Top Picks

Balms can be a lip’s best friend, especially in the heat of the sun or during the winter months when the cold, dry air is at its worst. Cracking, splitting, or flaking skin can all be signs that your lips are in dire need of some TLC. While this issue can be aided from the inside out with an intake of vitamins and fatty acids, lip balms are a highly effective way to treat dryness on the spot.

However, not all balms are created equal. Ingredients matter a great deal as some components will dry your lips even more, further exacerbating the problem. Therefore, finding the right lip balm with mainly natural ingredients that provides long-lasting hydration, is important. To help you out, we’ve put together our top 10 list of natural/organic lip balms according to moisturizing effectiveness and ingredients.

How to Choose the Right Natural/Organic Lip Balm

There is no shortage of options when it comes to balms that contain natural and/or organic ingredients. But while lip balms can appear quite similar at first glance, there are a few key features to look out for. It’s also important to understand why you might want (or need) it.

Who Needs Lip Balm?

Lip balms are an essential item to carry around in your bag, especially if you frequently suffer from dry lips. Great for both men and women, lip balms can also be a defensive treatment if you’re out in extreme weather, or they can be for cosmetic purposes if you’re after gloss or shine. Whatever the reason may be, natural/organic lip balms can keep your lips protected and hydrated. However, to get the most out of it, you’ll need to evaluate how well the balm moisturizes, what ingredients it contains, and how well it applies on the lips.

Why Should I Buy Natural/Organic Balm?

Many commercial lip balms contain petroleum, a known carcinogen, and preservatives or chemical compounds, such as phthalates, which make scents last longer. These products can also include menthol, camphor, and phenol which create a pleasant tingling but are also quite drying on the lips. Ironically, this combination of ingredients can lead to what’s known as the ‘addiction effect,’ where your lips become so excessively dry that you find it difficult to live without the aid of the balm.

Benefits of Natural Ingredients

Natural and organic balms, on the other hand, contain nourishing oils, butters, and waxes that soothe, rehydrate, and repair, so you can avoid this ‘addiction effect.’ You’ll want to choose balms that contain natural ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, or sunflower oil. We’ve covered the main list of natural ingredients in each balm and what benefits they provide at the bottom of this article.

When choosing a natural/organic lip balm, it’s also important to read the entire ingredient list, as some products claim to be ‘natural,’ but contain only a sprinkling of these components.

Moisturizing Effectiveness

The most important factor to consider when assessing a balm’s effectiveness is how well it rehydrates, protects, and retains moisture in the lips. To achieve this, be on the lookout for ingredients like beeswax and shea butter which seal in moisture, and coconut oil, and jojoba oil which are good moisturizers.

Good natural balms will last for a while without constant application and there should be noticeable improvement over time in the moistness and softness of your lips. If you wear a balm for several days and your lips still feel dry and scaly when it wears off, then it’s a sign that the ingredients are not very hydrating. In our list below, we’ve assessed the effectiveness of each balm in terms of how well they hydrate and protect, and how long they last after each application.

Application

Lip balms also differ in terms of how they apply onto the lips. This varies depending on the ingredients, the applicator type, as well as the size. To ensure you’re getting the best feeling when you apply the balm to your lips, you’ll want to become familiar with the consistency of particular ingredients, as well as what different applicators are like — whether they’re a lip butter, a stick balm, or a gel.

We go into more detail about texture, finish, swiping experience, and applicator type at the bottom of this guide. In our top 10 list below, we also examine each balm in terms of how easily it spreads onto the lips, including the thickness and consistency, and whether it has a smooth, dry, or waxy texture.

Having covered what features to look for when buying a natural/organic lip balm, let’s review the best selection available and why we like them.

Top 10 Best Natural & Organic Lip Balms 2021

1. Best Overall Lip Balm: eos Natural Organic Lip Balm

eos Natural Organic Lip Balm


Why we like it: These deeply hydrating lip balms are long-lasting, uniquely shaped, and are 100% natural and organic.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Matte Finish
  • Flavor: Tropical Mango

At the top of our list is this luscious tropical mango balm from eos’s Organic range. It effectively rehydrates and retains moisture, so only one or two applications are needed throughout the day, depending on the dryness of your lips. The mango flavor is also pleasantly sweet and not overpowering.

