If you’ve passed a winter without experiencing uncomfortable chapped, cracked, peeling lips, consider yourself very, very lucky. The skin on your lips is thinner than the rest of your face, and especially vulnerable to showing signs of dryness. Cold temperatures, bracing winds, and forced-air heating all draw moisture from your skin. Effective lip balms and salves are formulated to create occlusive layers to keep in moisture while protecting your lips from the elements. Here’s what to look for in a good lip protector.

  • Formulation: Look for moisturizing ingredients such as shea butter and beeswax, plus power-boosts like vitamin E or squalane for an even-more effective pick.
  • Skin Type: If you have hyper-sensitive skin, be extra careful when it comes to selecting your lip balm. Avoid any perfumes or scented products, including essential oils, and select a lip balm that doesn’t contain any alcohol that could dry out your skin.
  • Sun Protection: Whether you’re heading to the beach or running errands, SPF helps to protect your skin from aging and damage caused by UVA and UVB rays. Be on the lookout for lip balms formulated with SPF—15 SPF is a good place to start but don’t shy away from products with even more sun protection.

Our Picks for the Best Lip Balms on Amazon

Top Pick Overall: Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm

For Sensitive Skin

This all-natural balm is made with protective beeswax, Vitamin E, and peppermint oil. Burts Bees

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Runner Up: Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment

For Sensitive Skin

Formulated with shea butter and chamomile essence to create a semi-occlusive skin barrier, which lets air penetrate while protecting underlying skin. Aquaphor

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Great Value: NIVEA Smoothness Lip Care – Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Super Moisturizing

With beeswax, 15 SPF, shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil, this nourishing pick protects your lips and is dermatologically tested. NIVEA

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Heavy Duty Pick: Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

Protects And Soothes

The emollient balm is formulated with green tea, vitamin E, and SPF 25 sun protection. It stands up to extreme temperatures, dry climates, and harsh winter winds. Jack Black

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Popular Science is here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.