Best lip balm uk best lip balm for cracked lips cheap premium

Best lip balm UK: From EOS to Fruu, Burt’s Bees and more – which is the best lip balm for cracked lips?

8th May 2024 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

We’ve handpicked the best lip balm for cracked lips, a chapped pout or just to give you kissable soft lips


In the winter, the cold weather can cause your lips to crack. In the summer, the heat has a similar effect.

Not to mention drying saliva, sun, wind, cold and central heating all play a role in creating a chapped pout.

But with so many solutions to choose from, which is the best lip balm for cracked lips?

We’ve spent the past six month months putting various UK lip balms to the test – from tinted balms to lip balms with SPF – on a quest to pick the best lip balm to suit all budgets and occasions.

We’ve also started testing popular versions over on TikTok channel.

Below we’ve listed the findings from our six-month test, we’ve then embedded the TikTok videos for the limited number of lip balms we’ve been testing on TikTok. As the TikTok tests continue, they may enter our top 10 and we’ll update this page as and when that happens.

Plus, if we’ve missed out your favourite, please let us know on Facebook or Instagram.

FURTHER READING: The science of moisturiser: Which ingredients actually work and which are marketing BS?


Best lip balm UK: The best lip balm for cracked lips

  1. Editor’s Pick: Carmex SPF15 Moisturising Lip Balm– from £2.25
  2. Budget Buy: Nivea Lip Balm – £2.50
  3. Luxury Buy: Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir – £28
  4. Best tinted lip balm: Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Tinted Lip Balm£5.99
  5. Best all-rounder: EOS Lip Balm from £4.99
  6. Best for flavour choice: The Body Shop Lip Juicers: £7
  7. Cutest lip balm: florence by mills oh whale! Lip Balm – £12
  8. Best multi-purpose lip balm: Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm £12
  9. Best natural lip balm: Fruu Fruitilicious Lip Balm £3

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1. Editor’s Pick: Carmex SPF15 Moisturising Lip Balm

From £2.25 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: It’s relatively rare to find a lip balm with SPF, even more so at such an affordable price as the lip balms sold by Carmex. Each of its moisturising lip balms contains a formula first created in 1937 – which consists of menthol, camphor and beeswax – and it’s a firm favourite among celebs and makeup artists.

The addition of the menthol is what gives Carmex it’s famous “tingle”, and this is also what leaves your lips looking plumper after use.

It’s available in cherry, strawberry and classic, and you can buy it as a pot or tube. The formula means you can also use it as a primer before applying lipstick, as well as a standalone lip balm. Plus, you’ll be protecting your lips from the sun! What’s not to love.

FURTHER READING: LipMD review: Before and after photos show why this is the best lip plumper and gloss we’ve ever used

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2. Bargain Buy: Nivea Lip Balm

£2.50 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: No bells. No whistles. Nivea’s Lip Balm is an old favourite. It’s super cheap, works like a dream – gliding on smoothly without any stickiness or heaviness – and leaves your lips feeling soft.

In comparison with the likes of EOS and The Body Shop, Nivea lip balm comes in a relatively small range of scents, but we love the original. It smells fresh and gentle and we carry it everywhere with us, for on-the-go hydration.

Plus, at this price, you can afford to buy a couple for the car, your bag, and your coat pocket! The moisture-locking ingredients include shea butter and organic jojoba oil.

FURTHER READING:

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3. Luxury Buy: Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir

£28 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: Technically a lip oil, but one that comes with all the benefits of a balm is Charlotte’s Magic Lip Oil Crystal Elixir. It pairs hyaluronic acid with organic Aloe Vera, rich in Vitamins A and C as well as antioxidants and enzymes. These combine to soothe and condition the skin, while also reducing the appearance of fine lines. Plus, a blend of five oils makes this the best lip balm for cracked lips.

We tend to stick to our EOS lip balm during the day, because it’s far more affordable, and reserve this lip oil as a mask at night. To replenish and soften our lips as we sleep, leaving us waking up with a revitalised pout. This is also a good emergency lip oil for when we’ve been on a long walk and need instant hydration.

It’s not cheap, far from it. And the tube is quite small but a little goes a long way and the benefits go some way towards justifying this high price.

FURTHER READING: Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow: How to choose a Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette and which is best for your eye colour and budget?

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4. Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Origin Tinted Lip Balm

£5.99 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: Many of the brands in our best lip balm UK list offer tinted versions. They’re a cross between a lipstick and a lip balm, and they add a touch of colour without the drying effect caused by some cosmetics. However, the reason we’ve singled out Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm is that it comes in a range of shades with something to suit almost every skin tone.

