15 Of The Best Lip Balms For Dry Lips, According To Dermatologists

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Leaves fill the ground and, of course, pumpkin spice lattes fill our cups. Fall has arrived and brought with it cool, crisp mornings. The dropping temps signal us to start gearing up for full-on winter weather to shock our systems. This means it's time to whip out those heavy-duty creams that have been collecting dust over the summer and amp up moisturizing our skin and treating other winter beauty woes. And if there's one effect of winter weather that is especially irksome, it's definitely chapped lips. 


Cold weather shows lips no mercy. They can end up dry, chapped, and in extreme cases, even bleeding. Finding the perfect lip balm to keep your lips in check is akin to finding the perfect boot/cozy sweater combo. Fortunately, there's no shortage of lip balm options to choose from. In fact, you can find just about anything these days including a Swiss Miss-flavored lip balm thanks to Glossier, per Stylecaster.

The trouble with endless options is trying to narrow them down to find the right one. Choosing the wrong lip balm could actually do more harm than good. Certain ingredients such as mineral oils and humectants could end up drying your lips out even more, per MindBodyGreen. So we've rounded up the best lip balms recommended by dermatologists to get you through this fall and winter.


How we selected the lip balms

Making any purchase, especially a beauty one, involves a lot of background work. It's such a densely populated market that it's almost impossible to predict which products are actually effective and which are merely gimmicks. Things get all the more precocious once we enter the skincare realm because that's where you can do some real damage. It's best to trust professionals, which is precisely what we've done here. 


When selecting these lip balms, we considered the general factors: price, ingredients, and especially customer reviews to confirm how well they actually work at preventing and/or treating chapped lips. But we've also taken things one step further. Each of the lip balms listed below was a personal favorite recommended by a dermatologist. They vetted each one for harmful ingredients and hydration levels.

You can guarantee that each of these lip balms will not only keep your lips from getting chapped but also heal them deeply in the process, as a doctor's prescription always should.

Best staple lip balm

At this point, don't we all have an emotional support lip balm we carry around with us at all times? Let's be honest, at one point or another, it's been one of those all-too-familiar tiny pots of Vaseline Lip Therapy. It's a staple for a reason. The small pot is the lip-focused sister of household favorite petroleum jelly, and is one you can always rely on to keep your lips in check. 


Formulated with petroleum jelly and cocoa seed butter, this lip balm is heavy-duty and going to keep your lips chap-free all day. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Hadley King is a huge fan of the stuff. "It's just a really nice product," she told Buzzfeed News

And non-professionals love it also, as one Target reviewer of the 4.8 star-rated lip balm raves, "This is the only thing that has ever worked for my lips. Most products work for a while and then eventually stop. But this product always makes my lips feel so good and moisturized. Great smell as well." 

Purchase the Vaseline Lip Therapy in Cocoa Butter at Target for $3.69.

Best deep healing lip balm

When a little stick of lip balm just doesn't cut it anymore and you're in need of some heavy-duty repair, turn to CeraVe's Healing Ointment. As dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein explains, the best trick to avoiding chapped lips is to reach for a thicker treatment. "Apply occlusive and emollient ointments liberally throughout the day to help prevent and treat chapped lips, especially before bed, she told NBC Select. "We tend to lose the most heat and moisture from our skin overnight." And while CeraVe's Healing Ointment isn't only reserved for lips — it's an all-over treatment that is the perfect fix for any severely dry patches — it is on your pucker where it especially excels. 


Just like the entire CeraVe line that is developed by dermatologists, the healing ointment is formulated free of lanolin and fragrances to avoid any irritation. But more importantly, it's filled with petrolatum, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides that work overtime to heal your lips and keep them deeply hydrated. 

It is also perfect for those with sensitive skin as it's guaranteed to be gentle while still packing a punch of repairing powers. The 4.7 star-rated lip balm is a staple for many. One CeraVe reviewer writes, "This is so much better than plain petroleum jelly. It has great ingredients like hyaluronic acid and several peptides. Great for sealing in moisture on the skin too. This is my go-to lip balm!"


Purchase the CeraVe Healing Ointment at Ulta for $10.99.

Best lip balm with SPF

It may seem counterintuitive to seek out a lip balm with SPF for the colder months, but the truth is you should be protecting yourself from UV rays all year round. When the weather gets colder and chapped lips are on the horizon, sun damage is only going to make things worse. The eos Ultra SPF Coconut Lip Balm is the dermatologist's pick for a lip balm with SPF. Yes, the brand with those lip balm balls that we've all owned at one point.


