The entire point of lip balm is to majorly hydrate, so the fact that petrolatum — a main ingredient in most lip balms —
can actually make lips drier is beyond disappointing. Luckily, there are many petroleum-free lip balms out there that can keep your pucker in tip-top shape. The best lip balms without petrolatum make use of skin-friendly ingredients like shea butter, lanolin, and beeswax to keep your pout soft and moisturized all day long. Plus, you can find tinted options for a kiss of color or balms with SPF to keep lips protected in the sun.
First, a few basic facts: petroleum jelly, which often appears on the label as "petrolatum," is derived from oil refining and, although not labeled a toxin in the U.S. or Canada, is considered a dangerous substance in the European Union because of
chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. While only highly refined petrolatum can be used in cosmetics here, there are still some people who feel concerned by the potential health risks — and by the fact that crude oil is not a renewable resource.
And there's more, I'm afraid. While
petroleum jelly is great for sealing in moisture and creating a barrier between your skin and the elements, it doesn't do a stellar job of helping moisture absorb into the skin so that your chapped lips heal. Ever notice the more Vaseline you apply to dry lips, the more Vaseline you need to keep them soft? You can blame petrolatum for that.
With all of that said, there is no hard evidence linking petrolatum to any health conditions, but if you're searching for an alternative to petroleum jelly, these
petrolatum-free lip balms are some of the best. 1 An SPF 30 Lip Balm That's Reef-Safe
lip balm with SPF 30 protects your pout from the elements, regardless of the conditions. The formula contains natural ingredients like avocado butter to moisturize, raspberry butter to soften, and beeswax to form a protective layer over skin. Plus, it's reef-friendly, so you can apply it in good conscience before taking a dip in the ocean. Choose from an original flavor and peppermint vanilla. According to a reviewer: "On our last trip to Hawaii when I was in the sun and the water and ocean a lot I never got chapped or blistered lips. This was a first and I am now always keeping this on my body, in my purse and in my travels bags." 2 A Lip Balm Made With 100% Pharmaceutical-Grade Lanolin
A natural lip balm that uses pharmaceutical-grade lanolin,
Naturals New Zealand contains no additives, colorants, or preservatives. Those reviewers who say they have made the switch from petroleum to lanolin rave about how intensely hydrating it is, how it's perfect for anyone with skin sensitivities or allergies, and how it doesn't leave lips "sticky" or "cakey" like other products. This balm comes in a portable pot, a little goes a long way, and it will last you for months. According to a reviewer: "I hadn't used lanolin for years, but decided to try it for my extremely chapped lips. It is working wonders and stays on much longer than any other type of lip moisturizer I have tried (including those with petrolatum, waxes, butters, etc.)." 3 A Lip Balm With Healing Emu Oil
The key ingredient in
Emu Joy Banish Chapped Lips is, of course, emu oil, a deeply moisturizing ingredient that can be absorbed into all seven layers of skin, and which is often used to soothe burns or inflammation. But the amazingness doesn't stop there: This fragrance-, paraben-, and gluten-free balm also contains coconut oil to soften rough skin, cocoa butter to create a barrier that protects lips, aloe oil to heal damaged skin, and Montana beeswax to protect lips from the sun and wind. Reviewers say the change in their dry lips after using this balm is "drastic" and that it works fast and has no irritating taste or smell. According to a reviewer: "My lips were a MESS... I had finally realized that my issue was petroleum based products. Using EmuJoy for only a few days relieved the pain from my lips, and now that they are healed up, I am still finding the EmuJoy is keeping them moisturized." 4 A Buttery Balm That Stimulates Collagen
What's better than providing lips with the deep hydration found in coconut, beeswax, and castor oil? Providing them with peptides and plant stem cells that boost collagen production. This
