You could say I have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to ineffective lip balms. (Ironically, some of the most “iconic” or “best” lip balm brands have been the most underwhelming offenders.) Perhaps, it’s because I’m a native Minnesotan who endured years of below-freezing temperatures (and perpetually chapped, sucked-dry lips), but I have annoyingly high standards when it comes to lip balms and reviewing their *actual* efficacy. I mean, how many times have you applied a lip balm from a well-known brand only to become confused and irritated 10 minutes later when your lips feel thirstier and more sandpapery than they did to begin with? It’s an unfortunate yet common phenomenon, and regardless of price, brand name, or fancy ingredients, certain lip balms just work 10 times better for 10 times longer than others.
Being the unapologetic lip balm snob that I am, I’ve tried hundreds of the best salves, balms, tubes, and sticks on the market, and it’s actually quite shocking how few really get the job done. So I’ve whittled down your thousands of choices to the top 11 I consistently recommend to my friends and family. From a few new finds that have served me well since moving to dry, hot climates like Los Angeles and Tucson to my trusted standbys I’ve used since my high school and college days in Minnesota and Wisconsin, below you’ll find all of my editor-approved lip balm brands and, because I can’t stop just there, some of my other favorite beauty products from said brands. Keep scrolling!