My Musthaves: lip balms I can’t live without

I just checked the weather for tomorrow and it looks like there will be light snow. Burrrr, where did summer go?!?! With the change in the season, windy weather and dry indoor heating comes a host of skin problems, the most important of which is dry, flaky and cracked lips. It hurts every time I eat and talk. I can constantly feel the dryness and it drives me nuts. I bought 20-30 lip balms that month from drugstore to high end, and when finally I was almost giving up…….I found my savior–Jack Black lip therapy spf25. There are a few other lip balms I like, but as long as I’ve got these 3 lip balms, I fear nothing (*knocks on wood*).


Rose salve – this is a generic, all-purpose lip balm that is good to have around. They are great on the lips, nail or cuticles. Whenever I get a paper cut or small wound on the skin, where it gets really dry or irritated due to dryness around the opening (after the wound close/bleeding stops, when the scab is forming), I would rub a little of this on top and it helps to heal. In the winter the wind can get up to 30mph where I live, so occasionally I would rub a bit on the nose or cheeks to prevent them from getting raw and wind chapped.

Similar product: I was using C. O. Bigalow rose salve and is now trying Smith’s Rosebud salve. Honestly they are pretty much the same, Bigalow seems to be a tad thicker and Smith seems to have a tad more rose extract.

Jack Black Lip Balm SPF25 – The texture is like that of vaseline and I did threw a tantrum awhile back when I realized they didn’t list the full ingredients on the tube (they do now) but the result is undeniable. Whenever my lips are dry, tight, cracked and flaky, I just apply a generous layer of it before I go to sleep and I wake up the next morning with plump and moist lip. It contains SPF so it is appropriate for daytime use and it’s like a little winter coat for the lips to prevent it from getting wind chapped. The expiration date says 6 month from opening and the fragrance does start to fade by then, but the moisturizing quality stayed the same even a year after I opened it. When I was reading the reviews, some people say the scents are hit or miss. I bought Grapefruit & Ginger, and Blackberry & tea scented ones. I have to say I’m not a fan of citrus scent on lips and like Blackberry & tea much better.

Similar products: Some people say Anthony Logisitc lip balm is just as good an alternative, but it didn’t work quite as well for me. If Jack Black doesn’t work for you tho, I would recommend giving Anthony Logistic a try.

Fresh Sugar Lip Balm SPF15 – this is great if you need a solution for dry lips but want to avoid petroleum, mineral oil, and lanolin. It is expensive at $20+ and if your lips are not that dry, it probably doesn’t feel any different from cheaper alternatives. It does not heal dry/damaged lips as fast as Jack Black but it’s my second favorite in terms of hydration. One big caveat is that it is VERY soft. You should be fine in the winter, but do NOT put it in your pocket or leave it in the car in the summer. The minis are softer than full size and the rose tint was softer than the clear/brown tube one for me. If ALL the lipsticks/balms/gloss you try dries you out but you want some color, definitely give their tinted balms a go.

Similar products: For a stick lip balm similar in terms of hydration with SPF, I would pick Marc Jacob (which is about the same price). If you want a bit more hydration without SPF, there’s the advanced therapy in white tube. If your lips are not that dry and you just want a tinted lip balm, then try Maybelline Babylips.

Here are other lip balms that I tried, to save you the trouble, or more options if my top 3 doesn’t work for you:

  • Caudalie lip balm: great ingredients, but doesn’t glide on as smoothly (probably due to the shea butter, I think). Medium hydration, not heavy duty enough for severely dry lips.
  • Burts Bee lip balms: all of the 5 or 6 I tried, feels waxy. They sit on the lips but doesn’t sink in or hydrate deeper, and the mint can be a bit irritating.
  • EOS lip balms: I only tried 3 or 4 normal solid color ones, none of the medicated ones. They are cute, they are nice, and they are great in the summer but they do not provide enough hydration in the winter.
  • Lypsyl lipbalm: the original with no flavor/scent. It feels a bit minty and best in terms of hydration out of all drugstore stuff I’ve tried. It protects and hydrates well, but when your lips are irritated/hurt due to flakes/cracks/dryness the mint can be a bit irritating and it doesn’t heal as well. It is my favorite of the drugstores.
  • Chapstick: normal ones of various flavors. It just sits on the lip and protects but does not hydrate, fine in the summer but no use in the winter.
  • Softlips: very lightweight lipbalm, great if you want SPF but doesn’t want to feel like you are wearing anything.
  • Hourglass no.28 lip serum – it feels nice, like a non-sticky gloss and makes the lip feel plump and pouty without the mint or anything. It have a slight herbal scent like the no.28 primer serum and I like how the applicator makes it more sanitary. However, more expensive than what it’s worth.
  • Bite Agave lip mask – I tried the original and it is very very thick. If the problem with your dry lips is moisture loss due to dry environment, this is great to seal in the moisture and form a protective barrier, but if your dry lip is internal and you need deep hydration, stuff that sinks in, this is not a good choice.
  • TokyoMilk Dark lip balm – I have Salted Caramel and tried rose before.  I LOVE the scent of Salted Caramel! It smells exactly like what it says. It is thicker than rose salve but not as heavy as Bite Agave. It is better for overnight treatment rather than daytime use. The tin can be a bit difficult to open tho.
  • Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment – comes in a cute little plastic pot and have a solid but thin, slightly oily texture unlike vaseline. It is great for summer, medium hydration, but not heavy duty enough for dehydrated lips in dry environment, feels like nothing on the lip next morning and more hydration instead of protecting against moisture loss.

As for lip balms with good reviews that I haven’t tried yet, or if NONE of the ones I mentioned above works for you, there’s the famous/popular Dior rose balm, By Terry rose lip balm, and Nuxe Reve de Miel. I have a little jar of By Terry and will try it at some point, but I probably won’t be buying them since I already found what works for me. And that is all the lipbalms I’ve tried (that I can recall). Make sure to stay warm and cheers to a winter with nice and moist lips so you can wear whatever pretty lipsticks you want!


8 thoughts on “My Musthaves: lip balms I can’t live without

    1. Definitely try the Jack Black! Lol, I get so frustrated when ppl were complaining how they tried EVERY lip balm on earth (except for Jack Black) and it doesn’t work and they are planning to try some $70 lip balm and I’m like nononono! Why would you want to try some $70 one when you haven’t even tried this $7 one that could probably work and save all the money for those Guerlains?!?!

      1. YAY for lipbalm must haves! The rosebud salve is my #1, I’m on my second jar and its heavily hit pan on lol. I bought a jack black lipbalm today beautytester! A brand new ULTA opened up in my area and it was at the checkout counter ( I swear….its like when stores put candy at kids eye level…those marketing people know what they are doing!) and I bought the natural mint one because I love minty lip products! I’m going to use it tonight, cant wait! My lips are dry and hurting ( its the cold weather, the hot heater and me neglecting my PM lipbalm routine the last few days) and rosebud salve always does the trick but I wanted to try something new.

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