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We Asked Dermatologists to Share Their Favorite Lip Balms—Shop the Expert-Approved Picks Here

These are the products that actually work, they say.
By Sophie Moore
April 16, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

When it comes to caring for your lips—especially if they're perpetually parched—a trusty lip balm (or two!) should always be in your arsenal. Why? Since lips don't produce their own natural oils, they need an extra layer of nourishing protection to prevent them from becoming dry, flaky, and chapped. Nutrient-rich balms work to do just that and soothe delicate skin while locking in moisture and fending off free radicals and environmental stressors. From tried-and-true drugstore favorites to new-age lip masks and treatments, we've rounded up some of our favorite dermatologist-approved balms for a perfectly hydrated mouth.

Top Picks

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EOS Guardian Ultra SPF 30 Coconut Lip Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best with Sunscreen: EOS

"One of my favorites is the EOS Guardian Ultra SPF 30 Coconut Lip Balm," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Marni Nussbaum. "Not only does it contain SPF, but it also features 100-percent mineral-based sunscreen, so it reflects the sun rather than gets absorbed. It is reef-safe, sweat and water-resistant, and tastes like a delicious coconut which makes me feel like I am on vacation!"

Shop Now: EOS "Guardian Ultra" SPF 30 Coconut Lip Balm, $2.99, target.com.

Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment
Credit: Courtesy of CVS

Best Drugstore Find: Aquaphor

"Tried and true, this drugstore find is a mainstay in dermatologists' offices for a reason. It contains petrolatum, which acts as a semi-occlusive barrier to transepidermal water loss—meaning it works to prevent already dehydrated, chapped lips hold onto water," explains board-certified cosmetic and general dermatologist Dr. Rachel Maiman.

Shop Now: Aquaphor Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment, $3.59, cvs.com.

Laneige Sleeping Mask
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Best Mask: Laneige

Apply this rich sleeping mask before bed to reveal soft, hydrated lips by morning. Although this balm was designed to be used as an overnight treatment, its super silky—and never sticky—formula is lightweight enough to be worn during the day and can even be layered under other products.

Shop Now: Laneige Sleeping Mask, $22, sephora.com.

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Best Simple Formula: Vaseline

"There's no better deal at the drugstore than Vaseline Petroleum Jelly," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. "Triple purified petrolatum forms a protective seal over the skin to keep hydration in and environmental aggressors out—and works better than almost anything else out there on the market."

Shop Now: Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, $1.79, target.com.

Glossier Balm Dotcom
Credit: Courtesy of Glossier

Best Multi-Tasker: Glossier

We love this cult-favorite balm for its moisture-rich formula that doubles as a skin salve to soothe chapped lips, dry cuticles, and even hands and elbows. Opt for the original iteration that goes on clear or choose from seven other flavors, finishes, and tints.

Shop Now: Glossier Balm Dotcom, $12, glossier.com.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Best Splurge: Dr. Barbara Sturm

Protect your lips from harsh elements with this ultra-soothing and hydrating balm from Dr. Barbara Sturm. Powerhouse ingredients like lanolin, beeswax, and shea butter work to infuse your lips with moisture while vitamin E shields them from free radicals.

Shop Now: Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm, $55, nordstrom.com.

Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy
Credit: Courtesy of CVS

Best for Chapped Lips: Neosporin

For moments when your lips are painfully chapped or cracked, this formula from Neosporin is a soothing solution. The product is chock full of peptides and emollients to help strengthen and restore your lips while you sleep.

Shop Now: Neosporin Overnight Renewal Therapy, $6.99, cvs.com.

Skinceuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair
Credit: Courtesy of Dermstore

Best Anti-Aging: Skinceuticals

This potent lip treatment is ideal for tight, aging lips and is loaded with antioxidants and vitamin-rich ingredients to rejuvenate and replenish tissue. "This is a really soothing treatment that moisturizes immediately with urea and hyaluronic acid, and helps fight free radicals with vitamin E," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman.

Shop Now: Skinceuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair, $38, dermstore.com.

Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Intense Dehydration: Lanolips

Lanolin is one of the most skin-nourishing ingredients out there and Lanolips—as the brand's name implies—is packed full of it. This deeply hydrating product has an ointment-like texture and formula that works to protect delicate lip skin and seal in moisture. As an added bonus, Lanolips can be used to treat other skin concerns from windburn and cold-chapped cheeks to cracked heels and dry cuticles.

Shop Now: Lanolips "The Original 101 Ointment" Multipurpose Superbalm, $16.99, amazon.com.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Dermstore

Best for Sensitive Skin: First Aid Beauty

"This lip balm is excellent for chapped lips largely thanks to its three main ingredients: glycerin, colloidal oatmeal, and shea butter—all of which are humectants. Devoid of any alcohols, artificial fragrances, and artificial colorants, this soothing salve is safe for even the most sensitive and ultra cracked lips. As an added bonus, this balm also contains a blend of botanical antioxidants, including licorice root, feverfew, and white tea. These antioxidants [fight] free radicals, which, when produced from any number of environmental insults, wreak havoc on the skin barrier," says Dr. Maiman.

Shop Now: First Aid Beauty "Ultra Repair" Intensive Lip Balm, $20, dermstore.com.

lizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Elizabeth Arden

Best Subtle Sheen: Elizabeth Arden

"I love this balm because it soothes dry lips with instant hydration while working to strengthen lips' moisture barrier, guarding them against future dryness. It also has a lovely, natural-looking sheen," says Dr. Engelman.

Shop Now: Elizabeth Arden "Eight Hour" Cream Intensive Lip Repair Balm, $24, elizabetharden.com.

Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best with Color: Rosebud Perfume Co.

This old-school balm works. It smells faintly of roses and has a soft pink hue that adds just enough color. Plus, its nourishing formula can be used to highlight cheekbones, tame flyaways, or groom eyebrows.

Shop Now: Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve, $9.97, walmart.com.

Glo Skin Barrier Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Dermstore

Most Skin Strengthening: Glo Skin

"Glo Skin's Barrier Balm is one of my favorites because you can use it in so many ways—on lips, cuticles, hands, and other dry spots. It contains vitamin E and rosehip seed oil, and hydrates while preventing future water loss," notes Dr. Engelman.

Shop Now: Glo Skin Barrier Balm, $16, dermstore.com.

Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Most Travel-Friendly: Drunk Elephant

Loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea leaf and vitamin C, this balm protects parched lips from free radicals and environmental stressors. Its buttery and silky formula is easy to apply and can be worn under your favorite lipstick or tint.

Shop Now: Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm, $18, sephora.com.

Bite Beauty Agave Daytime Vegan Lip Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

Best Vegan Balm: Bite Beauty

Bite Beauty's agave lip balm is not only deeply moisturizing, but smells divine, too—think notes of orange and vanilla. Its vegan formula promises eight hours of continuous hydration and is full of emollients and fatty acids to leave lips supple and plump. As an added bonus, it's the perfect size for stashing in pockets and purses.

Shop Now: Bite Beauty "Agave + Daytime" Vegan Lip Balm, $16, sephora.com.

Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm
Credit: Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

Most Moisturizing: Augustinus Bader

Nurture your lips with Augustinus Bader's nutrient-rich lip balm that uses reparative sunflower, avocado, and grapeseed oils to seal in moisture, creating a barrier against cold weather temperatures and drying climates. Its clean formula also harnesses the power plant-derived collagen to deliver a plumper mouth.

Shop Now: Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm, $38, saksfithavenue.com.