Standout Feature

The egg shape of the applicator is unique as it is wider and more rounded than traditional balms.

Effectiveness

These lip balms are incredibly moisturizing due to the combination of coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and sunflower seed oil. These ingredients nourish and form a protective layer that make them long-lasting and hydrating. Rather than simply creating a coating on the lips, you will notice greater softness after each application which is an indication of the balm’s ability to moisturize.

Application

The rich, smooth texture of this balm makes application easy without being too waxy. The round applicator also glides on effortlessly without leaving a greasy residue. However, the thick texture can require a bit of smoothing on the lips once it has been applied.

Natural Ingredients

Each balm contains a primary blend of coconut oil, beeswax, sustainably sourced shea butter, and sunflower seed oil. The remaining ingredients are all-natural, USDA certified organic, as well as dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and gluten-free. eos products are also never tested on animals.

Pros

  • Deeply hydrating
  • 100% natural and organic
  • Unique egg-shaped design
  • Smells great
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • The thick texture can require smoothing in

2. Best Budget Lip Balm: Sky Organics Lip Balm

Sky Organics Lip Balm


Why we like it: These organic lip balms from Sky Organics are soft, moisturizing, all-natural, and excellent value for money.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: Variety Pack (Luscious Tahitian Vanilla, Tropical Coconut, Eucalyptus Mint, Cherry Bomb, Tangy Citrus, and Strawberry Bliss)

The best budget balm on our list is this variety pack from Sky Organics. While you can buy them individually, this six-pack is excellent value and will last for a long time. Overall, these balms are hydrating, long-lasting, and smooth and buttery to apply.

Standout Feature

The organic formula of these balms is suited for most sensitive or allergy-prone skin as it doesn’t contain soy or nut-based products.

Effectiveness

These balms are highly effective at healing dry, chapped lips and they last for several hours. Their formulas are also soothing and safe for people with sensitive skin as they don’t contain nut oils like shea butter.

Application

Unlike some balms which can be a bit waxy and firm when first applied, these are soft and glide onto the lips very easily. They also last for a long time, so you don’t have to constantly reapply. One drawback is that while the balm itself lasts for a while, the scent does not.

Natural Ingredients

This pack of lip balm contains an organic blend of sunflower oil, beeswax, coconut oil, vitamin E, rosemary extract, and calendula. The ingredients are all USDA certified organic, non-GMO, and free from gluten, soy, petroleum, and chemical derivatives. Sky Organics are also never tested on animals and their packaging is earth-friendly.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Lasts for a long time
  • Smooth and soft application

Cons

  • The scent doesn’t last that long

3. Most Compact Lip Balm: Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm

Burt's Bees 100% Natural Lip Balm


Why we like it: Burt’s Bees lip balms are compact, highly moisturizing, and contain all-natural sustainably sourced ingredients.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: Cucumber Mint

Burt’s Bees is one of the most popular natural balm brands on the market, and for good reason. These little balms are very moisturizing and are great for general dry lip maintenance. The cucumber mint combination smells great and it also provides a light tingle without drying the lips.

If you are after added sun protection, Burt’s also does an all-weather balm which is 100% natural and has an SPF of 15.

Standout Feature

The slim, compact size of these balms make them convenient to carry in your pocket.

Effectiveness

Burt’s Bees effectively conditions your lips and leaves them feeling hydrated and smooth. Beeswax is very moisturizing and forms a porous layer across the lips which helps protect and nourish. Overall, these lip balms last for quite a while and retain moisture well.

Application

Applying this lip balm is simple and works like any standard stick applicator by twisting the bottom. The surface of the balm can feel a bit cold on the lips upon first application, but as it warms it becomes smoother and richer. This balm also leaves a nice coating on the lips which has a slight shine but doesn’t feel greasy. The consistency is on the thin side compared to some of its counterparts, however. This can require more frequent applications than a thicker balm.

Natural Ingredients

Each balm contains a primary blend of beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, cucumber seed extract, castor seed oil, lanolin, and peppermint oil. The other ingredients are natural, free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate, and are never tested on animals.

Pros

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Smells great
  • Easy to apply
  • Lasts a long time

Cons

  • The consistency can be a bit thin when applied

Handmade Heroes Vegan Coconut Lip Scrub


Why we like it: This unique lip scrub is all-natural, and both exfoliates and moisturizes dry lips.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Tub
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: Coconut Sorbet

This lip scrub from Handmade Heroes works to get rid of dry, dead skin while providing nourishing moisturizers. It also has a light pleasant scent.

