Today, I wanted to share some of my best lip balm for dry lips and compare them against each other to ultimately crown a lip balm battle winner. I’ll also be sharing some of my worst balms at the end, just to ensure we’re covering all bases here.
In a good lip balm, I’m looking for long-lasting, deep hydration; a low-level of shine and minimal (if any) scent. Let’s get to it!
My current, highly curated lip balm collection includes by Terry’s Baume de Rose, Glossier’s Balm Dotcom, Aquaphor’s Healing Ointment and Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask. In order to be fair, we’re going to judge these four lip balms on the following three categories for a total possible score of 30:
- Long-lasting hydration (10)
- Shine (10)
- Scent/flavor (10)
By Terry Baume De Rose ($60)
I received a deluxe sample of this lip balm back in October 2015 from Beautylish.com. It’s a thicker, extremely luxe baby pink (nearly clear) balm. The full size of this baby is a whopping $60, so just lift your jaw shut for that. It’s a multi-purpose product used for nails/cuticle and/or lips and claims to be creamy, non-sticky and silky. It is exactly that. It has the creamiest texture of the bunch and works well during the day or at night for an overnight treatment. Points off mainly for price. (6/10)
This balm is not advertised as being shiny/glossy, and that’s exactly what I’m looking for in a balm. It does impart a healthy sheen to the lips and makes them look and feel lovely (it better do that and more for $60, right?). This is the most non-shiny balm of the group. (10/10).
By Terry Baume de Rose does have a mild rose scent and flavor… which could be a huge turn off for many. It is extremely mild and as someone who is terribly sensitive to lip product scent/flavors, I don’t find this too offensive, but every time I wear it to bed, my husband asks why I’m wearing ‘old lady sh*%’ on my lips. Just FYI. (4/10)
TOTAL SCORE: 20/30, 67%
Glossier balm dotcom ($12)
Another multi-use product, Glossier advertises this clear, thicker salve to be used on lips, hands, elbows, cuticles or anywhere else needing some TLC. I’ve definitely used this on my cuticles, as an all-over deep hydrating face cream and day/night on my lips. It performs well in all modes. It’s very similar to Aquaphor in the way it looks and that both main ingredients are petrolatum. Glossier has a few more ‘natural’ hydrating ingredients, like some seed oils, etc, that may appeal to a more beauty health-conscious crowd. (8/10)
Because of the petrolatum and other oilier ingredients, Glossier’s balm dotcom definitely is a bit shinier than by Terry, but it isn’t exactly glossy. Shine is minimized (obviously) by using less product. (4/10)
Balm dotcom is completely scent and flavor free! YAY! (10/10)
TOTAL SCORE: 22/30, 73%
Aquaphor healing ointment ($4-8, various)
A go-to for many new moms out there for their babies multiple needs (lol), I’ve also been a huge fan of Aquaphor since 2009 when I went on a ’bout of Accutane for my acne breakouts. My dermatologist recommended it. It was a Godsend then for my hands and face, as they became extremely dry and chapped. I would slather this all over my face and use it at a hand cream, lip balm and went through endless tubes. Many may mistake Aquaphor for another brand of Vaseline, but little beauty fact: Vaseline is simply a barrier product – it’s straight petroleum. It holds in whatever moisture you may have in your skin. So if you have none, it’s not going to allow anything to get in or get out (which could make your dryness worse). Aquaphor is a derivative of petroleum – petrolatum – in addition to the other hydrating oils in it, which makes it an excellent emollient AND barrier product (it hydrates and keeps that hydration IN).
This product is my favorite when my lips get extra dry/chapped from getting a bit too close to my lips with my Retin-A at night OR if I am not drinking enough water during the day and need some moisture. (10/10).
For better or worse, Aquaphor is the shiniest of the bunch, which I really hate because it’s so awesome at moisturizing. However, that may be great for you – it can sort of double as a gloss. (3/10)
Aquaphor is completely unscented/unflavored. Another win! (10/10)
TOTAL SCORE: 23/30, 77%
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask ($26)
I purchased the Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask at the Bite Lip Lab in NYC during Christmastime this past year. The sales rep helping me custom mix my grandmother’s lipstick used this mask on my lips before we began the process and it immediately felt super hydrating. I wiped most of it off after about five minutes when we began testing out lipstick shades, but was really surprised at how moisturizing and thick the mask was, so I had to pick it up. The cool thing about Bite’s products is they are all entirely made out of food-grade ingredients. All very natural, that way I don’t feel bad when I basically am eating all of this balm. I use this mainly as a night treatment before bed and as thick and luscious as it feels when you initially put it on, for some reason, it doesn’t last long. I often find my lips feeling slightly drier the next day. They’re definitely not peeling or anything, but it’s absolutely not the same as the effect I get when sleeping with Aquaphor or Glossier. I also am definitely in the minority here, because thousands rave about this mask. For me, I now like using it more so during the day, underneath matte lipsticks (like the sales rep did). (4/10)
This is a VERY thick balm. It’s almost a little hard to even squeeze out of the tube. It’s a creamy, almost waxy/balm with a slight sheen. It’s right in between by Terry and Glossier. It feels awesome on the lips without being sticky. It probably is my favorite in regards to how it actually feels and looks on the lips – even on its own. (9/10)
Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask has a very light sweet/vanilla scent/flavor. It’s extremely unassuming and I personally really like it if I had to have a scent/flavor in a lip product – vanilla is my fave. (8/10)
TOTAL SCORE: 21/30, 70%
BATTLE OF THE LIP BALMS
OFFICIAL BRIGHTERDARLING.COM RANKING
1st Place – Aquaphor Healing Ointment 23/30 77%
2nd Place – Glossier Balm Dotcom 22/30, 73%
3rd Place – Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask 21/30, 70%
Runner Up – By Terry Baume De Rose 20/30, 67%
As someone who doesn’t put a price on beauty – I don’t care if the product is $60 or $6 – if it works, it works and I’ll try it all. But this is a perfect example of when you don’t have to spend a pretty penny to get the best of the best.
Here’s a short list of lip balms I find do nothing in terms of hydration and I wouldn’t bother repurchasing or recommending to anyone:
- eos spherical balms
- Maybelline Baby Lips
- Nivea kiss of (anything)
Here’s a short list of some lesser moisturizing, but still great everyday balms that I occasionally purchase and enjoy:
- Burt’s Bees
- Jack Black
- Blistex Medicated Mint
- Blistex DCT
I hope this helps you find the best lip balm for dry lips for YOU and keeps your dry or chapped winter lips feeling great the remainder of this chilly season!
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