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Lip Balm vs Chapstick: Which is the Best for Lips for 2024

Do you ever wonder what the difference is between lip balm vs Chapstick? I know I have!

In this blog post, lip balm vs chapstick for beautiful smooth lips, I will explain the difference between lip balm and Chapstick and what essential ingredients to look for in a good lip balm or chapstick.

I have also curated a list of the best lip balms and chapsticks available to help you decide which lip balm may be right for you and your needs.

lip balm vs chapstick

What is Lip Balm?

Lip balm is a lip product that helps hydrate, moisturize, and protect your lips.

Lip balms typically contain primary ingredients like beeswax, oils, and shea butter, which act as a protective layer for lips.

Lip balms come in pots, squeeze tubs, and stick form. The stick form usually comes in a twist-up applicator which is convenient and sanitary.

Some lip balms also contain SPF to help protect your lips from the sun.

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What is Chapstick?

Chapstick has been around since 1880! According to Wikipedia, ChapStick is a lip balm manufactured and used in many countries worldwide.

It is intended to help treat and prevent chapped lips, hence the name.

Chapstick is a lip product that helps hydrate, moisturize, and protect your lips.

Chapstick comes in a stick form with a twist-up applicator.

Chapsticks typically contain ingredients like beeswax, oils, and petrolatum. Some chapsticks also contain SPF to help protect your lips from the sun.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick: What’s the Difference?

There is no difference between lip balm and chapstick.

Yep! It’s true.

They both serve to heal and protect dry lips and chapped lips. Both lip balm and chapstick can be packaged in stick form, while some balms are packaged in little containers or pots in addition to stick form.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick to Treat and Prevent Chapped Lips.

During the Winter months, when lips become dry and cracked due to loss of moisture and cold temperatures

Dry Climates- I live in Arizona and must own 100 lip balms and chapstick.

Protect from the sun’s harmful rays– Aside from the fact that the sun can cause skin cancer, the sun can make lips dry, cracked, and sunburned.

The Different Types of Lip Balms and Chapstick:

Medicated lip balms

Unlike other lip balms, a medicated one is made to treat the lips rather than sit on top of them.

Active ingredients in these balms will hydrate and smooth dry lips while protecting them from environmental aggressors like wind or sun.

Generally, you can tell if a balm has moisturizing properties by checking the ingredient list for common terms like shea butter, coconut oil, petroleum jelly, petrolatum, or glycerin.

Lip Balm or ChapSticks SPF

Just as you would protect the rest of your skin with sunscreen, it’s important to do the same for your lips.

Using a lip balm or gloss with an SPF of 30 or higher can help prevent sun damage that causes skin cancer and premature aging.

Tinted Lip Balm

Lip balm is generally clear (colorless) or has a sheer wash of color called tinted lip balm.

Organic Lip Balms

Organic lip balm colors reflect natural dyes, like fruits and vegetables.

They use beeswax, cocoa butter, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E instead of harsh chemicals to promote softness and moisture.

Many are also cruelty-free, which means they were not tested on animals.

In addition, these products often come in eco-friendly packaging or no packaging! Plus, they contain fewer ingredients that are better for your body and the environment. 🙂

Lip Balm Packaging

Lip balms can come in various packaging options, including Lip balm tubes, pots, sticks, roll-ons, and jars.

Lip balm vs Chapstick: Which is better?

Lip balm vs chapstick?!

When deciding which is best for you, it’s important to consider your needs and several other factors.

Elements such as ingredients, level of SPF protection(if any), fragrance (if any), desired finish (matte, glossy, or somewhere in-between), and desired tint (if any)

Personal Preference and Needs

Are your lips already dry and cracked? Then you may be looking for a medicated lip balm or chapstick.

Ingredients. Today, you should know many common lip balms and chapstick ingredients.

Check the list of ingredients below.

SPF Protection.

Protecting lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays is always a good idea.

Packaging and Application

Lip balms come in containers or pots and stick form. In pot form, you dip your finger in to apply lip balm, which can be very unsanitary.

Untinted or Tinted.

Untinted or tinted. Do you want untinted lip balm or tinted lip balm?

Related article: The Best Lipsticks for Older Women

Lip Balm and Chapstick Ingredients:

Here is an extensive list of common ingredients in lip balms, lip salves, and chapstick today.


is a natural wax that helps to create a barrier on the skin to lock in moisture. it’s loaded with amino acids and is the best wax ever for moisturizing lips.

Coconut oil

A type of oil that is derived from coconuts. Coconut oil is known for its ability to hydrate and moisturize the skin.

