Chronic Dry, Chapped Lips
July 4, 2008 10:38 PM   Subscribe

Question: What chapstick is best?

My lips are chapped.
The choices are endless.
I don't care about tints or flavors or any of that crap.
I just want moist lips.
Looking for recommendations.
Simple as that.
posted by hydrate to Health & Fitness (57 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
That's easy. It's Burt's Bees beeswax lip balm (not the honey or pomegranate stuff).
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:46 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I hate most chapsticks and lip glosses because they feel sticky to me, but I deeply love the Burt's Bees chapstick that comes in the glass jar. I guess they've technically started selling it as a gloss, but I use it for its moisturizing properties, which are incredible.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:49 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Burt's Bees. My sister loves plain old Vaseline Lip Therapy. I've heard good things about the Trader Joe's brand as well.
posted by extramundane at 10:52 PM on July 4, 2008

Burt's Bees is good stuff, but if you're really chapped, Blistex makes a lip balm called DCT that works wonders. It was the brand of choice in my marching band / drum corps years.

sousaphone and baritone, if you must know.
posted by tylermoody at 10:53 PM on July 4, 2008

My mother swears by Vaseline lip balm because she's allergic to lanolin, a common lip balm ingredient. If you find that lip balms make your lips more chapped, this might be your problem, especially if you find wool impossibly itchy and/or have allergies to animals.
posted by MadamM at 10:54 PM on July 4, 2008

Drugstore: Burt's Bees
Department store/Sephora: Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment
posted by wuzandfuzz at 10:57 PM on July 4, 2008

Though I'm a big fan of expensive fancy beauty products, I actually like ChapStick best.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 11:03 PM on July 4, 2008

I've always been a Carmex fan, but it's a matter of personal preference I guess...
posted by pupdog at 11:06 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

I'm a long time fan and user of Burt's Bees, but I have to say it ain't got shit on Kiehl's #1--that stuff is like the atomic bomb of lip moisturizers. Put it on before bed and you're going to have the softest lips a human being is capable of having by the time you wake up. May as well throw in my heterosexuality card now: Kiehl's has changed my life.

(ps. I actually prefer the Honey and Pomegranate to the regular/peppermint Burt's. If I wanted my lips to feel like they're burning, I wouldn't be putting lip balm on them.)
posted by tsmo at 11:17 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Labello. So good I order it from Canada. Not sticky, never gets gummy or tacky. So smooth and long-lasting. The regular has a very subtle scent, and no tint. I love the stuff.
posted by alpha_betty at 11:19 PM on July 4, 2008

This is obviously highly personal but I hate everything but Lip Medex.
posted by loiseau at 11:27 PM on July 4, 2008

You are all entirely, entirely wrong. The best chapstick ever is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Chapstick. It doesn't taste like anything, is smells vaguely chocolatey but not so people notice, and it comes in a big tube that makes everyone think you are putting gluestick on your lips. Amusing!
posted by exceptinsects at 11:34 PM on July 4, 2008 [1 favorite]

Another vote for the Burt's Bees products; the original is a classic. I'm also loving the Kiehl's Clearly Kiehl's Lip Gloss. (Guy here; a gay one, lolz). This stuff isn't tinted, so it goes on fairly invisibly, unless you really glop it on. It tastes great, too, despite not being Flavored-with-a-capital-"F". Makes my lips feel really healthy. A bit pricey--the site says $14.50. (Found out about it from a NY Times article last year-ish talking about, I think at least in part, unisex lip products for men and women. This was one of them.)
posted by jroybal at 11:47 PM on July 4, 2008

I'm a lip balm junkie and love Kiehl's, but it's pricey. A cheaper alternative, and I think about as good is Neutrogena.

If this stuff ever goes on sale in the US, buy it. It's fantastic. The best lip balm I've ever used.
posted by essexjan at 11:51 PM on July 4, 2008

I've used a variety of lip balms, and the one that feels the most soothing to me, and seems to last the longest once applied, is Softlips.