Standout Feature

This product works as an exfoliator and as a moisturizer, which is great for lip repair.

Effectiveness

While not as convenient as the stick balms on this list, this product is excellent at hydrating because it exfoliates dead skin while moisturizing at the same time. It is an especially effective treatment for extremely dry, chapped lips.

Application

The texture of the scrub is grainy and thick due to its sugar content, but it is also smooth and slightly glossy due to the combination of oils. However, its paste-like consistency can make a slightly messier application compared to a regular stick balm.

To apply, all you need to do is put a pea-sized amount onto your finger or a cotton swab. It can then be rubbed into the lips for a gentle exfoliating effect.

Natural Ingredients

Each lip scrub contains a primary blend of beeswax, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, cucumber seed extract, castor seed oil, lanolin, and peppermint oil. The other ingredients are natural, free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate, and are never tested on animals.

Pros

  • Deeply hydrating
  • Exfoliates
  • A little goes a long way
  • Vegan formula

Cons

  • Application can be a bit messy due to the paste-like consistency

5. Best Premium Lip Balm: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask


Why we like it: This luxurious recovery mask is deeply nourishing, hydrating, and helps heal dry, cracked lips.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Tube
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: There is no specific flavor, but it smells and tastes like agave sugar.

Our premium pick is this rehydration mask from Bite Beauty. While it is the priciest of the bunch, a little goes a long way as the mask lasts for several hours on the lips. The formula is incredibly moisturizing, and it has a subtle sweetness to it.

Standout Feature

This mask contains a unique blend of agave, mangosteen, acai, and oat flour — all of which are designed to soothe, repair, and nourish due to their antioxidant properties.

Effectiveness

Bite Beauty’s product is an excellent go-to for repairing dry, damaged lips and is especially effective as an overnight treatment. Its signature ingredient, agave, is ultra-hydrating and exfoliating, and the beeswax and jojoba oil provide additional moisturizing properties. It is also long-lasting as only two applications per day are needed to notice the effects.

Application

Applying the Agave Lip Mask can be done by adding a small drop of gel onto the finger, or by dispensing it directly from the tube onto the lips. The gel glides on easily and is cohesive, but it can be a bit sticky when you first start using it, leaving a bit of a shine. This serves a purpose though, as the stickiness ensures it stays on the lips for longer. As your lips become moister, the stickiness tends to calm down and become smoother.

Natural Ingredients

This lip mask contains a primary blend of agave, beeswax, lanolin, jojoba oil, mangosteen extract, acai extract, and oat flour. It does contain 1 chemical compound used for color, though, making it 99% natural. While this shouldn’t trouble most people, it’s something to note if you’re aiming for 100% natural. The remaining ingredients are free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, and are never tested on animals.

Pros

  • Deeply hydrating recipe
  • Contains high concentrations of antioxidants
  • Smells and tastes great
  • Lasts a long time
  • A little goes a long way

Cons

  • The texture can be sticky at first
  • Contains 1 chemical compound for color: Red 7 Lake

6. Most Buttery Lip Balm: Weleda Skin Food Nourishing Lip Butter

Weleda Skin Food Nourishing Lip Butter


Why we like it: This natural hydrating lip butter is nourishing and moisturizing due to its rich plant-based formula.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Tube
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: Citrus & Eucalyptus

Weleda’s all-natural lip butter is deeply hydrating and loaded with plant-based ingredients. The hints of citrus and eucalyptus also provide a lovely clean scent.

Standout Feature

The texture is more like butter and comes with a squeezy tube applicator.

Effectiveness

With its oil-based formula, this balm is smooth and hydrating. Lanolin and beeswax are very moisturizing ingredients and the plant-based ingredients can soothe irritated skin. However, it does contain a bit of alcohol, which, while it provides a cooling sensation, can also be drying.

Application

The tube applicator means you can either squeeze the product onto your finger or apply directly to your lips. However, warm temperatures can melt the balm, so you need to be careful not to squeeze too much out of the applicator.

