When you have dry, chapped lips and require more than a swipe of gloss, medicated lip balms are there to help. The best medicated lip balms — or, in other words, the ones that tend to be the least irritating and most soothing — are typically fragrance-free and made with healing ingredients such as castor seed oil, ceramides, beeswax, and shea butter, or medicated ingredients like white petrolatum and hydrocortisone.
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 ingredients like camphor, some flavors and fragrances, menthol, and salicylic acid are the most likely to cause irritation (though not everyone will find them irritating, so if these ingredients don’t bother you, feel free to keep using them). In a hurry? These are the top three best medicated lip balms: Editor’s Pick: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5 Best With SPF: Dermatone Medicated Lip Balm SPF 30 Best Natural Lip Balm: Burt's Bees Medicated Lip Balm
As for what’s behind your dry, chapped lips? Though we tend to blame the weather — 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 factors that can be responsible, like taking certain medications, not drinking enough water, eating spicy foods, and even the ingredients in some of our lip balms and lipsticks.
If you’re struggling with lips that are peeling or dry, below are the best medicated lip balms available on Amazon that will give you relief and make your lips feel soft and smooth again — fast.
1 Editor’s Pick
“Though this isn’t a medicated lip balm in the traditional sense, I swear that nothing has ever healed my lips faster or made them feel smoother than
La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm B5. You can use this rich, creamy balm anywhere that’s super dry — I’ve been known to slather it all over my face, or onto dry cuticles and elbows — and within hours, your skin will feel completely restored,” says Bustle beauty editor Adeline Duff. According to one Amazon reviewer: “My lips were super dry and I wasn't sure what was causing it. It seemed to be seasonal but lasted a long time. My dermatologist recommended I try this and I am so glad I did. It really worked when nothing else had. I had tried so many products with little to no results. I will continue to use this from now on. It also works great to prevent a chapped nose from colds.” 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. According to one Amazon reviewer: “A lot of lip balms work fine in warm weather, but when it's cold outside, they get too stiff to apply. Dermatone will go on your lips even when the temperature outside is cold.” 3 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. According to one Amazon reviewer: “Burt's Bees Medicated lip balm with menthol and eucalyptus is an AMAZING product. You will get instant relief for dry, chapped, painful lips. It is very moisturizing and it smells/tastes great. When you put it on you feel an immediate cooling effect. After trying many lip balms from Burt's Bees this one is definitely my favorite! It's strange to me that I cannot find it at any beauty mart or department store, so I have to purchase it online. Try it, you wont be disappointed!” 4 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. According to one Amazon reviewer: “This stuff is AMAZING!!! As soon as I feel a cold sore coming on, I start applying and it never fully develops! I’ve been using this for years now, recommended by a friends wife that works at a dermatology office. Everyone that I have told about it LOVES it and is amazed at how well it works!” 5 The Best Medicated Lip Balm With White Petrolatum
White petrolatum, which, despite its bad rap, is actually favored by dermatologists, is the key ingredient in Neosporin’s version of a medicated lip balm: their
Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy. The formula also contains other nutrient-rich occlusives like lanolin, cocoa butter, and vitamin E to protect and nourish your lips while you sleep, treating severe dry-lip symptoms like cracking, flaking, and chapping in the process. For less than $10, you get two small (but long-lasting) tubs. According to one Amazon reviewer: “I am an avid chapstick user and I have been recommending this product by word-of-mouth for YEARS. This is the chapstick you use when your lips are so dry that it hurts to smile. Slather a bunch on before bed, go to sleep, and voila, silky smooth hydrated lips when you wake up! If you're already here in the reviews section thinking about it, GET IT, it will not disappoint.” 6 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. According to one Amazon reviewer: “Relieved my dry, cracked lips within a couple of days. My bottom lip was constantly cracking and bleeding--it [looked] & felt awful but this Coral Dr. Rescue relieved that! The feel is so smooth and using it overnight really helps too. The coral color is very natural-looking enhancing lip color with just a hint of color. [...] Superb value as well--I've used more expensive products and they didn't work nearly as well!” 7 The Best Non-Medicated Lip Balm That Works Just As Well As Medicated Formulas
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. According to one Amazon reviewer: “NO scent. NO flavor. 100% relief. 100% moisturizing. I purchased this as a recommendation from a friend - my lips were very dry and chapped from some medication I was taking, so dry that they were splitting at the corners! I applied for about 2 days and my lips were saved! Highly recommend for severely dry and chapped lips”
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This article was originally published on
Jan. 30, 2020