It’s also made from natural, responsibly sourced ingredients and feel incredible. Burt’s Bees claims its tinted lip balm adds eight hours of moisture and while we can’t specifically vouch for such a precise number, we definitely don’t need to top up this balm in the same way we have with others and, over time, our lips naturally improved in texture and feel.

This is thanks to a selection of botanical waxes including beeswax, coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable oil, shea butter, jasmine flower wax (which smells great!), lanolin and rosemary leaf extract among many more.

FURTHER READING: Best tinted moisturiser: Brighten your skin with our fave creams from NARS, NYX, Tropic and more

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5. EOS Lip Balm

From £7 | BUY NOW

EOS lip balm best for chapped lipsEOS

Why we love it: An absolute lip balm OG, EOS has set the standard for lip balms for more than a decade. The name stands for Evolution of Smooth and that’s exactly how these easy-to-apply balms leave your lips feeling – smooth and hydrated. You can buy them in stick or ball form.

We personally love the balls because they’re easier to roll on without needing the precision of the stick. They also feel nicer. Each EOS lip balm contains sustainably-sourced ingredients that have been dermatologically proved to seal in moisture. And they come in a huge variety of amazing flavours and scents.

You can buy them in a couple of places in the UK but Amazon has the best selection we’ve found. EOS is a US brand so there is a wider selection on its official website, but it’s not possible to have these shipped to the UK yet.

FURTHER READING: Wild natural deodorant review: Can this vegan, aluminium-free natural deodorant really keep us fresh all day long?

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6. The Body Shop Lip Juicers

£7 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: The name of these The Body Shop lip balms is a little misleading. They’re not glossy, shiny or “juicy”, but they do hydrate the lips and come in a range of mouthwatering, smoothie or juice-inspired scents. This includes:

    • Coconut, passionfruit and carrot
    • Acai, blueberry and Dragon fruit
    • Kiwi, kale and watermelon (our favourite!)
    • Raspberry, beetroot and ginger
    • Strawberry, pomegranate and aloe

Each one is 100% vegan and uses Community Fair Trade shea butter, marula oil, and organic olive oil.

If you’d rather pay a little less or don’t like the sound of any of the flavour combinations, The Body Shop also sells Lip Balms and Lip Butters in various fruity and nutty flavours from as little as £2.50.

FURTHER READING: Vegan beauty products: The best affordable vegan makeup and skincare brands in the UK

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7. Florence by Mills Oh Whale! Lip Balm

£12 | BUY NOW 

Why we love it: Technically this entry in our best lip balm UK list doesn’t offer a huge amount more in terms of hydration than any of the others in this list. It performs fantastically and leaves your lips feeling soft, but it is on the pricey side, relatively speaking. However, it has the cute factor and we’d pay for that alone! Inside the base of the lip balm is a tiny whale-shaped twist up.

We’re huge fans of how the balm is semi-clear and the fact the argan and avocado oils nourish the lips without feeling sticky. Shea butter then helps lock these oils, and their moisture, in place. It’s mid-range in terms of price but who can resist that whale!

Alternatively, florence by mills sells two lip oils – the Glow Yeah Lip Oil, and Glow Yeah Tinted Lip Oil. Both use African mango butter and paracress flower, for hydration, and the pop of colour in the tinted version adjusts to your skin’s pH-level. This means you’ll get the perfect tint, and pout, every time. Both cost slightly more than the lip balm, at £14.

FURTHER READING: Best lip gloss: Our favourite lip glosses from Fenty, NYX, Glossier and more

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8. Dr Lipp Original Nipple Balm

£12 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: Yes, it’s called Original Nipple Balm but this is actually a product that is perfect for your lips. It’s a hypoallergenic, healing and nourishing balm originally created as a nipple balm for breastfeeding women but, because it’s so effective at soothing dry and sensitive skin, it was quickly adopted as a lip balm.

Made from 100% ultra-pure medical grade Lanolin, and harvested during the summer from natural Sheep’s wool, the Original Nipple Balm for Lips is cleansed of impurities and is approved by Ecocert France. This makes it tasteless, odourless and fragrance-free.

What’s more, in trials it’s been proven to help reduce skin roughness by 40% in one hour and it accelerates the repair of the skin’s natural barrier functions.

Given the fact it’s suitable for cracked lips, and nipples, you can also use this balm all over your body and hair – on dry cuticles, dry skin patches, burns and abrasions, split ends, eczema, as nappy cream and more.