Joke time: A duck walks into a pharmacy and says "Give me some lip balm, and put it on my bill." Okay, it's totally a groaner, but I've always liked it.
posted by amyms at 12:00 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Weirdly the best lip balm I've ever found was the 100% Naturals variety that was quickly discontinued by Chapstick and replaced with two variants that aren't as good.

Here's a tube for $18:
posted by sdis at 12:07 AM on July 5, 2008

Tried them all, and the one that really works for me is Chapstick's Lip Moisturizer spf 15. The other Chapsticks are too waxy to moisturize much, and the various salve-style ones like Vaseline wear off too fast. Burt's Bees is nice, but it just doesn't get the job done.
posted by seancake at 12:08 AM on July 5, 2008

Blistex medicated or carmex. Blistex is quicker, carmex is longer lasting. IMHO, of course.
posted by shepd at 12:35 AM on July 5, 2008

I use Softlips during the day and the liquid-in-a-tube (not stick or dish) Blistex at night. Without these two things, my lips will crust over and die. (And get sunburned. Ever get a sunburn on your lips? Yeah, it blows. Whatever you choose, choose a chapstick with an spf.)
posted by phunniemee at 12:46 AM on July 5, 2008

This self-professed lip balm addict has used just about every commonly found kind out there.
Until recently my favorite was Burt's Bees classic, the one with the peppermint oil which I've realized was helping keep my lips dried out.

My new favorite is the non-mentholated lip balms by C.O. Bigelow; specifically the Soothing Lip Buffer, My Favorite Lip Balm, and the Lemon creme which I can usually find at Bath & Body Works.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:48 AM on July 5, 2008

Another vote or Kiehl's Lip Balm #1! It's the only thing that has ever worked for me. Pricey, but it seems to last a long time.
posted by krisken at 12:49 AM on July 5, 2008

Karite Lips shea butter lip balm. You can get it from Bare Essentuals if that's in your area. Whole Foods also carries it, as far as I've seen in Northern California. A little on the expensive side, but works so well, you don't need to apply it too often. Has a natural sunscreen. Highly recommended from a chronic chap stick consumer.
posted by waitangi at 12:50 AM on July 5, 2008

lucas papaw ointment

(Don't be put off by the fact that it's also a great nappy rash cream.)
posted by prettypretty at 1:04 AM on July 5, 2008

Another vote for Kiehl's. It changed my life too. It doesn't have that sticky, oily feeling that most lip balms do.
posted by Menomena at 5:02 AM on July 5, 2008

The only thing I can use is Avon's Care Deeply with Aloe lip balm. Everything else feels too greasy, goopy, or waxy to me.
posted by LolaGeek at 5:36 AM on July 5, 2008

I second Labello. I like it more than Burt's Bees. They sell it in Mexico, too.
posted by clearlydemon at 5:56 AM on July 5, 2008

posted by unclejeffy at 6:12 AM on July 5, 2008

Aquaphor Healing Ointment. Use it before you go to bed and your lips will be soft the next morning. You can use it on irritated skin too.
posted by mathlete at 6:36 AM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

Nivea Labello Lip Balm, one of the finest lip moisturizers available. People enjoy that it does not have the pasty, waxy feeling and taste of many lip balms, but in fact has more of a smooth, cosmetic feeling!

Link is to a Canadian drugstore local to me that did a nice job of shipping me Labello when I was living in the States.
posted by kmennie at 6:49 AM on July 5, 2008

I actually don't like Burt's Bees - however, the best two lip balms I have ever used are 1) Elizabeth Arden's Eight Hour Cream lip balm (but is madly soft so you tend to use it up quick and it's expensive), and 2) far more cheaply, Badger Balm lip balm. You can get it in health food stores in the UK and US, several different flavours, I've only tried the cinnamon one which is amazing, can't speak for the others therefore. It's very cheap, but seriously good.
posted by nunoidia at 6:57 AM on July 5, 2008

posted by arcticwoman at 7:27 AM on July 5, 2008

Seriously, CARMEX. At least give it a shot before you shell out $18 for lip balm- it's about two bucks in most drug stores. It's not all waxy like most of the cheaper balms, and it's not aggressively minty either- it just has a hint of tinglyness. It will smooth your lips out like nobody's business.

