The 15 best lip balms you can buy, vetted by beauty editors

We've tested dozens of the best lip balms for every budget, and here are the top 15 for keeping lips soft and hydrated

Best lip balms including Elizabath Arden, Tatcha and Laneige
(Image credit: Future)

'Tis the season for dry, chapped lips. Fortunately though, the best lip balms can get your pout primed and ready for party season. 

At woman&home, we take the quest of reviewing the best lip balms very seriously. Our complete roundup has been vetted by a range of our in-house beauty experts, and we've selected options that should suit every budget and preference. Having moisturised lips is an essential step before applying the best long-lasting lipsticks, which can sometimes exacerbate the issue if you don't have the proper balms on hand. 

And with dry skin at its worst during the winter months, investing in the best lip balm for you will be an essential step if you're wondering how to prevent winter skin. Keeping your lip topped up with a thicker lip mask before you go to bed can ensure your lips don't dry out while you sleep, while a more portable balm that can fit in any handbag will keep lips from feeling tight and sore throughout the day. Hand-selected and tested by the woman&home team, here is our list of the top 15 lip balms on the market. 

The best lip balms, chosen by our beauty team

Why you can trust Woman & Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

How we chose the best lip balms

A number of the products we tested when reviewing the best lip balms

(Image credit: Future)

Here at woman&home, we've got collective experience of hundreds of lip products, and know that a good lip balm can be one of the most important beauty purchases out there. To make sure we picked the best of the best, we've selected the top lip balms for different requirements, whether it's a vegan formula or something with a long-lasting tint. Every single product featured in this guide has been carefully vetted by our expert team. 

Tested by
Sarah Cooper-White
Tested by
Sarah Cooper-White

Group Beauty Director Sarah Cooper-White has almost 20 years experience as a beauty journalist. She has written for many well-known national magazines, newspapers and brands including Woman & Home, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Boots, Tesco, ELLE, InStyle, The Mirror, The Sun, Prima and Top Sante. 

Tested by
Aleesha Badkar, Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home
Tested by
Aleesha Badkar

Aleesha is Digital Beauty Editor at woman&home, where she gets to share her expertise into all the best techniques, sharpest tools and newest products—with a particular savvy in skincare and fragrance.

Previously, she was Deputy Editor and Beauty & Fashion Editor for My Imperfect Life, where she headed up the beauty, fashion and eCommerce pages. Her specialisms are down to her carefully-curated wardrobe, shopaholic tendencies and her constant hunt for any new lipsticks to add to her color-coordinated collection.

How to choose the best lip balm for you

When it comes to selecting the right lip balm, take a close look at the following: 

  • Ingredients: More often than not, the most hydrating lip balms feature waxed-based ingredients, like beeswax, lanolin, mineral oil, mango butter, and castor seed oil. We also love shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamins C and E among others—they're packed with skin-softening properties.
  • Packaging: Do you hate fussy caps on tubes or dipping your fingers into tins, pots, or jars? It's worth considering before you fork out for a balm that doesn't work for you. Backed by pencil-like tips, tubes ensure precise application, while jars, pots, and roll-ons offer more coverage. 
  • Flavoring and fragrance: Lip balms with high concentrations of synthetic fragrances and flavoring can be irritating for some. That being said, many users love scented balms that are reminiscent of fruity cocktails. But, if you're sensitive to chemicals and smells, look elsewhere.
  • Versatility: Today's lip balms go beyond lip care and maintenance. One of the hottest trends in skincare, slugging, uses Vaseline (intrigued? Find out what is slugging with our guide) In fact, the latest formulas double as blush, eyeshadow, and even primer with subtle color. As makeup, they deliver a glow-from-within look, rather than a cakey shimmer.
Millie Fender
Head of Ecommerce

Millie Fender is Head of Ecommerce at Woman&Home, and was formerly Head of Reviews across a number of Future Plc's leading Homes titles such as Ideal Home and Homes&Gardens. As our head of all things shopping, Millie is committed to giving readers honest, expert advice when it comes to spending their hard-earned cash.

Millie has always had a personal interest in fashion and beauty and has (almost) ditched the straighteners since learning how to look after her curly hair. In her free time, she loves to knit and bake, and has a 200-strong bucket list of London restaurants she's desperate to try out.