collagen lip balm helps strengthen your lip barrier while filling in lines to give your pout a plumping effect. Plus, it's delicately flavored with strawberry and blueberry extracts that taste just like summer. According to a reviewer: "After using a couple weeks once or twice a day, I am seeing results. Less lines on my lips and they are softer. Will definitely keep using." 5 A Luxurious Tinted Lip Balm In 7 Shades
SPF 15 lip balm from Jane Iredale is available in seven shades — including a sheer option —that are perfect for everyday wear. This balm hydrates lips with ingredients like avocado oil, aloe, and carrot seed oil, while titanium dioxide — a gentle mineral sunscreen — shields you from the sun's rays. Plus, you get major antioxidant benefits, courtesy of green tea and blackberry extract, which means this option will fend of lip-damaging free radicals. According to a reviewer: "At long last, the best lip balm & tinted no less! [...] Glides on, you can feel the moisture. Delighted. Wear it over lipstick and on its own." 6 An Affordable Set Of Organic Lip Balms In 6 Flavors
et of USDA-organic lip balms includes six scrumptious and naturally-derived flavors: coconut, citrus, mint burst, eucalyptus mint, beeswax, and vanilla. Each one is infused with hydrating ingredients like coconut and sunflower seed oils and vitamin E. Of course, they're free of petroleum and petroleum derivatives, but they're also cruelty-free and non-GMO. If you want to slather your pout in all-natural ingredients — without breaking the bank —this is your best bet. According to a reviewer: "I really like these lip balms! Love that they're organic and all natural. They're nice and moisturizing and unlike most I've used in the past once it wears off I don't find myself immediately reaching to reapply." 7 A Lip Butter That Provides A Sheer Rosy Tint
Why fiddle with lip balm and lipstick when you can get a totally soft look using this one product:
Korres's Wild Rose lip butter, which provides a subtle red wash. Instead of relying on petrolatum, this lip butter uses natural and vegan ingredients like rice bran wax, shea butter, and safflower oil to provide a healthy helping of hydration that heals lips and keeps them smooth. Reviewers gave it 4.6 stars, saying this lip butter will leave your lips hydrated and that the red tint is sheer and "still looks so natural." According to a reviewer: "The color in Wild Rose gives my lips the most wonderful rose-berry tint with a hint of shine, perfect for a night out or to wear casually. I highly recommend this product." 8 A Natural Lip Balm Rich With Nourishing Essential Oils
organic lip balm relies on a thoughtful blend of essential oils, raw coconut oil, cruelty-free beeswax, and organic grass-fed ghee to provide a silky texture and hydrating formula that doesn't contain soy, petroleum, or artificial ingredients. Reviewers describe this lip balm as "moist," "incredibly creamy," and one of the only balms that instantly helps heal cracking lips. According to a reviewer: "This lip balm goes on easily, and stays on. I put it on once or twice a day. My lips are soft soon after applying, and it doesn't cause irritation." 9 The Perfectly Peppy Peppermint Balm
With all-natural ingredients like peppermint essential oil, sunflower seed oil, aloe vera, and beeswax,
Naturistick solves the problem of chapped lips with a solution that requires zero petroleum. Gentle on sensitive lips, the formula is non-GMO and cruelty-free, and the packaging is environmentally-friendly. And reviewers love it — this pick has earned a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 10,000 reviews. Not a peppermint person? Choose from other flavors like green tea, vanilla, and pomegranate. According to a reviewer: "Love it! Great peppermint flavor & very moisturizing." 10 A Spherical Lip Balm In 5 Different Flavors
Yes, there is such a thing as fun lip balm, and you just might agree when you swipe on this sphere-shaped
eos lip balm. But the shape isn't the main selling point — this formula is made with ultra-hydrating ingredients like sustainably harvested shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba seed oil. And these balms are delicious. The coconut milk flavor will transport you to a tropical island, but you can also opt for any of the four other flavors: honey apple, vanilla mint, wildberry, or pink citrus. According to a reviewer: "I bought the coconut milk flavor and it’s fantastic, it tastes so good and smells like real coconut milk."