The texture of this balm is also thick and creamy, so it spreads well and leaves a slight glossy shine. It doesn’t last as long as it could, however, so multiple applications throughout the day are sometimes necessary if your lips are dry.

Natural Ingredients

Weleda’s lip butter contains a plant blend of sunflower seed oil, lanolin, beeswax, rosemary extract, calendula, chamomile extract, and wild pansy extract. The balm is free of synthetic preservatives, fragrances, colorants, and mineral oils, and is certified as a natural cosmetic product by the EcoControl Nature Association.

Pros

  • Soft and moisturizing
  • Easy to apply
  • Nice rich texture
  • Clean, fresh scent

Cons

  • Contains alcohol which can lead to drying over time
  • The balm melts if it’s warm which can cause excess product to come out

7. Most Fun-Shaped Applicator: Rebels Refinery Rebel Rose Lip Balm

Rebels Refinery Rebel Rose Lip Balm


Why we like it: These lip balms are soft and moisturizing and come in fun-shaped applicators.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Matte Finish
  • Flavor: Exotic Fruit

These balms are soft, moisturizing, and fun to apply. They come in pink, teal, or black, and in cactus or skull versions.

Standout Feature

It has a fun, pineapple-shaped applicator.

Effectiveness

These balms adequately retain moisture and soften the lips. The texture and finish are similar to the eos Natural Organic Lip Balm, so you could do a bit of a comparison shop here. This is a pretty solid moisturizer, although it is slightly more expensive than other balms.

Application

The texture of this balm is nice as it doesn’t feel greasy upon application. The consistency is smooth with a matte finish which is great for those who don’t want a shine on their lips. The size of the applicator makes it easy to apply, although the plastic can sometimes break easily.

Natural Ingredients

Each balm contains a primary blend of coconut oil, canola oil, sweet almond oil, beeswax, vitamin E, lanolin, honey, and rosemary extract. The other ingredients are natural, free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicone, and petrochemicals, and are never tested on animals.

Pros

  • Fun design
  • Soft texture
  • Smells great
  • Moisturizing

Cons

  • A bit pricey compared with other balms of its size
  • The applicator can be flimsy/break easily

8. Best Multipurpose Lip Balm: Yes To Coconuts Moisturizing Coconut Oil Stick

Yes To Coconuts Moisturizing Coconut Oil Stick


Why we like it: This natural multi-functional moisturizing stick can be used on the lips, face, and body.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Slightly Shiny
  • Flavor: Coconut

This all-purpose stick doubles (or triples) up as a lip balm, and face and body moisturizer. Designed for dry skin, this coconut oil-based product is very hydrating, easy to apply, and non-greasy.

Standout Feature

This coconut oil stick serves multiple functions as a lip and all-over body moisturizer.

Effectiveness

These sticks are very hydrating thanks to their combination of coconut oil and shea butter. They work equally well for dry skin on the lips and the body and are long-lasting. Overall, it’s a great product for doing ‘spot’ treatment on dry areas of the lips, face, and body.

Application

The applicator for this balm is quite easy to use. It requires a simple twist at the bottom to extract the balm, much like a deodorant stick. It glides on soft and smooth without leaving a greasy residue. However, the size can be a hindrance. It is bigger than most lip balms, which can make it slightly less comfortable when applying on the lips.

Natural Ingredients

The main ingredients in this balm are coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. The other ingredients are natural, except for the fragrance, which is a chemical compound. While this may not bother most people, if you’re sensitive or aiming for purely 100% ingredients, this might not be the choice for you. These balms are also free of parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, and silicones.

Pros

  • It is multi-functional (can be used on the lips, face and body)
  • Very moisturizing
  • Smells great

Cons

  • The size is a bit large for the lips
  • Contains 1 chemical compound (fragrance)

9. Shiniest Lip Balm: Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy

Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy


Why we like it: Both lip balm and lip gloss, these are all-natural and contain 100% organic ingredients.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Tube
  • Finish: Glossy and Shiny
  • Flavor: Coconut

These coconut lip glosses are great for both moisturizing and adding some shine. They smell great, are easy to apply, and are perfect for those who are a bit more make-up inclined.

Standout Feature

These double as a lip balm and a lip gloss and come in clear or nude pink color.