Makeup artists have been known to use it to prime eyelids and skin, add a dewy finish to cheekbones, and neatening eyebrows. It’s a truly multi-purpose product!

FURTHER READING: mamabella’s miracles: Save time and money with these multi-purpose makeup, skincare and hair products

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9. Fruu Fruitilicious Lip Balm

£3 | BUY NOW

Why we love it: If you’re not yet aware of Fruu, it’s a UK-based cosmetics company that specialises in products made from natural, organic, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients. All the elements we look for in our favourite brands!

In fact, most of the ingredients are produced as a by-product of processed fruit waste, which generates extra revenue for small fruit farmers. Plus, each one is 100% biodegradable.

Within its Fruitilicious Lip Balm range are 10 different flavours ranging from lime to mango (our favourite), coconut, cherry, avocado, coconut, pineapple, pomegranate, lemon and strawberry.

Each one creates a matte look, despite their smooth and buttery consistencies, and their moisturising and protective properties come from mango butter, coconut oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E.

FURTHER READING: Vegan vs cruelty-free: What’s the difference?

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Best lip balm: TikTok videos

Below we’ve embedded our most recent TikTok review videos of popular lip balms. We’ve only just started the reviews so there aren’t may to include yet but we’ll add to these as the list grows.

We’ve also started ranking them on our Skincare Group Test spreadsheet if you’re interested to see how they’re stacking up so far.

Glossier Lip Balm Dotcom

@victoria_woolly_web Soooo many of you have asked me to test lip balms and I’ve been going back and forth about how to do it. Given that lip balms are for locking moisture in rather than hydrating, per se, and they create a barrier that would probably interfere with the little tester I’ve decided to do it this way: Measure the hydration Apply the lip balm Wait an hour to give the lip balm time to work Test how well hydrated my lips are at the end. I tried them all after five minutes and the readings were all over the place so I don’t think the original test format is going to work, hence this approach. Like with my other tests, it’s very far from perfect and the reader doesn’t have a setting for lips (it does have face, hand and eye) so take it with a pinch of salt please. Just a bit of fun #Mamabella #lipbalms #Bestlipbalm #Softlips #glossier #glossierlipbalm #lipbalmdotcom ♬ Lift You Up – LF System


Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment

@victoria_woolly_web The Rhode lip balm didn’t just lock in the hydration, it increased the hydration of my lips by 4.6% – this is lower than the Glossier Lipbalm Dotcom, almost half the hydration rise in fact. However, I prefer how this Rhode Peptide Lip Treatment feels on the lips, and it has the added benefit of peptides to improve the skin on your lips over time. It’s early days but I have started ranking the best lip balms on my Skincare Group Test spreadsheet. I also explain a bit about the methodology and potential pitfalls below so please read Methodology Given that lip balms are for locking moisture in rather than hydrating, per se, and they create a barrier that would probably interfere with the little tester I’ve decided to do it this way: Measure the hydration Apply the lip balm Wait an hour to give the lip balm time to work Test how well hydrated my lips are at the end. I tried them all after five minutes and the readings were all over the place so I don’t think the original test format is going to work, hence this approach. Like with my other tests, it’s very far from perfect and the reader doesn’t have a setting for lips (it does have face, hand and eye) so take it with a pinch of salt please. Just a bit of fun #Mamabella #lipbalms #Bestlipbalm #Softlips #rhodelipbalm #rhodepeptideliptreatment #rhodeliptreatment ♬ These Words – Badger & Natasha Bedingfield


What is lip balm?

Lip balm is the catch-all term used for moisturising ingredients applied to the lips. It can also be known as lip salve or lip butter and at their most basic, they lock in lip moisture and stop water from evaporating away. In short, in the same way the best moisturisers create a protective barrier on your face, lip balms do the same for your lips.

Some lip balms use petroleum as the key moisturising ingredients, others use shea butter or lanolin. Lanolin lipids (oils) are considered by dermatologists and scientists to be one of the safest ways to care for your skin.

There are lip balm brands that also include ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, the miracle ingredient that can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water. When hyaluronic acid is used in lip balms, it’s typically used to plump up lips rather than to act as the main moisturising ingredient.

In fact, if a lip balm only contains hyaluronic acid and doesn’t have a waxy or oily moisturising ingredient alongside it, it could actually make chapped lips worse. This is because hyaluronic acid is what’s known as a humectant (as is glycerin.)  These ingredients soak up moisture but need a barrier (like that created by the waxy ingredients) to stop this moisture evaporating. So bear that in mind.


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