Dermatologist Dr. Marni Nussbaum raved about the hypoallergenic and cruelty-free lip balm to MarthaStewart.com. "Not only does it contain SPF [30], but it also features 100-percent mineral-based sunscreen, so it reflects the sun rather than gets absorbed," she said. "It is reef-safe, sweat and water-resistant, and tastes like a delicious coconut which makes me feel like I am on vacation!" 

Coconut is a big hit with consumers as well, as one eos reviewer shares, "It kept my lips super soft and the coconut flavor/smell is addictive!" 

Purchase the eos Ultra SPF Coconut Lip Balm at eos for $3.69.

Best tinted lip balm

The only downside when it comes to lip balms is the layering process. The best lip balms for dry lips are generally going to be clear, so you need to figure out the perfect time to layer some color over them. Or, you could just opt for a tinted lip balm in the first place, such as Sun Bum's Tinted Lip Balm. 


Sun Bum is already a staple brand for sun protection, so add this to your list of SPF lip balms to keep you protected. However, the best thing about this pick is that it comes in four different shades, from a nude to a warm red, to give your lips just the right amount of subtle tint that saves you the extra work of layering on some lipstick.

Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner is a fan of this lip balm. "Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm with SPF moisturizes and protects the lips with shea butter and coconut oil while providing broad spectrum UV protection," he told Women's Health.

Purchase the Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm at Ulta for $5.99.

Best repairing lip balm

Sometimes your lips may feel beyond repair. The damage has been done, and you need some heavy-duty hydration packed with healing ingredients to bring them back from the edge. SkinFix's Barrier+ Lip Repair Lip Balm really says it all in the name, and it delivers it all in the formulation. This deeply repairing lip treatment contains 40% coconut oil to deeply hydrate your lips without feeling too thick and heavy. It is also packed with a ton of other repairing ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamin E, vitamin B complex, copper, and zinc, per skinfix. Basically, this tube is a miracle worker.


Dermatologist Dr. Heather Woolery-Lloyd personally recommends this as an everyday lip balm. "It works well for chapped lips and has that hydrating, soothing action because it contains protective petrolatum as well as coconut and jojoba oils," she tells Prevention.

One skinfix reviewer shared just how deeply repairing this lip balm can be, even for the most damaged of lips, writing, "I have a histamine reaction periodically and it can cause my lips to crack and layers of skin to peel. It can be painful & itchy. This is the ONLY product of so many I've tried that actually helps."

Purchase the skinfix Barrier+ Lip Repair Lip Balm at skinfix for $15.

Best medical lip balm

Winter weather can be no joke and our lips often seem to be the first to bear the brunt of any harsh effects, making it so that sometimes you need a little more medical help than your standard lip balm provides. If you're looking for some serious hydration from a product that may not be that cute to look at but is prescription-worthy, then Boiron Homeoplasmine is guaranteed to be your new winter bestie. The French pharmacy find is a self-proclaimed 'magic cream' that can help heal the worst of dry lips. We're talking cuts, cracks, and peeling.


Dermatologist Dr. Shereene Idris sings Homeoplasmine's praises. "This works wonders to hydrate lips," she told InStyle. The salve is soothing on harshly cracked or injured lips, and it also contains antibacterial properties to avoid matters getting worse. It is so deeply healing that some even like to use it on eczema or dry noses.

One Amazon reviewer of the 4.5 star-rated treatment raved, "The texture is very thick, which took some getting used to, but that thickness helps it stay put. I slather it on at night and can still feel it there in the morning, and I think having that barrier has helped my lips finally heal."

Purchase the Boiron Homeoplasmine at Amazon for $15.40.

Best thick lip balm

There are many variations of lip balms, from lightweight sticks to thicker salves. But when it comes to colder months sometimes you crave that ultra thick, ultra heavy lip treatment that you can put on at night and know some will still be there when you wake up. Look no further than Weleda's Skin Food Lip Butter, the counterpart to viral thick night cream, Weleda's Skin Food.


The Lip Butter is formulated with Weleda's signature heavy-duty blend of sunflower seed oil, chamomile, and calendula extracts that smell like a trip to the spa and give your lips the luxe treatment they deserve. Dermatologist Dr. Shereen Idriss recommends reaching for this and taking the time to do "lip basting," her favorite lip care activity. "Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes (basting like a Thanksgiving turkey) and voila — smooth, hydrated lips," she tells CNN underscored

The 4.6 star-rated lip treatment has quite the following, and one Weleda reviewer explained exactly why she keeps coming back for more: "The Lip butter is amazing. I used this one time and was hooked. My lips were embarrassingly dry and chapped until I rolled that pure magic across my lips."


