Lip Balm vs Chapstick

You’re standing in the aisle, with shelves lined with an array of lip care products. Amidst the chaos, the eternal debate rages on—lip balm vs chapstick? It’s a difficult question many face, yet the answer isn’t always clear. But fear not, I’ll be clearing up the mystery. 

Read on as we explore the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of these lip essentials. You’re sure you’ll be able to pick wisely and keep your lips feeling pampered and protected.

What is Lip Balm?

Lip balm is a topical product applied to the lips to moisturize, soothe, and protect them from dryness and external elements. Also known as a lip salve, it contains ingredients like beeswax, oils, and emollients, forming a barrier to retain lip moisture and prevent chapping, leaving lips feeling soft and hydrated.

What is Chapstick?

Chapstick is a lip care product used to moisturize and protect lips from dryness and external elements. It typically comes in a stick form for easy application and is designed to soothe and hydrate the lips, providing relief from chapping and discomfort.


Lip Balm vs Chapstick: Comparing the Difference and Uses


Lip balm is a general term for products designed to moisturize and protect lips. It can come in various forms, including sticks, pots, or tubes. Lip balms often contain a combination of ingredients such as beeswax, oils, shea butter, and vitamin.

Chapstick is a specific lip balm brand, often used colloquially to refer to any stick-shaped lip care product. It typically contains ingredients like petrolatum, mineral oil, and lanolin.

Texture and consistency

Lip balms tend to have a smoother, creamier texture, ideal for long-lasting hydration and preventing moisture loss from the lips.

Chapsticks typically have a firmer consistency, offering a more waxy feel on the lips. They create a protective barrier to seal lip moisture and shield them from external elements.

Packaging and portability

Lip balms come in various packaging options, including tubes, pots, and sticks. They are often designed to be compact and portable, making them easy to carry around for on-the-go application.

Chapsticks are primarily sold in stick form, packaged in slim tubes that can easily fit into pockets, purses, or bags. Their convenient size and shape make them a popular choice for everyday use.

Targeted benefits

Lip balms may offer specific benefits beyond basic hydration, such as SPF protection, tinted formulas for added colour, or specialized ingredients like antioxidants for anti-aging effects.

Chapsticks primarily focus on moisturizing and protecting dry, chapped lips. While some variants may offer additional features, such as SPF or medicated formulas, their main purpose remains consistent.

Preference and personal choice

Lip balm enthusiasts often appreciate the variety of options available, allowing them to choose products based on personal preferences for texture, scent, flavour, and targeted benefits.

Chapstick loyalists tend to favour the brand’s reliable performance and classic formulas. Many individuals have grown accustomed to the specific feel and effectiveness of Chapstick products, leading to continued brand loyalty.

Different Types of Lip Balm

Types of lip balm

Tinted lip balm

Tinted lip balms combine the moisturizing properties of traditional lip balms with a hint of colour, providing a subtle tint to enhance the natural appearance of the lips. 

These balms offer a versatile option for individuals seeking both hydration and a touch of colour without the intensity of lipstick. They come in different shades, from sheer to more pigmented options, catering to different preferences and skin tones.

Medicated lip balm

Medicated lip balms contain active ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or phenol to relieve dry, chapped, or sore lips. 

These balms offer additional soothing and healing properties, making them ideal for individuals experiencing discomfort due to environmental factors, cold sores, or other lip conditions. They provide a cooling or numbing sensation to alleviate pain and promote healing.

Flavored lip balm

Flavoured lip balms add a delightful sensory experience to lip care by infusing various flavours into the formula. From fruity options like strawberry and watermelon to sweet treats like vanilla and chocolate, flavoured lip balms offer an enjoyable taste and scent during application. 

These balms appeal to those who appreciate a touch of indulgence in their daily lip care routine, making hydration a more enjoyable experience.

Organic lip balm

Organic lip balms are crafted from natural and organic ingredients, avoiding synthetic chemicals, fragrances, and additives. They prioritize using plant-based oils, beeswax, and botanical extracts known for their moisturizing and nourishing properties. 

Mostly, they appeal to individuals seeking clean and eco-friendly skincare options. 

SPF lip balm

SPF lip balms offer sun protection for the delicate skin of the lips, shielding them from harmful UV rays that can cause sunburn, premature aging, and increased risk of skin cancer. 

Formulated with sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide or octinoxate, SPF lip balms provide broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays. They serve best during outdoor activities and daily use to prevent sun damage and maintain lip health.

What are the Benefits of Lip Balms?


Lip balms are like a refreshing drink of water for your lips. They’re packed with hydrating ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E, which work together to replenish moisture and keep your lips moisturized, soft and supple. No more dry, flaky lips—just smooth, kissable ones.


Think of lip balm as your lips’ best friend, shielding them from the harsh elements. Whether it’s biting winds, scorching sun, or freezing cold, lip balms create a protective barrier that keeps environmental stressors at bay. 


Got chapped or cracked lips? Lip balm to the rescue! With soothing ingredients like beeswax and aloe vera, lip balms relieve irritated lips, promoting healing and preventing further damage.

Sun protection

Your lips need SPF love, too. Sunscreen-infused lip balms protect against harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of sunburn, premature aging, and even skin cancer. You keep your lips safe and happy under the sun’s glare as if you’re wearing sunglasses.

Aesthetics purposes

Lip balms come in a rainbow of colours and delicious flavours. This means they add a touch of excitement to your daily routine. Whether you prefer a subtle tint or a burst of fruity goodness, there’s a lip balm out there to match your mood and style. For a more glossy and shinny look, you can add a layer of lip gloss. 

