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On a scale of annoying to irritated and aching, a parched pout can be a pain in the mouth. Your lips have fewer layers of skin than the rest of your face, so they are extremely sensitive and can easily crack, chap, split, or redden. Our lips also lack sweat glands, which produce moisture and natural oils that protect your skin from the elements. This is not only painful, but it can also potentially ruin your lipstick and your look. That’s why choosing the right moisturizing lip product is so important. While your specific situation and preference will determine what that is, the best lip balms all have one thing in common: quality ingredients.
“Top ingredients to be on the lookout for include hyaluronic acid, which can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water, as well as glycerin—two top humectants,” explains Marnie Nussbaum, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. She adds that the best lip balms have strong occlusives to seal in moisture. including shea butter, cocoa butter, petrolatum, or beeswax.
From moisturizing creams and nourishing oils to balms with a splash of color, this list has something for everyone. It may take a little trial and error to find your perfect match, so we compiled the top picks to suit any situation. Want to try your hand at a little DIY while you’re waiting for your order to be delivered? These homemade remedies can also help cure dry lips fast. Plus, take note of these lip balm hacks that go way beyond just healing chapped lips. These essential makeup rules to know by age 40 and the best Black makeup brands will also help you put your best face forward.
Best overall lip balm: Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1
A Kiehl’s classic since the 1960s, this deeply moisturizing balm is infused with squalane, aloe vera, and vitamin E to alleviate dry-lip-related discomfort. It dispenses as a thick gel but quickly melts on contact, leaving lips soft, smooth, and hydrated. It’s simple but effective, which is why it’s a customer favorite. One reviewer raves: “I’m a lip balm fanatic and have been using this for 20 years, and it’s still the best formula that keeps your lips moist for a long time, without having to reapply often. And believe me…I’ve tried about 100 other brands.” Another calls it the “holy grail” of lip products, adding, “I honestly can’t go a day without having it on my lips!” Try the original fragrance-free tube, or the cranberry, mint, and mango scents.
Read More: The 24 Best Lip Balms to Nourish Chapped Lips