Purchase the Weleda Skin Food Lip Butter at Weleda for $7.49.

Best lip balm for super dry lips

Well, when a brand is dedicated almost entirely to lip balms it's only natural that it would make two appearances on this list. All of eos' lip balm products promise elite hydration, but The Hero Lip Repair takes things one step further. Available in tube form, the salve is formulated with the brand's unique SuperShield Shea complex to help heal your lip's barrier and lock in moisture, according to eos. With a subtle strawberry scent, this hypoallergenic lip treatment is a step up from the typical lip balm. 


Dermatologist Dr. Hadley King highly recommends the potent treatment. "It has petrolatum, castor seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, cocoa seed butter, avocado oil, and olive oil. So that's gonna support the skin barrier, hydrate, and moisturize," she tells Buzzfeed News.

This lip treatment is specifically targeted to super dry lips, and one eos reviewer can attest that it works miracles on them, writing, "This stuff is pretty amazing. I love lip balms and have tried so many in the past and this will definitely be a staple in my routine. ... I do not need to apply very much for my lips to feel moisturized and it is long-lasting and comfortable. It also smells incredibly delicious."

Purchase The Hero Lip Repair at eos for $4.99.


Best plant-based lip balm

If you prefer to keep your beauty routine completely green and plant-based, lip balms are likely to be an area where you often struggle. Most heavy-duty lip balms are formulated with petrolatum and lanolin, so if your dry lips are craving some deep hydration this winter you could find yourself at a crossroads. Enter Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm, a product that's going to give you that thick, occlusive treatment without the ingredients you're trying to avoid. 


Dermatologist Dr. Mary L. Stevenson recommends this fragrance-free lip treatment for those seeking a plant-based alternative (via NBC Select). And the balm has definitely received high praise, as it was deemed a "wonder-healer" by goop as well as won the title of "Best Balm" by Allure (via Doctor Rogers). Formulated with glycerin, castor seed oil, and castor wax which all work to seal in moisture and heal your dry lips, it is so deeply repairing that it's actually commonly used to heal post-procedure skin, so you can only imagine the level of healing it can provide for your lips. 

Fans continue to back up this 4.8 star-rated lip balm's claims as one Doctor Rogers reviewer boldly exclaims, "Let this be the last balm you ever buy, no need to spend your money on anything else! This is the best...period!"


Purchase the Doctor Rogers Restore Healing Balm at Doctor Rogers for $30.

Best luxury lip balm

Within every beauty category, everyone has their preferred product that they like to invest a little extra in. This could be because you feel a particular area needs the help of the best products, or you just want to treat yourself. Well, if you're looking for a luxury lip balm to be your companion this winter then of course Skinceuticals is the way to go. The luxury skincare brand is equally known for the efficacy of its products as it is for its high price points. SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair is no exception. 


The strong emollient is formulated to smooth and refine your lips while also protecting them from environmental damage. The lip treatment is filled to the brim with antioxidants as well as vitamins designed to retain water in your lips and keep them looking plump. Dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman recommends the balm, telling MarthaStewart.com, "This is a really soothing treatment that moisturizes immediately with urea and hyaluronic acid, and helps fight free radicals with vitamin E." If you're in the market to invest, this is a product you won't regret purchasing. 

Purchase the Skinceuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair at Skinceuticals for $42.

Best affordable lip balm

Fortunately, we live in a time where spending less on beauty products does not have to mean lesser quality. The drugstore is packed with products that easily compete with higher-end brands, and sometimes simple is best as in the case of the drugstore aisle classic Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer. This is hands down the deepest lip hydration you can get at an affordable price point. The lip balm has a uniquely thick formula that stays on for a long time without feeling super waxy on the lips. It also contains SPF 15 which is an added bonus.


Dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner recommends this moisturizer, explaining to Women's Health, "This balm combines natural emollient oil with beeswax and carnauba wax to soften the lips in a formula that stays put. It also gives broad spectrum UV protection."

Its 4.8-star reviews are filled with fans deeming it their holy grail of all time. One Bed, Bath & Beyond reviewer wrote, "My entire family has been using this lip moisturizer for over 20 years! I always buy in bulk, because we go through them so quickly — we live in Colorado where it is very dry and this product is by far the best product I have found."

