Friday, June 14, 2024

17 Best Lip Balms 2023 for Smoother, Softer Lips

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There’s absolutely nothing comfortable about flaky, dry, and chapped lips, which is why we keep ourselves stocked with a collection of the best lip balms and treatments out there. And you can trust we’ve tried every beauty product under the sun: medicated balms, do-it-all salves, SPF-spiked formulas, exfoliating scrubs — we’ve even slapped on sleeping masks made just for the mouth.

If your current lip balm isn’t doing it for you anymore, it’s definitely time to make a switch — most likely to something a bit simpler. Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, has previously compared lip balms to quenching your thirst with a can of soda. “You drink something that appeals to the senses with no nutritional value, and shortly thereafter, you are still thirsty,” she explains. “The same thing goes for balms loaded with flavor, fragrance, and menthol.” That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid tasty or tingly balms; in fact, there are a few we really love on this list. Just be sure to pay attention to what is and isn’t working for you.

Below, we’re sharing the best lip care products that our lips can’t live without, including a $40 luxury pick that beauty editors simply can’t get enough of and a few drugstore scores. We’re willing to bet your new favorite lip balm (you know — that ride-or-die you carry around in your pocket) is sitting pretty somewhere on this list.

Our Top Picks:

  1. Best Overall: Glossier Balm Dotcom, $14
  2. Best Tinted Lip Balm: Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm, $40
  3. Allure Best of Beauty Winner: Rhode Skin Peptide Lip Treatment, $16
  4. Best pH-Reactive Lip Balm: Givenchy Le Rouge Interdit Hydrating Lip Balm, $39
  5. Best-Smelling Lip Balm: Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm, $24
  6. TikTok-Approved: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $24
  7. Best Drugstore Lip Balm: Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Mask, $12

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Best Overall: Glossier Balm Dotcom

    Editors are obsessed with Glossier’s Balm Dotcom for its chic packaging and its ability to soothe dry, chapped anything — lips, cuticles, elbows, heels, you name it. Originally, petrolatum (the key ingredient in Vaseline) was the main additive of this formula, but in early 2023 Glossier reformulated its best-selling salve and nixed it. Instead, the new and improved balm features conditioning, but less greasy, castor jelly with an additional boost of vitamin E for good measure.

    We like using the Original, untinted version pretty much anywhere — we’re talking elbows, knees…everything — but for a pretty wash of sheer, glossy color on our lips, the coral Wild Fig hue cannot be beaten.

  • Best Tinted Lip Balm: Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm

    Treat dry lips in fashion with the Dior Addict Lip Glow Balm. Similar to its equally trendy sibling, Addict Lip Glow Oil, this TikTok-beloved lip balm contains antioxidant-rich cherry oil and shea butter, two emollients that seal moisture for a smoother, softer feel to your lips. We especially love that this balm is available in nine gorgeous, high-shine tints to choose from — none of which feel sticky or heavy on the lips.

  • Allure Best of Beauty Winner: Rhode Skin Peptide Lip Treatment

    Want suppler, plumper-looking lips? Then simply glaze your lips with Rhode Skin’s Peptide Lip Treatment throughout the day. This Allure Best of Beauty 2022 winner’s star ingredient, peptides, helps firm the look of skin while shea butter, babassu, and cupuaçu work hand-in-hand to moisturize.

    While we love the clear, untinted version, commerce editor Sarah Han is a fan of Watermelon Slice for “a kiss of pink on low-key days” and says she’s definitely eyeing Strawberry Glaze for when she needs an even juicier dose of color.

  • Best pH-Reactive Lip Balm: Givenchy Le Rouge Interdit Hydrating Lip Balm

    For a subtle tint with conditioning benefits, Allure commerce writer Jennifer Hussein says she constantly reaches for Givenchy’s Le Rouge Interdit Hydrating Lip Balm, specifically in the black-to-pink shade No. 10. “I love a grungy, all-black beauty product, so of course Givenchy’s lip balm caught my attention,” she says.

    Don’t let its pitch-black hue fool you, because its pH-reactive formula instantly transforms into a sheer wash of pink color once you swipe it on. Of course, Hussein also loves that this luxury lip balm leaves her lips kissably smooth, thanks to its hyaluronic acid- and jojoba oil-spiked formula.

  • Best-Smelling Lip Balm: Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm

    The brand may be called Summer Fridays, but its Lip Butter Balm is a year-round must-have. Two majorly moisturizing botanical butters, shea and murumuru seed, condition dry skin while vegan waxes smooth over flakes and seal in hydration. Plus, the natural vanilla flavor makes it downright impossible to resist, even when your lips are feeling far from chapped.

    While Vanilla is classic, commerce editor Sarah Han is a huge fan of the tinted shades, like Brown Sugar, for a dose of sheer, “my lips but better” color.

  • Best Drugstore Lip Balm: Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Mask

    Protect your lips with nourishing conditioners like the mango and cocoa butter in the Flower Beauty Petal Pout Lip Mask. This treatment goes on with a sheer tint that’s available in six sheer shades so you can wear it all day long just like a regular lipstick. Needless to say, we awarded this a Best of Beauty Award for its chap-reducing formula and lightweight yet pigmented hue. Speaking of its shades, we especially love that this lip product leaves behind an even layer of color, beating out some of our favorite lip glosses.

  • TikTok-Approved: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

    A 2019 Allure Best of Beauty winner, Laneige’s ever-viral Lip Sleeping Mask is a TikTok-approved treatment that works overtime to ensure lips are moisturized, supple, and smooth-as-silk by morning. Infused with berry-derived antioxidants and vitamin C, as well as its proprietary “moisture wrap” technology, you’ll notice a visible difference in dryness after just one use. The intoxicating fruity scent doesn’t hurt either, though if that’s not your jam, it also comes in vanilla and apple lime.