And don't bother with Burt's Bees balm- as much as I love most of their products, the balm is waaay too waxy.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:08 AM on July 5, 2008

Burt's Bees is now owned by Clorox, so I would avoid.

Another vote for Keihl's. Eucerin makes a great lip balm, too.
posted by Zambrano at 9:34 AM on July 5, 2008

Yet another vote for Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. Amazing.
posted by meerkatty at 9:44 AM on July 5, 2008

I am very picky about chapstick, and after years of trying every different product I have decided that the $1.79 Chapstick brand tube sold at the drug store register is the one that works best for me. The basic black label kind, not the gross cherry or medicated ones.

I've always heard that Carmex contains camphor, and that can dry your lips out. But I've never verified this by reading the label. You might want to do so if you're thinking about purchasing some.

I don't understand all the enthusiasm about kiehls lip balm. It seems just like vaseline to me.
posted by Morpeth at 9:45 AM on July 5, 2008

I work in a near-zero humidity environment, so lip moisturizing has become somewhat of a quest for me. I would suggest that, rather than look for any one "best" product, you look for a strategy. After years of experimentation, here's what I've found works best:

First, and this may seem too obvious to mention, stay well-hydrated. No matter which product you choose, the moisture that your lips need comes from within your body, not the product you slather on; the products just minimize the moisture loss from your lips.

For daytime, when you can't carry jars, tubs, tubes, or vats around with you, I've got to second Seancake's recommendation of Chapstick Moisturizer Skin Protectant/Sunscreen SPF 15. Not glamorous, not expensive, but it's pocket-sized and immediately available, and it's not waxy like regualar chapstick. Just look for the Chapstick with the blue label; some drugstores sell a generic equivalent that's also in a blue tube.

For night time, when you don't care about greasing up, plain old Vaseline works wonders. Once again, cheap, unglamorous, and ubiquitous…you've probably got some already.

This strategy works wonders. You won't smell pretty, you won't taste anything, you won't look like Boy George, and you won't spend a lot. But you'll forget about your lips, which is pretty much the point, eh?
posted by dinger at 9:45 AM on July 5, 2008

Another vote for Labello.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:59 AM on July 5, 2008

I'm a natural girl so my rec's are coming from that mindset. My absolute fave is Mode De Vie, Karite-Lips, Shea Butter Vanilla Lip Balm.

I have to agree that Burt's is a bit too waxy; I had to get some when I couldn't get my Mode de Vie stuff, and I couldn't bear the waxyness of it. The Mode de Vie really moisturizes your lips, doesn't just coat them and it lasts a really long time. If I put some on before I go to bed, my lips are still moist in the morning. The ingredients are all natural so you dont' have to worry about ingesting all those chemicals; the average person eats about 10 lbs of lip stuff in their lifetime it's good to know what is in your lip balm. It's a bit more expensive than most lip balms but the tube is bigger, and because it lasts longer, you don't need to apply it as often.
posted by kenzi23 at 10:25 AM on July 5, 2008

Ok, I've come back to admit my true preference, now that there are many answers for it to hide in. Lip Smackers...yes, Bonnebell Lip Smackers. Specifically the Dr. Pepper flavor. I'm prone to peel-y dry lips, and this is the only product that keeps that from happening when I wear it regularly. You can get it at Target, Walmart, most drugstores. The other ones I suggested are good, but second best to my Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 10:26 AM on July 5, 2008 [2 favorites]

Merry Hempsters
posted by saxamo at 10:54 AM on July 5, 2008

Plain old green tube Blistex medicated gets my vote. Labello is too insubstantial (although the flavors are delicious), vaseline wears off too fast (but is great to sleep in). Softlips makes my lips feel strange and does nothing for real chapping. Anything that comes in a pot is too messy (and carmex is intense and almost numbing, although I have known many a carmex addict in my day). I haven't tried everything here, but I've never found a cheaper and easier solution than Blistex, and it's available at every american drugstore and pretty much every bodega in NYC, so if you find yourself without it's easy to pick up a tube.
posted by ch1x0r at 11:24 AM on July 5, 2008

I loves me some Chocolate Whipstick from Lush. It is a little pricey, although less so in store than on the website.
posted by sunshinesky at 11:37 AM on July 5, 2008

For everyone raving about Kiehl's #1 - you could really save yourself money and just use Vaseline.

