Got Sensitive Lips? Here, A Derm Explains What To Look For In A No-Risk Lip Balm

Elite Daily/Amazon

Our lips are a sensitive and special area of our bodies, explains board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tatyana Nektalova to Elite Daily. "They look different than the rest of your skin — that’s because they are. Lips have no oil glands. Their skin is very thin. Together, these factors, make them naturally prone to dryness," she elaborates. So it makes sense that you may need to be more careful with the types of products you put on your lips. For example, when shopping for the best lip balms for sensitive lips, Dr. Nektalova suggests steering clear of products that contain fragrances and lots of other, unnecessary additives ("the shorter the ingredient list, the better," she says). And though any concerns about your lip balm being "addictive" are unfounded, you should avoid potentially irritating ingredients like phenol and menthol, too.

Along with using gentle lip balms, "simple things such as drinking water throughout the day, and avoiding lip licking can help them stay hydrated," says Dr. Nektalova. And if you're going to be outdoors, the Mayo Clinic recommends putting sunscreen on your lips to protect them from sun damage.

Below are five nourishing lip balms for sensitive lips, all of which are fragrance-free, gentle, and, best of all, available for less than $15 on Amazon.

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Expert's Pick

Vaseline Lip Therapy is one of Dr. Nektalova's favorite products for people with sensitive lips. Housed in a cute and compact tin, this classic ointment instantly soothes chapped, irritated lips and keeps them feeling soft for hours.

The Expert's Pick For Best Lip Balm With SPF

"Vanicream Lip Protectant SPF 30, which is free of many irritating ingredients, is a great option for people with sensitive skin," says Dr. Nektalova. It contains a broad-spectrum SPF of 30 to keep lips protected from the sun throughout the day, and the formula is water-resistant for up to 80 minutes (which is really unusual in a lip product that contains sunscreen). It has a short list of ingredients that doesn't contain common irritants such as dyes, fragrance, and flavorings, and the angled tip makes for easy, on-the-go application as well.

The Best Lip Balm For Very Sensitive Skin & Eczema

TrueLipids Lip Balm boasts the Seal Of Approval from the National Eczema Association and was created by a dermatologist, so you know it's one of the most trustworthy options for sensitive skin out there. It's hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and free of 88 of the most common allergens that tend to provoke reactions in people with sensitive skin. The ceramides in the formula will help keep the skin on your lips moisturized, strong, and protected from harsh elements.

The Best Lightweight Lip Balm

This French pharmacy staple is also a popular choice among Amazon shoppers, who love its gentle, comforting, fragrance-free formula. It's a lightweight stick, so it's a great choice for people who prefer barely-there balms over rich ointments that tend to leave behind a glossy shine.

The Best Tinted Lip Balm

This little tube of Chapstick provides plenty of moisture and a subtle wash of color, thanks to its tinted formula. Rich in nourishing oils (like rosehip and jojoba), it's sold in seven pretty colors, from wine red to coral pink. One Amazon reviewer wrote, "I have very sensitive lips and I’ve had several brands cause bad allergic reactions but I’ve been using this brand for a month now and so far so good!"


Dr. Tatyana Nektalova, a board-certified dermatologist practicing at Spring Street Dermatology.