We often think of using lip protection in winter to combat dryness and chapping caused by the cold, but anyone who has swum several laps at the pool, played in the surf or run on a scorching, humid day knows that the elements wreak havoc on your kisser year-round. There are tons of lip balm brands out there, but until recently, natural beauty product devotees didn’t have many options readily available. Fortunately, many natural beauty products are becoming more affordable and accessible to the public, and this includes lip balms. These balms contain sophisticated oils and butters infused with fun flavors. Every balm in this story clocks in at less than eight bucks a pop, with most under five!
Natural lip care is taking over drugstore shelves, and there is no brand more synonymous with mass-market hippiedom than Burt’s Bees. The Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm has become the model for natural lip balm, with a beeswax base, nourishing coconut and sunflower seed oils and peppermint oil for that pleasant tingle we all love.
In addition to that cult favorite balm, Burt’s Bees has released a variety of flavored balms, including cherry, vanilla bean and mango, all of which contain natural oils and extracts. Unlike the other balms in this story, many of Burt’s Bees’ balms contain lanolin, which is an animal-derived skin conditioner and protectant.
Burt’s Bees has a great recycling program that allows you to send empty tubes to the company at no cost to you. Snag a balm for around three bucks a pop online or at pretty much every drugstore, and don’t forget to recycle!
Looking for something a bit different? Go for Evolution of Smooth, or EOS, as it is better known. EOS introduced us to its lip balms packaged in adorable pastel-hued orbs, and our lips have never been the same. Cute packaging aside, I keep coming back to this stuff because it works. Their original 100% natural Smooth Sphere Lip Balm retails for $3.29 on the EOS website, comes in myriad flavors, including Sweet Mint, Strawberry Sorbet (my personal favorite) and Summer Fruit, and is certified organic. Spending a lot of time in the sun? The Smooth Sphere balm in Lemon Drop contains SPF 15, but the sun protection comes from chemicals found in traditional sunscreen, which may be a concern for some.
If you’re not a fan of traditional sunscreens, try a lip balm with a mineral sunscreen. Yes To Pomegranate SPF 15 Naturally Smooth Lip Balm is enriched with shea butter and aloe. It’s rich but not goopy, has staying power and gets its SPF from zinc oxide. The slim oblong stick is perfect for carrying with you for touchups, too, since reapplication is essential to effective sun protection. Best of all, it retails for $2.99, so you can keep your pout protected all summer long on the cheap.
There are some wonderful options outside the drugstore as well. S.W. Basics of Brooklyn, created by Skin Cleanse author Adina Grigore, offers four flavored Organic Lip Balms that are as simple as can be. Beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter and essential oils are the only ingredients you’ll find in S.W. Basics’ balms. They come in a range of flavors: peppermint, cocoa, citrus and cinnamon. Citrus is my favorite. It smells divine, just like chocolate orange candy, though the flavor is very subtle. These lip balms are a bit soft, but they kept my lips moisturized for hours. Also, the minimalist packaging is perfect for those who are not into the cutesy aesthetic of the other balms mentioned. You could either buy them individually for $4 on the S.W. Basics website or try all four for $15, available both on the site and at Target.
Vegans, I have not forgotten about you, and neither has Lush Handmade Cosmetics. Lush has a variety of beeswax-based lip balm options, which I love, but they also have two balms suitable for vegans. The cleverly named None of Your Beeswax gets its softening power from Japan Wax and Cupuacu Butter, both of which are derived from trees, and has a yummy citrus flavor from mandarin oil and fresh lemons. Lush warns consumers that this balm “may melt if shipped to a warm location,” so proceed with caution.
For a caffeinated hint of color, treat your lips to Lush’s other vegan option, the Latte Lip Tint, which contains fair trade coffee, almond oil, vanilla and icing sugar. The bronze tint is perfect for summer. Both of these beauties cost $7.25, which is more than the others, but they last for ages. I speak from experience here.
Keep your lips soft and smooth with these brilliant balms. Tell us: which lip balm is your favorite?