The 5 Best Medicated Lip Balms

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When have dry, chapped lips and require more than a swipe of gloss, the best medicated lip balms are there to help. Though we tend to blame the weather for our chapped lips — and granted, during winter, a lack of moisture in the air and heat blasting in our homes can dehydrate the sensitive skin on our lips, and in summer, excessive sun can dry them out — there are other causes of chapped lips, including taking certain medications, not drinking enough water, eating spicy foods, and even the ingredients in some of our beloved lip balms and lipsticks.

Though it’s easy to believe that a product stings or burns because it’s “working,” the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) suggests otherwise. If your lips hurt after applying a product to them, it actually means it’s irritating your mouth, so you’ll want to stop using that item. In general, the AAD says that certain ingredients, including camphor, some flavors and fragrances, menthol, and salicylic acid can irritate lips, while the least irritating, most soothing medicated lip balms are the ones that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, and contain healing ingredients such as castor seed oil, ceramides, shea butter, sun-protective ingredients (such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide), and white petroleum jelly.

If you’re struggling with lips that are peeling or dry, below are the six best medicated lip balms available on Amazon that will give you relief and make your lips feel soft and smooth again — fast!

1. The Best Medicated Lip Balm For Severely Chapped Lips

With an average customer rating of 4.6 stars, Aquaphor's classic Lip Repair Ointment is a popular pick for chapped lip sufferers of all ages. The ointment contains castor seed oil, shea butter, beeswax, and chamomile essence, but no fragrances or dyes. Your lips will feel better immediately, and with frequent use, you can not only treat irritated, cracked lips but prevent them, too. It's hard to do much better for under $5.

2. The Best Medicated Lip Balm With SPF

Yes, lips need protection from the sun's rays, too, particularly if you're going to be outdoors at the beach or engaging in fun winter snow sports. The Dermatone Medicated Lip Balm contains an SPF 30 and has a long-lasting formula, so you're covered while you're living your best outdoor life, year-round. The brand is the official sunscreen sponsor for the US Ski & Snowboarding Team, so if it's good enough for those hard-working athletes, it's good enough for the rest of us.

3. The Best Medicated Lip Balm With A Hint of Color

Sometimes, lip glosses and lipsticks do dry out the delicate lip area, but that doesn't mean you have to swear off any hint of color unless your lips are completely smooth and flake-free. Maybelline's Dr. Rescue Baby Lips delivers what users happily report is a "subtle color & shine," that "leaves lips feeling soft and silky." The formula does contain menthol and eucalyptus, which provides a cool, icy feeling that can help minimize discomfort, but do note that those with extremely sensitive skin may find those ingredients irritating.

4. The Best Natural Medicated Lip Balm

Rich in moisturizing nut butters (kokum, cocoa, and shea) and sunflower and safflower oils, the Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm boasts a 100% natural formula that leaves your lips feeling soft, smooth, and hydrated. This is another balm that contains cooling eucalyptus, which some users love — the icy sensation helps relieve discomfort from dryness and chapping — while those with extreme sensitivities might find irritating. "Life changing!" wrote one reviewer. "Healed my cracked lips within 24hrs."

5. The Best Medicated Lip Balm for Cold Sores

If you have severely chapped lips or you're bothered by a cold sore, bring out the Dr. Dans CortiBalm Lip Balm. Originally designed to alleviate the peeling, chapped lips Dr. Dan Vider's clients on Accutane experienced, it contains 1% hydrocortisone, a topical medicine used to treat skin irritations, rashes, eczema, bug bites, and more. On lips, hydrocortisone can be used to heal chapped skin and diminish the size of cold sores quickly. This isn't designed for forever use. After a week, if your lips aren't better, consult with your doctor.

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