A Closer Look at Lip Balm vs Chapstick to Help Find the Best

I think it's safe to say that we've all heard of Chapstick. But the big question is, is there a difference between Lip Balm vs Chapstick? What are the similarities, differences, and which one is best to protect your lips.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick

What is the Difference Between Lip Balm and Chapstick?

The short answer is there is no difference between lip balm and Chapstick. Lip balm is a category of lip products and Chapstick is a brand name of lip balm. Lip balm products typically share one common ingredient, they are all wax-based, or contain petroleum jelly as their primary ingredient. This makes them great for providing a protective layer for your lips, and they conveniently come in tubes or sticks.

The Chapstick brand has been around since the early 1880's and their classic little black stick has been popular in the United States for decades. Back when I was growing up it was the go-to lip protection. It was easy to stick in your jean pocket and swipe on a layer of protection anytime your lips were chapped, dry, or you needed some extra moisture. Whether you were a boy, or a girl, it was everyone's favorite choice to tackle dry skin.

Chapstick Ingredients and Different Options

The main ingredients listed for the classic Chapstick original formula is white petroleum skin protectant. Other active ingredients include camphor, carnauba wax (aka Brazil wax or palm wax), cetyl alcohol, lanolin, and mineral oil. Inactive ingredients include paraffin and titanium dioxide. In a nut shell, most of the primary ingredients are wax based. They all combine to provide a smooth, protective layer for your lips. And, the wax-based ingredients combine to give Chapstick lip balm it's classic stick form.

Over the years Chapstick has expanded its product line to include flavored lip balms, all-natural lip balms, plus lip scrubs. All of their products still come in their handy stick form like you would expect from this brand of lip balm, but the main difference is little changes to the ingredients for each one. For instance, their 100% natural lip butter has naturally sourced ingredients. It protects your lips from dry air, and the lip dryness that always comes when the cold weather hits.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick

What are the Benefits of Using Lip Balm vs Chapstick?

Whether you choose a lip balm, or use Chapstick specifically, the key benefit is that the product moisturizes your lips and provides a protective layer that prevents water loss. This is especially important in the winter months when water loss leads to chapped lips. The wax in lip balms is an important ingredient because it helps the balm stick to your lips.

Although Chapstick is a type of lip balm, when it comes to comparing it to other lip balms on the market their are some differences. Lip balms today tend to have wonderful all-natural ingredients like shea butter, essential oils, and vitamin E. These soothing and protective ingredients help heal dry skin and give you soft, smooth lips.

So what are the benefits of using Lip balm?

  • Lip balm moisturizes and protects your lips.
  • Provides relief from dryness associated with cold weather, irritants, or environmental factors
  • Can be used as an effective treatment for chapped lips
  • Compact and easy to use
  • Perfect for men and women alike. We all need protection, especially during the cold winter months. This is particularly true if you're outdoors skiing, skating, or spending extra time outside in the winter. Lip balms give you a protective layer and help stop the loss of moisture that causes chapped lips.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick

What Are the Different Types of Lip Balm?

Where Chapstick may have started the lip balm craze all those years ago, there are certainly lots of great options and variety for lip balms these days. There are tinted lip balms that give you the benefit of a hint of color. This is perfect when you need the protection that you get from a lip balm, but you also want a little pop of color. The color from a tinted lip balm is very subtle since the wax prevents it from having the intensity or gloss that you'd get from a lip gloss or lipstick.

Medicated lip balms contain ingredients that provide additional relief and therapeutic benefits. For instance, when camphor or menthol is added to the lip balm it soothes your lips and acts as a mild anesthetic. If you've ever used a lip balm that made your lips tingle, then you were using a medicated lip balm with one of these ingredients.

