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The 7 Best Lip Balms to Get You Through the Cold, Dry Winter

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Lip balm is important: The skin on your lips is thinner than it is on the rest of your body, so it’s also the most prone to dryness and cracking. Threats to your lips come from everywhere: sunburn, windburn, cold and dry air, bacteria, cold sores, you name it. It’s a rough world out there for your kisser. For all these reasons, you need a plan to keep that skin strong and smooth—and that solution comes packed into a tiny tube or tin.

A great lip balm is chock-full of nourishing oils like sunflower, castor, or tea tree, and skin-smoothing butters like cocoa or shea. Highly concentrated balms prevent dryness and cuts from worsening, while preserving existing moisture and protecting lips from the daily assault of the outside world. We rounded up seven of our favorite balms (after testing about 700,000 of them). Whether you’re treating chapped lips or preventing the next parching, these are the best lip balms on the market, period. 

The Best Lip Balm (That You Can Also Use on the Rest of Your Body)

Dr. Rogers RESTORE lip balm

Doctor Rogers’ plant-based lip balm quickly heals the worst cracks, and does so without any potentially harmful ingredients like petroleum, lanolin, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or fragrance. And because it’s a remix of her cult-favorite “everywhere balm,” this product doesn’t heal and shield only the lips: You can apply it to your cuticles, dry patches of skin, eczema, tattoos, cuts, burns, you name it.

$15

Doctor Rogers

The Best Lip Balm with SPF

Jack Black Intense Therapy lip balm

Your lips need SPF protection too. Jack Black’s balm uses SPF 25 to shield the precious skin from UV rays and harsh ski-slope winds alike. It also delivers vitamin E and green tea, which further protects against skin-frying elements.

The Best Lip Balm for Prescription-Grade Healing

Burt’s Bees medicated lip balm

If you’ve got more than just chapped lips—we’re talking cold sores and fever blisters—then speed up the healing with the menthol- and eucalyptus-infused drugstore favorite. (It goes without saying that it’ll deliver a supercharged fix to standard-level dryness too.)

The Best Scented Lip Balm

Malin+Goetz Mojito lip balm

Malin+Goetz’s mojito-scented, gel-based balm also uses fatty acids to soften and plump the lips on contact, while shielding them from further strain. It’s in a squeeze tube, instead of a roll-on stick, so it’s easy to share some with anyone you’re smooching. (Logistically, this shouldn’t have concerned you in the first place, but still.)

The Best Organic Lip Balm

Dr. Bronner’s organic lip balm

This beeswax balm uses organic oils to hydrate and soften the lips: Jojoba, avocado, and hemp oils deliver nourishment and moisture, while peppermint essential oil gives you the tingle of freshness so you can feel it working.

The Best Lip Balm for Plumping

Blue Lagoon Iceland lip balm

This lip balm packs the same healing powers as the otherworldly Blue Lagoon. And that’s because it uses the same science and technology to deliver nutritious blue-green microalgae. It helps support the lips’ collagen levels, keeping them plump, while a range of butters, oils, and extracts keeps skin soft and strong.

$34

Blue Lagoon Iceland

The Best Overnight Lip Treatment

C.O. Bigelow overnight lip balm

The best time to restore (and prevent) dry lips is overnight. That’s because your cells regenerate while you sleep. So you want a product like C.O. Bigelow’s shea butter balm to kickstart the regenerative benefits. Apply some before bed, whether your lips hurt real bad or just need an extra line of defense from cold, dry air. In the morning, you’ll wake with a soft, smooth set.

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