Lip Balm vs Chapstick: What’s The Difference?

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You’ve likely noticed that people use the terms “lip balm” and “chapstick” interchangeably, but is there actually a difference? If you’ve ever pondered this question, this guide about lip balm vs chapstick will answer all your questions.

Dealing with chronic chapped lips is almost as bad as stepping on a stray piece of Lego. There are few things worse than staring in the mirror as you apply layer upon layer of lip balm onto your lips, hoping that the flakes magically disappear before leaving the house.

Whether you constantly lick your lips due to loss of moisture or are sensitive to cold weather, don’t worry as there are lip products that can bring back your soft, smooth pucker. 


Lip Balm vs Chapstick


You might be surprised to hear that there actually isn’t a huge difference between the two. Lip balm is a term for the waxy substances that people apply to their lips when they are feeling dry.

Balms come in several different flavors, colors, shapes, and sizes. Lip balm is usually created with ingredients such as beeswax, carnauba wax, paraffin, and petrolatum. Chapstick is a brand of lip balm, which is a popular go-to among individuals who often experience chapped lips. 



If you’re keen on finding out more about the Chapstick brand and brands of lip balms, in general, we have all the information you’ll ever need.

Plus, we’ve included 10 best affordable lip balm recommendations that will leave your lips looking plump and feeling hydrated, so you can combat lip dryness with effective treatment. 


All About Chapstick 


Chapstick has garnered serious popularity on a worldwide scale since almost everyone will experience dry lips at some point in their life. Small tubes of Chapstick were first introduced to consumers in the 1880s.

Throughout the years, the brand has created several new formulas that contain sunscreen so that you can sit in the sun all day without catching a dreaded sunburn or even skin cancer because of its protective layer.

Chapstick also has different products, including a line of lip exfoliators, butters, and tinted balms so that you can get away with wearing a lip balm instead of a dehydrating lipstick. 

It comes in tons of different flavors, including “cherry”, which was Katy Perry’s favorite as proclaimed in her song “I Kissed A Girl”. 


The 10 Best Lip Balms


Like other skincare and makeup products, the best product for you depends on your unique needs and budget. You can most definitely snag a great lip balm or lip salves for under $10 but you can also find more expensive products from stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty.

Below, we rounded up our top picks of the varieties of lip balms that you should get for healthy lips.


1. Classic Cherry Flavor Chapstick


Classic Cherry Flavor Chapstick

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If you’re looking for a lip balm that will do the job, without any special bells and whistles, a tube of Chapstick will suffice. The brand even notes that there’s a reason people write songs about its cherry Chapstick.

The first three ingredients in the lip balm formula are petroleum jelly, paraffin, and mineral oil. A tube of chapstick will heal and protect your sensitive lips and retails for under $5. 


2. Burt’s Bees Lip Balm


Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

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Burt’s Bees is best known for making simple products from ingredients that can be naturally derived like beeswax. Along with lip balm, Burt’s Bees carries tinted lip balms, lip butters, facial cleansers, eye creams, body moisturizers, makeup, and much more.

But the basic tubes of lip balm come in lip-smacking flavors like ginger lime, vanilla bean, pink grapefruit, and strawberry. If your lips are in desperate need of hydration from a natural moisturizing lip balm, the Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm with Kokum Butter might be a better choice compared to its signature balm. 


3. Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter


Vaseline Lip Therapy Cocoa Butter

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Unlike many other forms of lip balm that come in stick form, Vaseline’s Lip Therapy comes in a small and ever-so-compact tin. The formula locks in moisture with its signature Vaseline jelly without making your smile look or feel greasy. It also comes in an original (unscented) formula, pink bubbly, rose, and aloe.

However, if you find that you’re a bit of a germaphobe, you’re better off going for a lip balm that is in a tube. The lip tin requires you to dip your finger directly into it for application. 

For those with sensitive skin or allergies, we suggest starting with a lip balm that has an unscented and unflavored formula.


4. EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm

EOS Sweet Mint Lip Balm

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If you don’t purchase this lip balm for its adorable packaging, purchase it for its natural and hydrating formula. This EOS lip balm is made with 100% natural ingredients and natural oils so you can feel good about slathering it onto your lips.

It contains sustainably sourced ingredients without any gluten or parabens, so you won’t have to worry about environmental factors!


5. Carmex Classic Lip Balm


Carmex Classic Lip Balm Carmex

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Carmex is another lip balm OG, just like Chapstick. Its special formula is available in a tube, tin, or squeeze tube so there’s something for everyone.

The brand has been around for more than 80 years and can quickly soothe painful lips and cracked lips with its medicated formula. Its ingredient list contains camphor and menthol can provide sore lips with a pleasant cooling sensation. 


6. SoftLips Slim Sticks


SoftLips Slim Sticks 

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While these are tiny and slim in appearance, they can sure work wonders on chapped lips.

The SoftLips formula consists of ozokerite, squalane, skin protectants, and an SPF 20 sunscreen to keep them healthy and protected against sun damage during the warmer months. It comes in delicious flavors like watermelon, cherry, vanilla, and raspberry. 


7. Eucerin Aquaphor

Eucerin Aquaphor

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While this isn’t a traditional tube of lip balm, Eucerin Aquaphor is an absolutely amazing multi-purpose ointment for people who struggle with chapped lips and dry skin.

Each squeeze tube is quite large and can safely be used on any part of your body. It’s made from 41% petroleum and is non-comedogenic (won’t clog pores), and free of preservatives and fragrances. 


8. Rosebud Perfume Co. Salve in a Tube


Rosebud Perfume Co. Salve in a Tube

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This product can be found at stores like Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora. The lip balm is considered a cult-favorite, which it can attribute to the salve’s natural formula made with cottonseed oil, petrolatum, and essential oils.

The multi-purpose hydrating salve can be used on lips, dry elbows, minor burns, healing cuts, and even damaged cuticles! So if you have multiple problem areas, getting this salve would be a good idea.


9. Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm


Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm

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This special lip balm is slightly more expensive than the others but we promise you’ll be pleased with the results. The Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm by fresh is made from natural ingredients and contains hyaluronic acid, which will keep your lips hydrated for up to 24 hours.

It’s clinically proven to repair the look and feel of pesky damaged lips. Depending on your makeup style, this type of lip balm comes in translucent and soft pink.


10. Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25


Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

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The Jack Black Moisture Therapy Lip Balm is perfect for men and women who are deeply concerned with sun protection (everyone should be!).

The hydrating lip mask is enriched with antioxidants and cocoa seed butter that will heal cracked and irritated lips. Its unique formula also contains vitamin E and shea butter. It comes in several delicious flavors that will make it hard for you to not lick your lips!


How To Ditch Dry Lips For Good


If you struggle with dry, chapped lips, it’s important to apply a hydrating lip balm multiple times per day and upon going to bed each night. Applying a lip balm with SPF before leaving the house will keep your lips safe from free radicals and harmful UV rays. 

Along with using lip balm, it’s crucial to gently exfoliate your lips occasionally and to stay hydrated by drinking tons of water. This means at least eight glasses per day. 

Those who live in drier areas should consider purchasing a humidifier that can be used during the day and at night. This will add some much-needed moisture back into the air and your lips!

If you’re not noticing any changes despite using a dependable lip balm, consult your doctor as they may have further suggestions. 


Conclusion: Lip Balm vs Chapstick, Is One Better?


As discussed above, Chapstick is a brand of lip balm, so you can’t really say that either one is better. All Chapsticks are lip balms, while not all lip balms are Chapsticks. 

You’ll find excellent lip balms from all the brands listed above, and they all work perfectly fine to hydrate your dry lips! 

With this said, do you have a preference between lip balm brands vs Chapstick? If so, what is your favorite brand of lip balm?


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