Lip balm with SPF. Since lip balms are typically so compact and come in a tube, they are the perfect lip product to use to protect your lips from sun damage. You can carry a stick in your beach bag, or purse, and apply throughout the day to give you the added sun protection you get from an SPF. On top of having an SPF, some lip balms also include antioxidants like Coenzyme Q10, Vitamin E, or Vitamin C to neutralize free radicals and protect your skin's collagen and elastin.

Anti-aging lip balms are also really popular these days. We're all eager to look our best and slow down the aging process and the lips are one spot that should not be overlooked. Lip balms developed for anti-aging include ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Or, atelocollagen to help moisturize your lips and if lines around your lips are an issue look for lip balms that contain dipalmitoyl hydroxyproline. This helps plump lips and reduces the wrinkles around the edge of your lips.

Lip Salve vs Lip Balm

Another lip product that is similar to lip balm is a lip salve. Like lip balm, a lip salve contains wax, but it usually has less wax than lip balm and it also has oils that gives it a softer texture. This lighter and softer texture lets the salve absorb into the skin of the lips. Because of the softer texture and the lower percentage of wax, lip salves typically come in a tin rather than a stick.

One of my favorites is Rosebud Salve. I was first introduced to this product by a professional makeup artist. She recommended applying it before I started my makeup routine. This way it would absorb into my lips to make them super smooth and my lip color would apply more easily and would look amazing. It quickly became my go-to favorite for soothing my lips at bedtime too.

How to Use Lip Balm in Multiple Ways

We've discussed how there are different types of lip balms available, but let's talk about how to use lip balm. Sure, there's the obvious choice of applying it to your lips for moisture and protection. However, some lip balms can also be multi-purpose products that can help in non-traditional ways.

For instance, if you apply lip balm or Chapstick around the border of your lips prior to applying lipstick, it helps prevent the lip color from bleeding into the lines around your mouth. To get a precise application, use a lip brush to apply the lip balm just beyond your natural lip line. It essentially provides a barrier that prevents the lip color from spreading beyond your lips.

A lip balm like LimeLife's Perfect Balm that contains menthol, can be used to help with nasal congestion. It can also help if you have stress in your temples and you need to get a boost. Since lip balm is designed to treat chapped lips, it can also help with dry skin. Apply lip balm to any place on your face or body where you have dry patches.

Tinted lip balms are a great multi-purpose tool. Not only are they great for adding a little color to your lips, you can also use them for color on your cheeks or eyes. This makes it an easy product to carry in your bag when you need a quick touch-up when you're out and about. No need to carry a makeup bag full of products. A good lip balm can help brighten up your face and lips.

Lip Care Products That Work Well With Lip Balm

While lip balm is great on its own, sometimes lips need a little extra TLC. The best way to fight off the vicious cycle of getting chapped lips every time cold weather hits is to keep on top of it with a good daytime and nighttime routine to moisturize your lips.

A lip scrub is a great complement to your lip balm. It is perfect to slough-off dry skin to make your lips extra smooth. Another complementary lip product is a lip mask. A lip mask provides deep hydration to lips and is perfect to use at night to nourish lips while you sleep. Wake up and use lip balm during the day to keep the moisture going.

When looking for lip products be sure to stick with gentle ingredients that won't irritate your lips. This is especially true if you have sensitive lips. The skin on the lips is so delicate and can quickly absorb what you put on them. So be careful about certain ingredients, like salicylic acid as this can be irritating and dermatologists recommend avoiding it. And when you use an exfoliant, its a good idea to use one that isn't too harsh. You don't want to scrub too hard and hurt your lips.

LimeLife Lip Balm, Lip Mask and Lip Scrub

LimeLife Perfect Balm comes in two varieties, classic and tinted. In general terms, the classic balm is your traditional white balm that works well for men, women, and kids. If you're looking for a tinted balm there are 4 shades available from LimeLife. One of the things that I like about a tinted balm is that it's a great way to add a little color to your lips, while adding moisture and protection at the same time.

