Tuesday, November 29

The Best Lip Balm for Men in 2022

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 Overall

Dr. Rogers RESTORE lip balm

A cold-weather panacea. 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 and best-selling “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.

The Best Lip Balm for Overnight Recovery

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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 nourish the lips while those regenerative benefits kick in. Apply it 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. Use it in your air-conditioned summer slumber chambers, too, and maybe get a humidifier?

The Best Lip Balm with SPF

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Jack Black lip balm with SPF 25

Trust us, speaking from agonized experience: Your lips need SPF protection too. Jack Black’s balm uses SPF 25 to shield that volatile skin from UV rays. It also delivers vitamin E and green tea, which further protects against skin-aging toxins.

The Best Organic Lip Balm

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Dr. Bronner’s organic lip balm

One of our favorite Dr. Bronner’s products (a brand that is also a GQ favorite), 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 Scented Lip Balm

Malin+Goetz Mojito lip balm

Malin+Goetz’s mojito-scented, gel-based balm 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.) It’s also easier to distribute on skin cuts or hang nails, which might give you the best-smelling hangnails this side of the Mississippi.

The Best Prescription-Grade Lip Balm

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Burt’s Bees medicated lip balm

If you’ve got more than just chapped lips—we’re talking cold sores and fever blisters, or supremely dry lips at that—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 Lip Balm for Plumping

Paula’s Choice hyaluronic acid and peptide lip balm

You know how people get fillers in the face to help “plump” otherwise undefined features? Well, hyaluronic acid is often the core ingredient in those fillers, given its moisture-retaining and plumping powers. That’s what Paula’s Choice chose to pack into this balm. Meanwhile, peptides reinforce the skin barrier of the lips, to prevent long-term moisture loss.

The Best Luxury Lip Balm

Dr. Barbara Sturm lip balm

Your kissers never felt so luscious as they do with this tiny top-shelf tin: Dr. Barbara Sturm’s formula blends shea butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E for the most buttery-smooth, radiant pucker.

The Best Lip Balm for Winter Defense

Original Ski Balm lip balm SPF 40

Between the sun and wind exposure at high altitudes (or even on standard-fare, low-elevation locales), you need a lip balm that can shield you from the gnarliest elements. (Because no kind of chapping hurts quite as bad as a sunburnt, windburnt one.) Original Ski Balm’s dense formula and 1.5-oz. tin last all season long, and will help repair cracked knuckles and dry skin all the while.

The Best Exfoliating Lip Balm

CosRx AHA/BHA lip balm

Exfoliation isn’t typically top of mind for the lips, unless you choose to deploy a gritty lip scrub. But there are some low-grade hydroxy acid formulas that help break down dead skin and leave your lips supremely smooth. CosRx’s recipe combines both core types of hydroxy acids (that’s alpha and beta) to help give soften lips while you sleep. It’s technically a “mask” and not a “balm”, so don’t use it as your daily hydrator—rather, apply a little bit whenever you get cracked and peely, rather than picking at the dead skin yourself.



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