Effectiveness

These lip glosses are hydrating and soft. Unlike most conventional lip glosses that tend to be drying, these balms make your lips feel soft after a few applications. Unfortunately, though, the moisturizing effect doesn’t last as long as some of the other products on this list. Therefore, frequent applications may be needed which isn’t so great long term, considering the tube itself is pricey for its size.

Application

The application of this balm/gloss is smooth and silky — hence its double function as a lip gloss! Unlike the slightly stickier matte finishes of other lip balms, this product creates a silky, gloss finish because it doesn’t contain wax-based ingredients.

Natural Ingredients

Each balm contains a primary blend of shea butter, coconut oil, soybean oil, and vitamin E. The other ingredients are natural, gluten-free, vegan, free of parabens, petrolatum, silicones, sulfates, and GMOs, and are never tested on animals. Their ingredients are also sustainably sourced from small family farms in the Philippines.

Pros

  • Doubles as a lip gloss for added shine
  • Smooth, velvety application
  • Soft and moisturizing

Cons

  • Hydration is not as long-lasting as other balms
  • Quite pricey compared with other balms of its size

10. Best Tinted Lip Balm: Juice Beauty SPF 8 Lip Moisturizers

Juice Beauty SPF 8 Lip Moisturizers


Why we like it: These natural lip moisturizers are active sun blockers and contain added tint for those who want a bit of color.

Editor’s Rating:

Quick Facts

  • Applicator Style: Stick
  • Finish: Slightly Shimmery
  • Flavor: Passionfruit and Mango

Two of the balms in this trio pack from Juice Beauty provide lasting color while moisturizing your lips. The third balm is clear for those who want soothing sun protection without the added color. While these come in a 3-pack, they can also be bought individually.

Standout Feature

These lip balms are color tinted and act as a sunscreen, with an SPF of 8.

Effectiveness

While these balms contain plenty of nourishing and moisturizing ingredients, they aren’t as deeply hydrating as the other products on this list. This is partly due to the zinc oxide, which acts as a sunscreen.

If you want the best of both worlds, one option is to put on a base like eos’s Natural Organic Lip Balm for extra rehydration, especially since the flavors are similar.

Application

The clear version of these lip balms glides on quite nicely and is soft and smooth. The colored ones, however, can tend to be a bit drier and are not as smooth to apply. The finish is a slightly shimmery color that isn’t too glossy.

Natural Ingredients

Each balm contains a blend of organic sunflower oil, candelilla wax, organic cocoa butter, aloe, and jojoba. The other ingredients are natural, free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, sodium lauryl sulfate, and are never tested on animals. The SPF ingredient is zinc oxide, a natural mineral compound.

Pros

  • Contains sun protection
  • Provides a color tint
  • Easy to apply

Cons

  • Moisturizing quality isn’t as good as other balms
  • Not very long-lasting
  • Colored versions can be a bit dry

Guide to Buying the Best Natural/Organic Lip Balms

Buying the right natural/organic lip balm can be complicated. With so much selection and a dizzying array of flavors to choose from, it might be tempting to just pick the first one you see. However, there are key features to look out for before making your choice. This includes the type of ingredients, the balm’s moisturizing power, the way it applies on your lips, and how these fit in with your individual needs. We explore these in more detail below.

Why Should You Use Lip Balm?

Before you start perusing your options, you might first be pondering whether you need lip balm in the first place. To figure out if balms are for you, consider whether your lips could do with an upgrade in terms of softness, moisturization, or appearance. If you feel your lips need additional nourishment or protection from dryness, then natural or organic lip balms are a great idea. Conversely, if you’re fine with the state of your lips, then you may want to skip this guide!

What Kind of Balm Do You Need?

Once you’ve established that you need or want to start searching for a suitable lip balm, it’s important to determine what type is best. For example, do you have severely dry lips? Are you spending long hours in the hot or cold weather? Or are you on the hunt for something cosmetic that will also add shine or color?

Once you know why you’re buying the lip balm, you can start examining its main features. Below we cover the top three features you’ll want to look out for when selecting an ideal lip balm.

Moisturizing Effectiveness

Depending on your needs, the degree to which the lip balm moisturizes, replenishes, or rehydrates your lips is one of the most important things to establish. The best natural balms will be long-lasting and will soften the skin over time. Therefore, you shouldn’t need to do frequent applications throughout the day (unless that’s something you prefer!). If your lips are cracked, flaky, and dry, you will want a balm that produces quality hydration, not just a superficial coating.

