The Best Chapstick Alternatives
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With a product as ubiquitous as Chapstick, you probably haven’t taken the time to consider the formula. And while there’s nothing wrong with Chapstick at all, several of Chapstick’s most popular lip balms contain potentially irritating ingredients like menthol and camphor, which pose the risk of provoking irritation in those with sensitive skin. That’s where the best Chapstick alternatives come in: These equally budget-friendly lip balms are free of menthol, camphor, and phenol, and are instead rich in soothing and moisturizing ingredients that will leave your lips feeling plush and soft.

When shopping for an alternative to Chapstick, there are a few other things to keep in mind. Some people may want a petrolatum-free lip balm (although experts say it’s completely safe to use), while those with extremely sensitive skin may be after a formula that’s fragrance-free and dye-free. Additionally, if you spend a lot of time outside, consider opting for a lip balm with SPF.

Key Ingredients To Look For In A Lip Balm

It’s important to make sure that whichever Chapstick alternative you choose is full of nourishing ingredients that will help draw moisture to your lips and create a protective barrier to keep it there. Below are some of the most popular lip balm ingredients, most of which you’ll find in the products listed ahead:

  • Petrolatum
  • Beeswax
  • Shea Butter
  • Coconut Oil
  • Jojoba Seed Oil
  • Squalane
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Glycerin
  • Vitamin E

Shop The Best Chapstick Alternatives

In a hurry? Here are the best Chapstick alternatives:

  1. The Overall Best Chapstick Alternative: Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick
  2. Best For Extremely Dry Lips: O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair
  3. Best French Chapstick Alternative: Avène Eau Thermale Cold Cream Nutrition Nourishing Lip Balm
  4. Best Organic Chapstick Alternative: CocoMe Lip Balm
  5. Best Scented Chapstick Alternative: Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear Lip Balm
  6. Best Tinted Chapstick Alternative: CoverGirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm
  7. Best Chapstick Alternative With SPF: Sun Bum Mineral SPF 30 Lip Balm
The Overall Best Chapstick Alternative

Aquaphor may be known best for its multi-purpose Healing Ointment, but the brand has also developed a petrolatum-free lip balm specifically for dry and sensitive lips. The Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick blends ingredients like castor seed oil, shea butter, and panthenol into a fragrance-free and preservative-free formula that’s made without common irritants and ingredients that can secretly be making dry lips worse. Plus, this smooth balm is a less sticky alternative to the brand’s original Healing Ointment.

Key Ingredients: Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Beeswax, Panthenol, Vitamin E Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: “Keeps my lips protected longer than any other lip product I’ve used in the last 50+ years. Trust me, if you just want your lips protected and kept moist from all the elements, give Aquaphor Lip Repair a try. You’ll totally switch from Chapstick!”

Best Chapstick Alternative For Extremely Dry Lips

If you have seriously dry lips (you know, the kind that are cracked and peeling), you need a heavy-duty lip balm like O’Keeffe’s Lip Repair. Petrolatum is the hero ingredient in here, which seals in moisturizers like sweet almond oil and glycerin, while serving as a protective barrier that prevents external irritants and environmental factors from further aggravating dried-out lips. This is also a solid choice for anyone with sensitive skin, as the balm is free from fragrance, dyes, drying alcohols, and those cooling ingredients mentioned earlier (menthol, camphor, and phenol).

Key Ingredients: Beeswax, Petrolatum, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Glycerin Petrolatum-Free: No Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “If you’ve not tried this brand, it’s worth it! I have chronically severely cracked lips that peel and sometimes bleed. I’ve tried every [Chapstick] on the market. This is the best! Makes a difference, and really works!”

Best Chapstick Alternative From A French Pharmacy

This Chapstick alternative is the biggest splurge on this list, but it has an incredibly rich texture thanks to its cold cream-infused formula that serves to soothe dry lips. To hydrate and prevent moisture loss, Avène’s Cold Cream Nutrition Nourishing Lip Balm also uses jojoba oil, shea butter, and beeswax. A French pharmacy staple, the lip balm even contains thermal spring water from France, an ingredient that has been used by the brand to soothe sensitive skin since 1743.

Key Ingredients: Cold Cream, Castor Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Bisabolol, Avène Thermal Spring Water Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: No Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: “Creamy moisture for lips with a light fragrance; no flavor or sting. You’ll never use [Chapstick] again. One stick lasts a long time.”

Best Organic Chapstick Alternative

If you’re looking for an organic option that doesn’t come with a long ingredients list to comb through, this CocoMe Lip Balm uses just two ingredients: Organic virgin coconut oil and organic beeswax. The coconut oil naturally gives this balm a tropical scent, while both ingredients work together to leave lips feeling immediately smoother and protected against moisture loss. It is important to note that because of the coconut oil and beeswax-only combo, this balm can become really soft when the weather gets warmer, so you may need to pop it into your refrigerator from time to time.

Key Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Beeswax Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “Leaves your lips silky smooth without the typical waxy/coated feeling I notice with a lot of lip balms. Definitely worth the price IMO.”

Best Scented Chapstick Alternative

While synthetic fragrances and essential oils can be irritating to some, others prefer a fragranced option like the Burt’s Bees Coconut & Pear Lip Balm. This particular scent contains coconut oil and pear fruit extract, as well as a mix of moisturizing ingredients like beeswax, sunflower seed oil, castor seed oil, and shea butter. And if the coconut and pear combo isn’t your thing, the cult-favorite formula comes in several other scented options, including watermelon, strawberry, and multi-packs that let you try out four different scents.

Available Scents: 7 Key Ingredients: Sunflower Seed Oil, Coconut Oil, Castor Seed Oil, Beeswax, Shea Butter, Lanolin, Vitamin E Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: No Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “This product is amazing. My first time using Burt's Bee's, and I'm impressed. It leaves my lips feeling so smooth the next morning when I put it on the night before. The scents are so nice and not overpowering like others. The best part is that unlike other [Chapsticks] I've used, it doesn't make your lips feel greasy afterwords. I will be sticking with Burt's Bee's from now on.”

Best Tinted Chapstick Alternative

For days when you want to add a pop of color to your lips without the commitment or drying effects of a lipstick, try this CoverGirl Clean Fresh Tinted Lip Balm. You can choose from super-sheer peach and pink colors and bolder shades of red and berry, but all of the tinted balms include a hit of moisture from ingredients like hyaluronic acid, castor seed oil, and pomegranate extract.

Available Shades: 6 Key Ingredients: Pomegranate Extract, Castor Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “Feels comfortable on the lips. Perfect color. Not sticky. No weird smells. I am picky when it comes to lip products. This is better than a lot of high-end products.”

Best Chapstick Alternative With SPF

If you’re not already applying sunscreen to your lips every day, you really should be — especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors. And an SPF-infused lip balm like this one from Sun Bum makes applying (and reapplying) your sunscreen a whole lot easier. In this formula, mineral sunscreen in the form of zinc oxide shields your lips from damaging UV rays without the risk of irritation that chemical sunscreens pose. Using gentle moisturizers like sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, and beeswax, the balm is an all-around sensitive skin-friendly choice that’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, too.

Key Ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Argan Oil, Beeswax, Vitamin E, Bisabolol Petrolatum-Free: Yes Fragrance-Free: Yes Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: “Nice light smell. Helps chapped lips by keeping them moisturized, and I have no reactions to it like I do with other [Chapstick] brands. I have dry, sensitive lips, and this one is a winner.”

About The Author

Marissa DeSantis has worked as a beauty writer and editor for nearly 10 years. Her pieces can be found across print and digital publications like Bustle, Evening Standard, Teen Vogue, and InStyle.