will turn my lips around within the hour. I don’t want to describe the formula as oily because that sounds off-putting, but the balm softens under your fingers and becomes this more liquid-y texture that spreads out wonderfully. It’s my go-to before bed and when I’m getting ready in the morning.” — Ross