White Petrolatum

A type of petroleum jelly that is often used in lip products. Petrolatum is known for its ability to lock in moisture and protect the skin. (see below for ingredients to avoid)

Carnauba wax

A type of natural wax that is derived from the leaves of the carnauba palm tree. Carnauba wax is known for its ability to create a barrier on the skin and lock in moisture.


A type of essential oil derived from the camphor tree’s bark. Camphor is known for its ability to soothe and heal the skin.


A type of oil that is derived from sheep wool. Lanolin is known for its ability to hydrate and moisturize the skin.

Jojoba oil

This oil is rich in antioxidants and the closest to our skin’s natural oil (sebum). As such, the skin rapidly absorbs it and locks in moisture, which allows it to hydrate deeply. 

Cocoa Butter

As the name suggests, this butter is extracted from cocoa beans. It’s filled with fatty acids that make it an excellent lip moisturizer.

This lip butter contains nourishing vitamin E that helps lips restore to their natural moisture levels, making them soft and supple.

Candelilla Wax

Unlike its synthetic and petroleum-based counterparts, this plant wax is rich in vitamins and protective antioxidants and does not suffocate the skin. Sealing in moisture helps protect the skin.

Shea butter

Shea butter is a type of butter that comes from shea nuts. It’s been praised for its ability to keep skin moisturized and protected.

Shea butter might be the right choice if you’re looking for lip butter to nourish your lips with fatty acids and vitamins.

Coconut oil

Derived from coconuts, coconut oil is known for its ability to hydrate and moisturize the skin.


Paraffin is a type of petroleum wax that is often used in lip products. This waxy substance is known for its ability to lock in moisture and protect the skin.

Cetyl alcohol

A type of alcohol that is derived from plants. Cetyl alcohol is known for its ability to emulsify oils

and to create a barrier on the skin.


A type of mint that is known for its ability to soothe and cool the skin.


Some lip balms and chapsticks contain SPF to help protect your lips from the sun. Look for mineral-based sunscreen in lip balms and sticks.

Salicylic acid

Salicylic acid may be present in lip balm or chapstick to help exfoliate dead skin cells

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient in many cosmetic products today. It treats dry skin and lip dryness by adding moisture.

Castor oil

Castor oil or castor seed oil is commonly used as an ingredient in skincare products, including lip balms and lipsticks.

It’s rich in the monounsaturated fatty acid ricinoleic acid, a known humectant.

Humectants help retain skin moisture by preventing water loss through the outer layer of your skin. Because of these qualities, castor oil can be applied to lips and skin on its own or as an ingredient to promote hydration.

Common lip balm ingredients to avoid

These are very common lip balm ingredients to avoid if at all possible.


Parabens are a common ingredient found in cosmetics.

Parabens are man-made chemicals often used in small amounts as preservatives in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, foods, and beverages.

Common parabens are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

Often more than one paraben is used in a single product.

These ingredients are controversial because they may be hormone disruptors and can also be absorbed into the body. (source)

Chemical Sunscreen

Oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate are chemical sunscreens often used in lip balm and Chapstick.

Phenol/Menthol, Alcohol

Phenol, Menthol, and Alcohol are lip balms that can cause drying of the lips.

Artificial colors are added to some lip balms and chapsticks for aesthetic purposes. These colors are not necessary.

Petrolatum Jelly

Petrolatum Jelly is a by-product of crude oil refining; petrolatum is used as a lip balm ingredient because it creates a barrier on the skin and locks in moisture.

However, petrolatum can be a health concern as it is a possible human carcinogen. (source)

Titanium dioxide

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is used in various personal care products, including sunscreens, pressed powders, and loose powders.

Exposure to titanium dioxide can irritate the eyes, nose, and throat since it has been shown to cause lung cancer in animals. a carcinogen.

Such substances may also have the potential to cause reproductive damage in humans. (source)

Mineral oil

Mineral oil or light mineral oil is a by-product of crude oil refining. It is often used in lip balms and chapsticks because it creates a barrier on the skin and locks in moisture.

However, like petrolatum, mineral oil is a possible human carcinogen. (source)

Artificial flavors and fragrances

Some lip balms and chapsticks contain artificial flavors and fragrances. These ingredients are not necessary and may irritate.

The Best Lip Balms and Chapsticks Today:

These are the top-selling lip balms and chapstick brands on the market today!


Carmex started in a kitchen in 1937! Over 85 years later, products range from medicated to natural and everything in between.

ChapStick Brand

The ChapStick Brand all began with the classic “black stick.” In the early 1880s and is considered a leading authority in lip care.

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s bees have been playing by nature’s rules since the early 1980s. The story of how Burt’s Bees got its start is fascinating. Click here to learn more.