Purchase the Neutrogena Norweigan Formula Lip Moisturizer at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $2.99.


Best lip balm for inflammation

Sadly, some lips are destined for a little more than just some chapping once the weather gets colder. Many people with dry lips also struggle with inflammation, redness, and even peeling. For such cases, what you require is the FixMySkin Healing Body Balm. The balm is actually a hydrocortisone treatment that is designed to help with everything from cracked lips to eczema and psoriasis. Containing 1% hydrocortisone, the healing balm soothes inflamed lips while also repairing any cracks and peeling.


When it comes to matters of inflammation, it's definitely best to turn to a doctor, and this is dermatologist Dr. Heidi Waldorf's top pick. "FixMySkin lip balm (or the larger balm) is ideal for irritated chapped lips because it contains 1% hydrocortisone, a mild steroid, to reduce inflammation," she told Prevention. The balm is fragrance-free to avoid any further irritation, and the shea butter and beeswax feel immediately soothing on any inflammation.   

Purchase the FixMySkin Healing Body Balm at Amazon for $20.

Best cult favorite lip balm

Let's be honest, this list simply wouldn't be complete without an honorable mention of the lip balm that we've all owned and loved at some point in our lives: Burt's Bees. There's a reason this is such a cult favorite. Its magic is in its simplicity. Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balms will always deliver lightweight hydration and visibly softer lips. Now, this one won't be quite as heavy duty as some of those listed above, but if your dry lips just need a little extra upkeep throughout the day, then Burt's Bees is the classic lip balm to turn to. 


Formulated with vitamin E, coconut oil, and sunflower seed oil, this lip balm is available in endless scents that will keep your lips soft and smooth at all times. Dr. Shereene Idriss recommends this one, although she does note that it will not repair your lips, but rather work as a hydration sealant to keep up all the hard work your salves and balms are doing, per InStyle. The popular pick has countless fans, but this one Target reviewer put it best when she said, "I've used this product for most of my life. I wouldn't recommend anything else but this." 

Purchase the Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm at Target for $3.79.

Best multi-use lip balm

Our lips may go through a lot during colder months, but so does the rest of our body. Finding a hydration product that can treat dryness all over is definitely welcome. Enter Vaseline's All-Over Body Balm. The Vaseline brand just gets it when it comes to thick occlusive hydration, and this All-Over Body Balm definitely doesn't fall short. The jelly stick's original intention is actually to serve as an anti-friction stick, but it also provides that deep hydration that Vaseline products are known for. The stick form makes it especially easy to use on the go and makes it perfect to double up as a lip treatment!


Dermatologist Dr. Caroline Robinson raises this unusual pick as a great lip treatment. "You can use this stick on lips or dry, irritated skin anywhere on the body," she told CNN underscored. "The non-sticky, unscented, hypoallergenic formula provides instant moisturization with a mess-free application."

Users back up Robinson's recommendation. One Target reviewer wrote, "Love this thing can't recommend it enough! Your lips are chapped, use the stick. If you have a little eczema patch popping up, use the stick. One of my favorite forms for Vaseline/aquaphor/petrolatum."

Purchase the Vaseline All-Over Body Balm at Target for $6.99.

Best lip balm for a compromised skin barrier

We rarely attribute our skincare problems to a cause, especially dry lips. But figuring out that the reason your lips could be dry and chapped is due to a compromised lip barrier is the first step to realizing that Eau Thermale Avène's Cicalfate Restorative Lip Cream could save you further trouble. The lip cream offers six hours of deep hydration as it seals in moisture to help repair your skin barrier. It is formulated with Avène's trademark thermal spring water, according to Ulta. But that's not the standout ingredient.


It's the zinc sulfate that earned this lip balm a spot on dermatologist Dr. Hadley King's list of recommendations. "It also has a zinc sulfate complex that helps with skin recovery, as well as beeswax, castor seed oil, and triglycerides, so it's very helpful for dry lips," she told Buzzfeed News.

One of the best features of this lip balm is the immediate cooling sensation it gives to help soothe irritated lips. One of the many reviewers of this product shared some bold claims about it on Ulta, sharing, "This is by far the best working lip care product I have ever tried. It's very nourishing, healing, protective, and easy to use on the go. It has healed my cracked lips when nothing else will work. I will keep repurchasing this."


Purchase the Eau Thermale Avène's Cicalfate Restorative Lip Cream at Ulta for $18.