What Causes Dryness?

At this point, you may be wondering why lips get so dry in the first place. Unlike skin, lips lack sebaceous glands that produce oil so they’re sensitive to moisture loss. On top of that, lips are quite absorbent, so they plump up when they’re highly moisturized and shrink down when they’re dry. Nutritional deficiencies in iron, fatty acids, and vitamin B can also cause dryness, as well as habitual practices like licking your lips (the saliva dries the skin out) or eating too many spicy foods. Topical therapies like natural/organic lip balms are therefore helpful for on-the-spot treatment, particularly if the dryness causes pain.

How to Evaluate the Quality of Moisturization

While the feel of the lip balm is of course important in terms of softness, it can be easy to mistakenly think that a slick coating is doing the most moisturizing. Some balms can feel a bit thick or stiff initially, but they work gradually by absorbing into the lip and then softening from the inside out.

To truly evaluate the effectiveness of a lip balm, you’ll want to know whether the product contains anything which could be potentially drying, as well as if the ingredients are hydrating and protective.  Therefore, it is sensible to arm yourself with general knowledge about natural ingredients and what they do — which leads us to our next point!

The Importance of Natural Ingredients

While every lip balm claims to be moisturizing, some ingredients can have opposing effects. Commercial lip balms, for example, often contain petroleum (which is toxic) and other drying agents such as menthol or camphor. These balms can feel good at first because they are slick, cool, or tingly, but over time, they can severely dehydrate your lips causing a bit of a cyclical balm addiction. Natural ingredients, on the other hand, are non-toxic; they allow the skin to breathe, and they contain properties that hydrate and seal in moisture at the same time.

If you are looking for truly hydrating balms, you’ll want to get to know some of the natural ingredients and what is and isn’t good for your lips. Below is a list of the most popular moisturizing ingredients found in balms and what they do.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is perhaps the king of all ingredients when it comes to a lip balm. It not only softens, hydrates, and traps moisture in the skin, but it is also antimicrobial and analgesic. Coconut oil’s supreme healing qualities make it one of the most hydrating ingredients around which is why so many balms contain it.

Beeswax

Beeswax is another popular and deeply moisturizing ingredient. Derived from female bees, beeswax is also hydrating, antibacterial, and is an effective agent for retaining moisture and providing protection from the sun. Unlike petroleum, beeswax allows the skin to breathe.

Shea Butter

Extracted from shea tree nuts, shea butter’s high amounts of fatty acids and vitamins make it another very hydrating ingredient. Shea butter is also anti-inflammatory and emollient, meaning it traps moisture in the skin. For those with nut allergies or sensitive skin, however, you may want to avoid shea butter as an ingredient.

Lanolin

Lanolin is derived from the oil glands of sheep and it is used in balms because of its emollient (water-retaining) properties. This is an ingredient to avoid if you’re vegan or trying to avoid animal products. If you want to look at a list of lip balms that are exclusively vegan, we have a wealth of options in our vegan lip balm guide.

Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is another great moisturizer, thanks to its high amounts of linoleic acid. It absorbs easily into the skin and is also high in vitamins A and E, and zinc.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is high in fatty acids, making it another popular lip balm ingredient. It can also help protect your lips during extreme weather as it forms a light barrier on the lips.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is extracted from cocoa beans and is high in vitamins, omega oils, and natural fats. Commonly found in natural skin creams, cocoa butter is another moisturizing ingredient that softens skin while retaining moisture. It is also high in antioxidants.

Honey

Honey is moisturizing, containing antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help protect lips from infections. Along with other natural sugars, honey is also a gentle exfoliant which can help remove dead skin.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another popular lip balm ingredient, but not so much as a moisturizer. Vitamin E’s primary benefit is that it acts as an antioxidant, protecting the skin from free radicals. It is therefore found in balms that offer protection from the harmful rays of the sun.

Natural Plant Ingredients

Other common ingredients are plant-based extracts such as aloe, chamomile, lavender, and rosemary. These are primarily calming components, often used in products for relaxation. They soothe skin and provide a pleasant smell.

What to Avoid

If you are looking for all-natural ingredients, avoid any balms that contain petroleum, parabens, silicones, or sulfates. Also, avoid drying components such as camphor, menthol, and phenol.