EOS, or Evolution of Smooth, is the youngest lip balm brand. EOS lip balm was invented in 2006. And by 2015, EOS was the second highest-selling lip care in the world!


Blistex was founded in 1947 as a small, family-run company developing and marketing lip care products. Today, Blistex offers a wide array of amazing lip care products.


The NIVEA brand started Over 100 years ago. Today, millions of people worldwide, all with different skin types, rely on the NIVEA brand.

The Best Lip Balms for Chapped Lips

Now that you fully understand the difference between lip balm and chapstick and we’ve gone over the best ingredients to look for in a good lip balm, I thought I would share my list of available lip balms for chapped lips (in my humble opinion).

Carmex Lip Balm

Carmex is America’s #1 lip balm brand.

It soothes and heals dry lips while protecting them from wind and cold weather damage.

Carmex also protects against sunburn, capping, and cracking with SPF 15.

Formulated with a blend of natural waxes and oils to seal in moisture and protect your lips from the elements, Carmex lip balm glides on smoothly and has that classic Carmex scent.

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ChapStick Lip Balm

I’m a huge fan of the classic ChapStick lip balm!

It’s made with natural ingredients and provides long-lasting hydration for soft, smooth lips.

It has a light, refreshing flavor and comes in various colors and packaging options.

ChapStick is available in various formulas to suit every need, including ChapStick’s original formula, ChapStick Total Hydration, ChapStick with sun protection, ChapStick medicated, and more.

I love, love, love the scent of classic ChapStick!

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Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is made with natural ingredients and provides long-lasting hydration.

The beeswax and coconut oil formula helps to condition and protect lips, while the vitamin E and peppermint oil give a refreshing tingle. 

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm is available in various shades and flavors, including Original, Cherry, Mint, Shea Butter, and more.

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EOS Lip Balm

EOS lip balm is a product that works great to moisturize dry, chapped lips.

EOS lip balm products are available in different flavors, including strawberry sorbet, honeysuckle honeydew, mint chocolate, vanilla bean, and summer fruit.

EOS lip balm also contains vitamins A and E to nourish your lips and jojoba oil for hydration.

EOS lip balms are made using natural ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and beeswax.

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Blistex Lip Balm

Blistex lip balm is a product that has been on the market for over 80 years.

It is a lip balm that can help to soothe and protect your lips from the sun, wind, and cold weather.

Blistex lip balm comes in various formulas, including Blistex DCT, Blistex Medicated Lip Ointment, Blistex lip balm with SPF 15, and more.

Blistex lip balm ingredients: petrolatum, lanolin, paraffin.

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Lip Smackers Lip Balm

Lip Smackers lip balm is a product that has been on the market for over 40 years and is very popular with the younger crowd!

It is a lip balm that comes in various flavors and formulas, including Lip Smackers lip balm with SPF 15, Lip Smackers lip balm with vitamin E, and more.

These lip balms taste great and give your lips long-lasting moisture and a soft shine.

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Nivea Lip Balm

This lip balm is a fan favorite!

This lip balm moisturizes and protects lips and is available in various formulas.

NIVEA shea moisture lip balm delivers all-day nourishing moisture to chapped lips

Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil Enriched: This mineral-free lip balm is enriched with Shea Butter, Jojoba Oil, and Avocado Oil to keep lips beautiful all day long

Light Fragrance: Lip moisturizer is lightly fragranced with the classic NIVEA scent.

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The Best Natural Lip Balms and Chapsticks:

Here is a list of natural lip balms that are organic and free from parabens and other harsh chemicals.

Burt’s Bees Natural Lip Balms

Burt’s bees is a leader in natural lip balms.

Lip balms are made with natural, responsibly sourced beeswax and non-toxic ingredients formulated to moisturize, nourish, and hydrate.

This natural-origin lip balm is formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS and comes in a tube made with 70% recycled and plant-based plastic.

EOS Natural Lip Balms

EOS has an amazing line of natural lip balms packed with powerful skincare ingredients like sustainable shea butter + oil, nourishing coconut oil, relieving jojoba oil, and a protective blend of antioxidants.

Makes lips feel moisturized, protected, and soft with USDA Certified Organic, dermatologist-recommended!

Paraben, phthalate, and gluten free. PETA certified. No products tested on animals.

ChapStick Lip Butter

ChapStick Brand has a new lip butter that is luscious, indulgent, and 100% naturally sourced, including mango, avocado, and shea butter.

This new formulation will soothe, comfort, and rejuvenate your lips naturally.

With jojoba, candelilla, sunflower extracts, and natural vitamin E, your lips are in store for some well-deserved deep conditioning.

Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm Stick

Carmex Comfort Care lip balm is crafted with natural ingredients.

Made from a blend of colloidal oatmeal and cold-pressed, antioxidant-rich fruit seed oil, Comfort Care delivers long-lasting moisture to help restore lips’ natural beauty.

Comfort Care will give you visibly smoother and healthier-looking lips.

Lip moisturizer crafted with 93% natural origin content, including natural beeswax and cold-pressed fruit seed oil.

Art Naturals Natural Organic Lip Balm

These yummy lip balms quench parched lips with moisturizing botanicals and shield lips from damaging dryness.

Choose from six flavors: Coconut, Passionfruit, Mango Papaya, Hibiscus Blossom, Grapefruit Tonic, and Eucalyptus Mint.

Made from natural beeswax combined with Jojoba, Coconut, and Sunflower Seed oils to moisturize and protect lips. Vegan, sulfate-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and GMO-free.

Best Medicated Lip Balms for Cold Sores

These lip balms contain the best ingredients for dry, cracked lips and are effective treatments for cold sores and fever blisters.

Herpecin L Real Relief Lip Balm

Herpecin L lip balms help to relieve and protect against cold sores, fever blisters, and chapped lips.

It’s formulated with lysine, Vitamins C, B6, and E, lemon balm, and added SPF 30 protection.

Treat your lips to soothing relief from dryness, sun blisters, and cold sores with Herpecin L.

Find real relief from herpes-related cold sores from real medicine and protect your lips with Herpecin L lip balm with SPF 30.

Burt’s Bees Cold Sore Medicated Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Rapid Rescue Cold Sore Treatment promotes healing from the first use and immediately relieves pain and discomfort.

Relieves dryness and softens cold sores and fever blisters to deliver powerful relief and protection.

100% natural cold sore treatment from Burt’s Bees is formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS.

FAQ: Lip Balm vs Chapstick

What’s the difference between lip balm and Chapstick?

Lip balm is a general term for any topical product applied to the lips to moisturize and protect them.

Chapstick, on the other hand, is a brand name for one specific type of lip balm. So, while all Chapsticks are lip balms, not all lip balms are Chapstick.

Are there any significant differences in ingredients between lip balm and Chapstick?

Yes. While lip balm and Chapstick serve the same purpose, their ingredients may vary.

Lip balms often contain natural ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, and essential oils, whereas Chapstick typically contains a combination of synthetic ingredients, including petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin wax.

Which one is better for dry or chapped lips?

Both lip balm and Chapstick moisturize and protect dry or chapped lips. However, some people may prefer one over the other based on personal preference or sensitivity to certain ingredients.

Are there any differences in texture or consistency between lip balm and Chapstick?

The texture and consistency of lip balm and Chapstick can vary depending on the formulation.

In general, lip balms tend to have a smoother and creamier texture, while Chapsticks often have a firmer consistency, which some people may prefer for its ease of application.

Can lip balm or Chapstick protect lips from the sun?

Some lip balms and Chapsticks contain SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to protect against the sun’s harmful UV rays.

However, not all lip balms or chapsticks offer sun protection, so checking the product label to see if sun protection is your priority is essential.

Are there any specific benefits of using lip balm or Chapstick over the other?

The choice between lip balm and Chapstick ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Some people may prefer the natural ingredients found in lip balms, while others may prefer the convenience and affordability of Chapstick.

Experimenting with different products can help you find the one that best meets your needs and preferences.

Can lip balm or Chapstick be used under lipstick or lip gloss?

Yes, both lip balm and Chapstick can be used as a base under lipstick or lip gloss to provide added hydration and protection to the lips.

Applying a thin layer of lip balm or Chapstick before applying lipstick or lip gloss can help prevent dryness and enhance the overall appearance and longevity of your lip color.

Conclusion: Lip Balm vs Chapstick

In conclusion, while “lip balm” and “Chapstick” are often used interchangeably, understanding their subtle differences can certainly help you make the best choice for your needs.

Both products moisturize and protect our lips, offering unique qualities to suit individual preferences.

So, whether you reach for natural lip balm or trusty Chapstick, here’s to hydrated, protected lips every day!

christine mathews

I’ve been keeping it real since 1963. 🙂

I’m a child of God, a wifey, mama, grandma, full-time creative, domestic engineer, and self-care enthusiast.

I am obsessed with all things makeup and skincare and love getting my hands dirty out in the garden, my art room, or in the kitchen, whipping up something yummy for the fam.

I’m always down to chat and love collaborating with other creatives and brands alike!

Feel free to reach out anytime!

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