My lips have seen it all. I’ve Balm Dotcom’d, I’ve PawPawd’d, and I’ve most certainly Laneige’d. But even though my makeup drawer, purse, and jacket pockets are brimming with balms, my lips somehow always feel dry and chapped.
I’ve never met a lip product that hurt to lose, so I thought all balms, glosses, and sticks were created equally disappointing. But then I got my wisdom teeth taken out and blessed be my orthodontist, who gave me the chapstick to end all chapsticks.
Labeled with nothing but my doctor’s name and an ingredient list, this chapstick was both everything and nothing. It was so simple: basic twist bottom, pull-off cap, mango flavor.
If you know, you know that getting your wisdom teeth out subjects your lips to Saharan consequences. But when I tell you that my lips have never been more hydrated than they were with that chapstick, I mean it.
After using every last swipe of my coveted drug, I became an addict. I called my dentist’s office at least four times hounding them for more – the answer was always, we’re out. LIES! In a desperate attempt to find a different supplier, I pulled the website name from the chapstick wrapper but discovered they only sold it in batches of 500 or 1,000.
In my chapped haze, I genuinely considered ordering 500 of them. But instead, I wrote down every ingredient listed and began the chapstick search anew. I had loved, and I had lost.
Finding a chapstick with the exact ingredients was impossible, but I realized that the key ingredient for ultimate hydration is coconut oil. So in the years following my first real heartbreak, I’ve found dupes worthy enough to make it to the bedside table.
And though lip oils, masks, plumpers, and glosses are all the rage, I’m only interested in the classics. Here are the best chapsticks and only chapstick:
Sun Bum CocoBalm
Tried and true, this has been the only chapstick that held a candle to my first love. It’s ultra-moisturizing, super-soothing, and features the one and only coconut oil. It comes in incredible flavors like Groove Cherry, Aloe Wave, and Ocean Mint. Sun Bum even has a line of SPF chapsticks that I have yet to use, but am sure they’re top-of-the-line.
It’s also $9.99 for three or $3.99 for one – see ya never, Chanel Hydra Beauty.
Vacation Lip Desserts
Vacation is my mineral-sunscreen God, so where they go, I will follow.
In classic Vacation fashion, the design is stunning. I feel cooler just having one of these bad boys in the same room as me.
These chapsticks have an ingredient label with all my favorite words: coconut oil, aloe vera, coca butter, etc. And the flavors all have my favorite tastes: After Dinner Mint, Bombe Alaska, Strawberry Jell-O Salad, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Bananas Foster.
Burt's Bees Lip Balm
A classic beloved by your mom, your mom’s mom — and probably your mom’s mom’s mom depending on how old you are.
Burt’s Bees has been around for what feels like ages, and for good reason. Every year this formula tops the charts as one of the best chapsticks thanks to its ultra-rich formula of coconut oil and shea butter.
Paula's Choice Lipscreen
Thought Paula’s Choice only had the award-winning exfoliator up their sleeve? Think again.
Paula’s Choice Lipscreen with SPF 50 is an incredible option for those out in the sun for long periods of time. Made with soybean oil, jojoba oil, and fruit oil, this will keep you hydrated and protected all day long.
Aquaphor Lip Repair
Chances are you’re slugging with Aquaphor anyway, so you might as well take it on the go.
Aquaphor is the #1 dermatologist-recommended lip care brand, and their Lip Relief Stick is formulated with jojoba oil and shea butter, keeping your lips as hydrated and smooth as your face.
Viral for a reason, Kosas’ LipFuel Lip Balm features hyaluronic acid and Vitamin E for hydration and even comes in tinted shades like Rush, Flow, and Pulse. However, I’m a firm believer that chapsticks are made to be clear. But to each their own.
This lip favorite is inspired by lanolin, the Australian-based company is known for its beautiful packaging and effective hand and lip ointments.
The Lanostick Coconutter stands out from the crowd with a unique formula of ingredients including lanolin, coconut oil, beeswax, and avocado oil.