Application

The last feature to consider when buying a natural/organic lip balm is how it applies onto the lips. While it is difficult to know what it will truly feel like until you try the product, the size of the balm, its applicator, and the ingredients can help you determine how it will glide on and what it will feel like.

Swiping Experience

This preference will vary from person to person, but it is useful to know ahead of time what you might be getting. The best balms out there will provide a great swiping experience, meaning that the application is smooth and soft, rather than greasy or dry. While we’ve said above that slick application doesn’t always equal the most moisture, knowing how a balm applies can make a difference to your enjoyment.

Applicator Type

The applicator style will also give you a clue about how it will glide on. For instance, a gel, cream, or lip butter dispensed from a tube will tend to have a thicker or more buttery consistency. If you prefer to use your fingers, balms also come in tins or tubs, but these can be a bit messier to work with. The stick versions, on the other hand, are a bit stiffer and vary in terms of how thickly they apply on the lips. But generally, stick applicators are the fastest and easiest to apply.

Texture

Determining the texture also involves an understanding of the ingredients. Beeswax and coconut oil, for example, can be a bit firm and cool upon application. This can be especially the case if you’re applying it in cold temperatures. As a general rule, expect slightly harder textures on stick style balms that contain waxes or shea butter.

Other factors that will affect texture are sugars or honey as they might be a bit grainy, depending on the product. If the lip balm contains a good mixture of oils, it will have a smoother texture.

Finish

Depending on your preference, you may want a balm with a matte finish or one that produces a bit of shine. Again, this depends on the ingredients, but generally, a softer balm with a tube applicator will tend to have a shinier finish. Wax-based balms or those in stick form can have more of a matte effect, but these also vary depending on the ingredients. When in doubt, check the label as they will often indicate what kind of finish to expect.

How Often Should I Apply the Lip Balm?

How often you apply your lip balm is personal preference, but it also depends on why you need it. For excessively dry lips, 3 or 4 applications throughout the day might be needed. However, if you select a high-quality lip balm like some of the ones in our top 10 list, you shouldn’t need to apply any more than that.

Poor lip balms will leave you swiping your lips every hour, which can be inconvenient, expensive, and not very effective long term. The best lip balms will hydrate and nourish, which means you may only need to use it intermittently.

Making Your Choice

So, now that you have become familiar with some of the main ingredients and application types, it is time to choose the best one based on your needs (i.e., excessive dryness or protection).

For Excessive Dryness

If dryness is your issue, you’ll want to choose lip balms with the largest amounts of emollients and hydrating oils, and/or that contain exfoliants. Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask and the Handmade Heroes Vegan Coconut Lip Scrub are excellent products for repairing dryness.

For Sensitive or Allergy-Prone Skin

If you fall into this category, you may need to avoid soy, vitamin E, or shea butter, depending on what allergies or sensitivities you have. In this case, the Sky Organics Lip Balm is a good choice as it’s designed for most sensitive skin types.

For an All-Rounder

If you’re looking for an all-round lip balm, select ones with a good balance of oils, vitamins, and flavors or scents. eos’s Natural Organic Lip Balm is a fantastic all-round choice and has the added benefit of being 100% natural and organic.

For Cosmetic Purposes

For those who are aiming for a bit of color or shine, look for tinted lip balms or moisturizing glosses. The Kopari Coconut Lip Glossy and the Juice Beauty Lip Moisturizers are great choices as they provide shine and color.

For Extreme Weather

If you’re heading out into the sun or the dry, blistering cold, a balm high in oils like lanolin or beeswax are great because they form a porous barrier that can block out wind and sun. Burt’s Bees Natural Lip Balm is a good choice in this case.

Final Thoughts

Natural/organic lip balms are a great option for those who are health-minded and earth-conscious, especially as the ingredients are often sustainable, gentle, and far more hydrating than commercial ones loaded with chemical compounds.

While choosing the best balm amidst a sea of choices can be tricky, it becomes easier once you know which ingredients provide the best mileage in terms of hydration and moisture retention. Having a general understanding of these ingredients will also give you a clue about what to expect in terms of the product’s consistency, thickness, texture, and finish. No matter what your reason is for looking for a natural balm, explore our list above and give your lips the moisture and softness they deserve!