Finding the best lip balm for your lips sometimes feels like finding the needle in a haystack. Except the haystack is in a huge barn. In the middle of a rural road filled with identical-looking edifices. And you don't have any GPS signal.... and you have no idea how to read a map. Seriously, who has paper maps nowadays?!
In all honesty, it is quite tricky to find a chemical-free lip balm which won't harm your lips in the long run.
Add an allergic reaction to a mystery ingredient, and it's a recipe for a high-stakes game of chance. Thankfully, most manufacturers who stand behind their ingredients list them plainly on the packaging for all to see. The rule of thumb is the fewer ingredients, the better the lip balm.
There are plenty of other things you should know about before making your final decision, though!
What Makes the Best Lip Balm?
Finding the best lip balm for you is generally about personal choice...at least when it comes to flavors! But finding whats the best lip balm is kindest on your lips is indeed a science.
Generally, lip balms come in two shapes: in a tube or a round tin. While they both may cost the same, tins usually hold a little bit more than a tube lip balm. However, tube lip balms are more convenient and hygienic, as your fingers don't ever touch the surface.
What it all boils down to are ingredients. If you can pronounce and (better yet), know what the balm's ingredients are, then they are usually safe to use. However, there are some ingredients you should watch out for, as they may cause more harm to your lips than good.
Ingredients You Should Avoid
There are some ingredients you should be wary of or stay clear of altogether. Many lip balms contain hyaluronic acid (also known as glycerin), which is a tricky plant-based ingredient. Glycerin is a common ingredient which attracts moisture to itself. That means it can pull moisture out of your lips and into the balm. While your lips may feel soft and supple, it doesn't moisturize anything.
Parabens act as preservatives and are also a common ingredient found in many cosmetics.
However, there have been studies that show parabens interfere with hormone function. Perhaps the most shocking is the connection between parabens and cancers. Although there is no conclusive data stating that parabens cause cancer, studies found parabens in cancerous cells.
Lastly, try to steer clear of any products with petrolatum (also known as petroleum jelly). You can also find them on ingredient lists as mineral oil, paraffin oil, or liquid paraffin. According to studies, prolonged exposure to petrolatum may cause cancer. Plus, petrolatum is an occlusive ingredient.
Occlusive products block your pores wherever they are applied and seal your skin from outside moisture.
In turn, this prevents your body's natural response to self-moisturize. Over time, you may feel dependant on lip balm to moisturize because your body stops doing it naturally.
Ingredients The Best Lip Balm Contains
Now that you're aware of ingredients you should avoid, we'll go through ingredients that make up the best lip balm. If you want to find out which ingredients are the best, think of it this way: which components would I use to make my own lip balm?
Generally speaking, the smaller the ingredient list, the better the lip balm. You only need about two to four ingredients to make a moisturizing lip balm. The first ingredient to consider is your natural oils such as coconut, olive, or almond oil. These oils moisturize and nourish your lips for that soft-to-the-touch feel.
Beeswax and honey are also good ingredients to have in lip balms. Honey contains natural antibacterial properties and is also efficient at unclogging pores.
Finally, many of the best lip balms contain zinc oxide. Although it sounds like a chemical, zinc is a mineral found in nature. It's usage dates back thousands of years to help with burns, wounds, and other skin ailments. Today, zinc oxide is an important ingredient to repel the sun and its dangerous rays. How much zinc oxide is in it determines its "SPF" properties.
How We Reviewed
We've combed the internet to bring you the best of the best lip balms we could find. We used real customer feedback and reviews to determine the product's highlights and downfalls accurately, so you get the best bang for your buck.
The Best Lip Balm
After scouring the world wide web, we've found a few top-tier products we'd deem the best lip balm ever.
Eos Natural is a leader in cruelty-free, vegetarian products. The company makes its products with as little packaging as possible. Plus, they're handmade to boot! Their Eos Natura comes in a 0.4-ounce tin, and it has honey, white chocolate, and vanilla in it.
Lush posts the full ingredient on their website and while the Honey Trap's list is long, they explain what each part means. Prunus dulcis, for example, is the scientific name for almond oil. They even go as far as to list the ingredients for their white chocolate (rice flour, sugar, cocoa butter, rice syrup, and rice starch in case you're wondering).
While it does not contain parabens or petrolatum, this product does contain a percentage of glycerin. But for $10 to $15 for a 0.4-ounce tin, it's hard to beat the price. This is available at Lush retail stores or using Lush's online store.
Dr.Bronner is another brand known for its high standards. They believe in ethical ingredient sourcing, progressive business practices, and fighting climate change by reducing their footprint and supporting regenerative agriculture. Their tubed organic lip balm is available in four scents: peppermint, lemon-lime, orange ginger, or "naked."
Their naked version does not have any unnecessary scent or flavors, which, in our opinion, makes it the lip balm from this brand. It also contains a mere five ingredients: organic avocado oil, beeswax, jojoba seed oil, hemp seed oil and tocopherol (a vitamin E derived from vegetable oil). Plus, the manufacturer states the lip balm can be used to moisturize anything from dry patches on your cheeks to cracked fingertips in the Winter!
While it is not widely available at most big-box stores such as WalMart or Target, you can find it it at local health food stores (online and in-store). It is also available on Amazon and Dr.Bronner's website for $3 to $6 each for a 0.15-ounce tube.
If you're looking for the best lip balm with honey, Burt's Bees is your best bet. Although Clorox (a much, much larger company) purchased them, they maintain the natural content of their products. However, their products do contain animal-sourced ingredients and products, so they should be avoided by vegetarians and vegans.
Burt's Bees have a long lineup of lip balms, but we'll focus on their Coconut and Pear Lip Balm. It comes in a 0.15-ounce tube and costs anywhere from $3 to $7 depending on the retailer and pack size (one, two, etc.). You can find Burts Bee's product at most big-box stores such as Wal Mart or the lip section at your local pharmacy.
While the manufacturer only lists "key" ingredients on their website, there are quite a number of them. Like Dr. Bronner's, this lip balm also contains tocopherol as well as other components that may sound chemical but are natural ingredients. One such ingredient is ammonium glycyrrhizate which is just a compound derived from licorice root.
Henne Organics lip balm is a higher-end brand which uses a lot of argan oil in their products. Argan oil is a plant-based oil derived from the kernels of the fruit of argan trees, which is native to Mexico. Henne Organics lip balm comes in a set of two 4.5 ounce tins (total of 9 ounces). One is unscented while the other contains a "sweet mint" scent. It costs $75 to $85 for both and purchased via their website or where Josie Maran products are sold.
You'll find all the ingredients for the lip balms on their website. While their transparency is commendable, there are some ingredients (two in particular) that raise some eyebrows. Glyceryl dibehenate and glyceryl behenate are active ingredients and could be manufactured naturally or synthetically. While the origins are unknown, both of them act to soften and smooth the surface of the lips.
Besides those two ingredients, the ingredient list is jam-packed with natural oils (jojoba, olive, coconut, etc.) and raw ingredients (shea butter, cranberry, mango, etc.). While their prices are on the expensive end, their ingredients are top notch.
After taking a look at all the pros, cons, and price point for each product, it's a little easier to make an educated decision on what is the best lip balm. We consider Dr. Bronner's the best lip balm on this list. It has the shortest ingredient list, and you can use their balms practically anywhere on the body that needs some extra attention. Plus, it won't cost an arm and a leg.
Do you consider another brand the best lip balm ever? Let us know in the comments below
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