Kiehl's is 91% petrolatum and about $10 per .5 oz tube, Vaseline is 100% petrolatum and about $3 for 12 oz.

(My favorite is Trader Joe's store brand, green and white tube)
posted by tristeza at 11:54 AM on July 5, 2008

I was going to recommend Lancome's Primordiale Optimum Lip which is the only thing I've found that actually cured, rather than treated, chapped lips. Unfortunately, they've discontinued it. (*cries*) They recommend this instead, but I've never tried it - and at $33 a tube, I wouldn't want to just hope that it works.

Day to day I use Trader Joe's Essence of Nature Lip Healer, in aloe vera. It's in a yellow tube with the red lid and it's not sticky, stingy or bad tasting. Hope this helps!
posted by Space Kitty at 12:27 PM on July 5, 2008

My husband is a Carmex addict, and I like Burt's bees lifeguard's choice, although the carmex does tend to moisturize better, I prefer Burt's bees smell.
posted by SuzySmith at 1:08 PM on July 5, 2008

I have good luck with the Kiss My Face and Alba lip balms. I have only used the flavored ones, but it looks like each line has a unflavored version with extra SPF. They are not waxy like a lot of the others I have tried. I find what helps chapped lips a lot is to apply lip balm immediately after getting out of the shower. Also, if I don't need a shower and the chapped lips are extra bothersome, I will soak a washcloth in water (I always used filtered), and then press it on the lips for a while, then blot dry and immedialy apply lip balm.
posted by Shoeburyness at 1:16 PM on July 5, 2008

Everybody else is wrong. This is the best there is:
posted by holympus at 3:11 PM on July 5, 2008

I recently went on Accutane -- its job is to dry you up, and that includes your lips. Before I started it, I did a lot of research about lip balm (dry, cracked, chapped lips is the most common side effect). The overwhelming favorite was Aquaphor, by Eucerin. So it's what I got, and I'm pretty happy with it -- actually, the only reason I'm not completely thrilled is because I sometimes forget to use it. But even then, put on a thick coat before going to bed, and I have smooth, soft lips by morning.
posted by booksandlibretti at 4:28 PM on July 5, 2008

I love Aveeno chapstick - I can't believe no one else has mentioned it!
posted by inquisitrix at 9:00 PM on July 5, 2008

Nthing Carmex for awesome effectiveness. I only buy the other stuff that strikes my fancy as a taste/smell vacation...and I always go back to the Carmex.
posted by desuetude at 11:26 PM on July 5, 2008

Another vote for Aquaphor here. My lips were chapped for years, until I started using Aquaphor every day (once in the morning and once in the evening).
posted by snafu at 9:47 AM on July 6, 2008

For everyone raving about Kiehl's #1 - you could really save yourself money and just use Vaseline. Kiehl's is 91% petrolatum and about $10 per .5 oz tube, Vaseline is 100% petrolatum and about $3 for 12 oz.

That's like saying, hey, those of you who like beer might as well just drink water, it's practically the same thing. No.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:36 PM on July 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding Aveeno!!! Blistex makes my lips itch, Carmex smells too medicinal, Chapstick is too waxy except for that famous blue tube.
posted by orangemiles at 6:36 PM on July 6, 2008

Desert Essence Lip Rescue (also found in health food stores).
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 9:16 PM on July 6, 2008

Chicken Poop. Seriously. It's good stuff.
posted by altcountryman at 1:54 PM on July 7, 2008

I almost forgot about Chicken Poop!! It is really, really great.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:33 PM on July 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

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