How to Choose the Best Lip Balm

Consider your needs: Determine what you’re looking for in a lip balm. Do you need intense hydration, sun protection, or a pop of colour? Understanding your specific requirements will help narrow down your options.

Check the ingredients: Look for lip balms formulated with natural, nourishing ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, and essential oils. Avoid products containing harsh chemicals or potential allergens, as they may irritate sensitive lips.

Assess texture and consistency: Decide whether you prefer a creamy, smooth texture or a thicker, more protective formula. Consider the climate and your lifestyle—thicker balms are ideal for harsher conditions, while lighter options are great for everyday wear.

Evaluate additional features: If you spend a lot of time outdoors, opt for a lip balm with SPF to protect against UV damage. For chapped lips, choose a medicated balm with soothing ingredients like menthol or camphor.

Test for allergies: If you have sensitive skin or allergies, perform a patch test before using a new lip balm extensively. Apply a small amount to your wrist and monitor for any adverse reactions over 24 hours.

Read reviews: Research online reviews and recommendations from trusted sources or friends to gather insights on product performance and effectiveness.

Best Lip Balms for Dry Lips

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees lip balms are renowned for using natural ingredients like beeswax and coconut oil, providing intense hydration and nourishment for dry, chapped lips. They come in various flavours and formulas, including tinted options for added colour.


  • Natural ingredients provide effective hydration.
  • Wide range of flavours and formulas available.
  • Tinted options offer versatility for different looks.


  • Strong peppermint scent may be overpowering.
  • Tinted options may not provide as much colour payoff as expected.


Blistex lip balms offer medicated formulas containing ingredients like menthol and camphor, providing immediate relief for dry, chapped lips. They also offer SPF protection to shield lips from the sun.


  • Medicated formula offers quick relief for dry, chapped lips.
  • SPF protection helps prevent sun damage.
  • Available in various formulations to suit different needs.


  • Some users report a slight greasy feel upon application.


Aquaphor lip repair balms contain ingredients like glycerin, shea and cocoa butter, which deeply moisturize and soothe dry, cracked lips. They are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making them suitable for sensitive skin.


  • Deeply moisturizing formula provides long-lasting hydration.
  • Fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Multipurpose formula can be used for other dry skin areas.


  • Thick consistency may feel heavy on the lips.
  • Lack of flavour or scent may be less appealing to some users.


EOS lip balms come in fun, spherical packaging and offer a range of flavors, including fruity and minty options. They contain moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and jojoba oil.


  • Fun, spherical packaging stands out.
  • Wide range of flavors adds variety.
  • Moisturizing ingredients provide effective hydration.


  • Some users experience allergic reactions to certain ingredients.


Nivea lip balms are formulated with moisturizing ingredients like almond oil and shea butter, providing long-lasting hydration and softness. They come in convenient stick form for easy application.


  • Convenient stick form for easy application.
  • Moisturizing ingredients provide effective hydration.
  • Long-lasting formula keeps lips soft and smooth.


  • Strong fragrance may be overpowering for some users.
  • Limited variety of flavours compared to other lip balm brands.

Effervess Vitamin E lip balm

Effervess lip balms are enriched with Vitamin E, which helps to nourish and repair dry, damaged lips. They come in a variety of flavors and offer a smooth, non-sticky texture.


  • Enriched with Vitamin E for added nourishment.
  • Smooth, non-sticky texture for comfortable wear.
  • Variety of flavours adds excitement to lip care routine.


  • Some users find certain flavours to have artificial or overpowering scents.
  • Moisturizing effects may not be long-lasting for everyone.

Read also: Setting vs Fixing Spray.


Is lip balm or chapstick better?

Both lip balm and chapstick serve the same purpose of moisturizing and protecting the lips, but the choice between them ultimately comes down to personal preference. Lip balm may offer a wider variety of formulations, including tinted, organic, or medicated options, catering to different needs and preferences. On the other hand, ChapStick is a specific brand known for its classic formula and reliable performance.

Is lip balm good for your lips?

Yes, lip balm is beneficial for your lips as it helps to moisturize, soothe, and protect them from dryness and environmental stressors. The hydrating ingredients in lip balm, such as beeswax, shea butter, and oils, replenish moisture and prevent chapping, keeping your lips feeling soft and smooth. Regular use of lip balm can also promote healthy lip skin and prevent discomfort associated with dry or cracked lips.

What is better than chapstick for chapped lips?

Medicated lip balms containing ingredients like menthol or camphor provide soothing relief for chapped lips, while organic lip balms made with natural ingredients offer gentle hydration without synthetic additives. 

What not to use on chapped lips?

Avoid using harsh or irritating ingredients on chapped lips since they can exacerbate dryness and discomfort. Products containing alcohol, menthol, or fragrances may cause further irritation and strip away natural moisture. Additionally, refrain from licking or biting your lips, as saliva can worsen dryness and lead to inflammation.

Which is better, Lip Balm or Chapstick?

In the unending debate of lip balm versus chapstick, the verdict may never be unanimous. Each has its loyal followers, its unique formulations, and its place in our daily routines. Whether you’re drawn to the classic reliability of ChapStick or the diverse options of lip balm, one thing is certain—both are essential allies in the quest for smooth, hydrated lips. 

So, the next time you find yourself facing the aisle of lip care products, embrace the adventure. Try new flavours and explore different textures to identify what fits you best. 

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