    A word from Allure senior beauty editor Paige Stables: “Even though it’s designed to use as an overnight mask, I also love it during the day,” she says. “A thin layer of the antioxidant-rich balm adds the prettiest subtle sheen to lips, and it layers nicely with lipstick, too.”

  • Most Intensive Lip Treatment: U Beauty The Plasma Lip Compound

    On top of the seven sheer and sexy pigments you can choose from and lip gloss-esque sheen, U Beauty’s The Plasma Lip Compound is a total game-changer for its intensely moisturizing, softening formula. Each tube is infused with hydrating hyaluronic acid, skin barrier-supporting ceramides for moisture replenishment, and a blend of conditioning oils derived from castor seed and sweet almonds.

  • Best for Mature Skin: Burt’s Bees Renewing Lip Treatment

    The beauty of the Burt’s Bees Renewing Lip Treatment is that it addresses fine lines and loss of volume without making a big dent in your bank account. This lightweight yet effective treatment plumps the look of lips while minimizing the appearance of fine lines with a moisturizing blend of ceramides, beeswax, coconut oil, and sunflower seed oil. Sure, it’s a lip treatment on paper, but its high-shine finish makes for the perfect lip gloss.

  • Conditions + Plumps: Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm

    Drunk Elephant Lippe Balm lives rent-free on Allure contributing editor Marci Robin’s nightstand. Broader than your usual balm stick, you get no-fail coverage when applying the buttery formula, which includes avocado oil — full of omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins — as well as peptides to boost lips’ plumpness. “Even if I apply it an hour or two before I actually fall asleep, I always wake up with smooth lips,” Robin says. “That’s pretty much a miracle for my perennially flaky lip skin.”

  • Best Luxury Lip Balm: La Mer The Lip Balm

    It’s rare to spot anything from La Mer for less than $100, but The Lip Balm falls just under that price range. This luxe lip product has a minty flavor and features an emollient-heavy blend to replenish much-needed moisture. And, like all La Mer products, this balm contains the brand’s proprietary, antioxidant-rich Miracle Broth, which reduces signs of inflammation and soothes dry, chapped skin.

  • Hydrates + Moisturizes: Ilia Lip Wrap Reviving Balm

    Considering how popular Ilia’s Lip Wrap Lip Mask is with Allure readers and editors alike, it should come as no surprise that the brand has launched a daytime balm version of its overnight treatment. In addition to hydration-locking hyaluronic acid, the Lip Wrap Reviving Balm utilizes moisturizing and barrier-supporting natural ingredients like prickly pear oil and sea succulent extract. Over time, that stronger barrier means even dryness-prone lips hold onto moisture more effectively.

  • Best Overnight Treatment: Jason Wu Beauty Good Night Mr. Wu

    Jason Wu Beauty’s Good Night Mr. Wu may have an under-$15 price tag but that’s not the only reason why it nabbed an Allure Best of Beauty Award in 2022. This pillowy, vegan lip balm contains a moisture-replenishing trifecta of shea butter, jojoba oil (two great occlusives, meaning they form a protective layer on the surface of your lips to prevent moisture loss), and vitamin E to soften and smooth lips overnight.

  • Best for Sensitive Skin: Belif Aqua Bomb Overnight Lip Mask

    Just like the brand’s best-selling moisturizer, the Belif Aqua Bomb Overnight Lip Mask contains tried-and-true ingredients like Centella asiatica (or cica for short) for its skin-soothing properties and moisturizing shea butter. Allure shopping market editor Angela Trakoshis says this gel-like lip mask is one of her favorites for its weightless feel and hyper-conditioning properties. “The best part about this lip mask is that it’s not heavy, meaning its gel-like formula sits on my lips and feels like nothing is there,” she notes. “Not to mention, it’s also not sticky so on those windy days when my hair is out of control, it’s not sticking to my mouth (we’ve all been there).”

    We love it so much we added it to our March 2023 Allure Beauty Box lineup. You can score the Allure Beauty Box here for access to even more editor favorites — for just $23.

  • Deeply Moisturizing: Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment

    Chances are, you’ve tried Fresh’s best-selling Sugar Lip Treatment at least once, and we’re here to remind you why it’s so popular. As its name suggests, this buttery balm is spiked with sugar, which is actually a magnificent humectant that binds water onto the surface layer of the skin. Along with its star ingredient, this lip balm also contains conditioning, antioxidant-rich oils derived from cranberries and grapeseed to smooth, soften, and protect skin from further chapping.

  • Best Under-$10 Lip Treatment: Chapstick Total Hydration With Sea Minerals Overnight Lip Renewal Treatment

    Although associate manager of special projects Talia Gutierrez uses the Chapstick Total Hydration With Sea Minerals Overnight Lip Renewal Treatment overnight as the name suggests, she’s gotten in the habit of applying the aloe and shea butter-infused formula during the day, too — especially before putting on makeup. “It’s like a lip oil and lip mask hybrid I use to keep my lips from drying out whenever I wear a lipstick or crayon,” she says, adding that her lips are never chapped when this is a regular part of her routine.

  • Best Salve: Smith’s Rosebud Salve

    In addition to being intensely hydrating, the Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Rosebud Salve has the slightest hint of pink, making it one of the easiest ways to boost your natural lip color if you’re going for a no-makeup makeup look. Its balmy, dense texture makes this pick especially great for days when your lips need a more intensive dose of chap-relieving moisture. New York City-based makeup artist Diane Kendal keeps tins of the stuff in her kit at all times.

Check Out Some of Our 2022 Allure Best of Beauty Winners

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