The Best Lip Balms for Dry & Chapped Winter Lips

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, and while it might be one of my favorite times of year, this festive season brings with it dry, cold air. That means it's even more important than usual to take care of your skin - including your lips. While a mask might be hiding your lips outside the house, it's still important to keep your lips healthy and moisturized (just like the rest of your skin!).

I struggle to keep my lips healthy and moisturized even when it isn't 30° outside. Like many people who have battled acne, I went on a course of Accutane a few years ago. Accutane is a prescription-only Vitamin A derivative used to treat severe acne that hasn't responded to other treatments and one of its most common side effects is causing dry skin. Unfortunately, while the drug cleared up my acne, it left me with permanently dry, chapped lips that don't respond to your basic Chapstick. Over the years, I've tried a plethora of products promising to heal, moisturize and protect my lips. I've finally found a few products that I keep in rotation, so I thought I'd share my curated picks as we head into much colder weather.

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This is the OG, holy grail lip balm for many Accutane users. I remember my dermatologist handing me a couple mini bottles of this stuff when he first prescribed me Accutane and I have gone through probably 12 tubes of it in the seven years since! Its main ingredient is petrolatum, but it's also formulated with mineral oil, ceresin, lanolin alcohol, panthenol and glycerin to protect, soothe and restore healthy skin.

I typically slather this on as a final occlusive layer at night, but in the winter, I carry a tube with me wherever I go.Available at Target and CVS

Balm Dotcom

I first got hooked on this hydrating lip balm back in 2017 (right around the same time my general obsession with Glossier began). Nowadays, I keep a tube in my car, my office, my purse, my get the idea. This balm is formulated with castor oil, beeswax and lanolin and is available in nine flavors, including the unscented Original. A little goes a long way with this stuff and it makes your lips look moisturized, but not glossy.

Available at Glossier in a single ($12) or trio ($30)

JACK BLACK Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

This emollient balm is formulated with tons of skin conditioners and antioxidants AND has SPF 25 sunscreen! It comes in six flavors and is said to penetrate skin quickly for fast relief of chapped lips.

Available at Sephora and Ulta

Smith's Rosebud Salve

This salve's main ingredient is cottonseed oil, which is high in vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants. Similarly to Balm Dotcom's Original flavor, it can be used on your lips but also on cuticles, dry skin and minor cuts. It's also available in either a tin or tube (I would highly recommend the tube to reduce the amount you touch your lips with your fingers, but the tin is nice because it's reusable!).

Available at Sephora and Ulta

Laneige Lip Glowy Balm

A lightweight, daytime companion to the cult-favorite Lip Sleeping Mask, this balm contains murumuru and shea butters and is lightly tinted. It can be applied alone, before lipstick to prime, or after lipstick for a glossier finish. It also comes in five fruity scents.

Available at Sephora

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm Sunscreen SPF 15

Another cult-favorite, this lip balm is formulated with nourishing oils (including meadowfoam, black currant seed, and grapeseed oils) and moisture-preserving sugar, with the added bonus of SPF 15 sun protection. It also comes in 13 satin finish shades and two shimmer finish shades.

Available at Sephora

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream

Hear me out - I just recently discovered this incredible cream while searching for a balm with a higher percentage of lanolin (aa moisturizer that works best alongside other moisturizing products, as it assists in locking moisture into the skin). I wanted something with a similar thick consistency to Aquaphor that wasn't petrolatum-based, and I knew lanolin was one of the reasons why I love Balm Dotcom so much. Somehow, I stumbled upon this guy. It's the #1 recommended cream for breastfeeding moms and is a natural, single ingredient product. After reading the reviews on Amazon, I decided I had to give it a shot.

SO. WORTH IT. This stuff healed my crazy-cracked lips in two days and does an excellent job of locking in lighter-weight balms. It can be applied alone, but I typically use this as a last step at night when my lips need some extra care.

Available at Amazon and CVS