LimeLife Lip Scrub is a gentle scrub with all-natural ingredients like granulated sugar, coconut oil, shea butter, and vitamin E. This sugary scrub exfoliates lip skin and leaves your lips silky smooth. Use a lip balm afterwards to lock in moisture and protect your lips.

The LimeLife Lip Mask is one of their newest products and it has quickly become my favorite. I use it every night at bedtime and I love how my lips are so smooth. Loaded with shea butter and Vitamin E, this ultra-hydrating formula has antioxidants that protect your skin. What I love about this mask is that you can use it as a balm throughout the day too if you'd like. If you like to use a long-lasting lip color, apply a thin layer of this lip mask on top to add a little moisture and shine.

LimeLife Lip Balm
LimeLife Lip Balm in Dragonfly: Used on lips and cheeks

10 Best Selling Lip Balms on Amazon

What is the best lip balm? There are certainly lots of great choices and the forms of lip balm on the market changes frequently. There are different forms, so you can find the type that's suited to your needs. Whether you like the convenience of a stick, or prefer the softer consistency you get with a tube or tin. There are lots of great choices. Here's a look at 10 of the top selling lip balms on Amazon (based on customer ratings).

  1. Burt's Bees: This 100% natural moisturizing lip balm has a customer rating of 4.9 stars. Available in a variety of flavors, this lip balm has all natural ingredients and contains no parabens or phthalates.
  2. Chapstick: There's a reason why this lip balm has been so popular for decades. It is a tried and true favorite for many and with a 4.9 star rating on Amazon, the proof is in the rating. In addition to their original black tube, there are also fun party favor packs like the Toast to Love pack. A great party favor for a bridal shower, birthday party, or Valentine's Day gift.
  3. Carmex is another lip balm with a 4.9 star rating on Amazon. This lip balm has an SPF 15 and has camphor and menthol to give that cooling sensation you get from medicated lip balms.
  4. Dr Dan's Coribalm: This lip balm is free of harsh chemicals, and its simple formula includes beeswax, petroleum jelly, mineral oil and 1% hydrocortisone cream. Cortibalm is a mild hypoallergenic that fights inflammation and stops the pain caused by dry lips and cold sores.
  5. Cocoa Butter Lip Balm that has a customer rating of 4.9 stars.
  6. Neutrogena Hydro Boost with hyaluronic acid. This nourishing lip balm has hyaluronic acid that helps lips absorb moisture and hydrate skin.
  7. Jack Black Intense Therapy with SPF 25. This 4.6 customer rated lip balm contains antioxidants vitamin E and green tea, broad-spectrum sun protection, and natural emollients. This lip balm comes in a tube so it's a softer lip balm than those in a stick.
  8. Dr. Bronner's Organic Lip Balm: This lip balm uses only USDA organic and fair trade ingredients. The organic ingredients includes avocado oil, jojoba oil and hemp oil to moisturize your lips and there are no synthetic fragrances. Customers give this a 4.8 star rating.
  9. Prickly Pear Lip Balm with SPF 15. In addition to the usual beeswax and oils, this lip balm uses prickly pear fruit extract and includes Octinoxate (7.50%) and Oxybenzone (3.00%) for sun protection.
  10. Naked Bee Organic Honey Lip Balm: Is loaded with loads of great ingredients and does not include any of the bad stuff. There are no parabens, no propylene glycol or mineral oil, no lauryl & no laureth sulfate, no dyes or pigment. All of this and it is made in the USA!

There are so many brands of lip balms and I could have included many more on this list. The good news is that many of these have good ratings on Amazon and there are different lip balms to tackle different needs.

Conclusion: Which Lip Balm vs Chapstick is Best for You?

When choosing a lip balm vs Chapstick a lot of it will come down to your personal preference for the consistency you prefer. Chapstick has a firmer consistency, while others are softer and may feel more gentle on your lips. But most of all, it comes down to which one makes your lips look and feel their best. Use lip balm every day to hydrate, nourish, and protect your lips to keep them soft and smooth.

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