Are Pricey Lip Balms Really Worth It? We Asked the Experts
Like bobby pins and hair ties, lip balm often gets lost in the abyss of puffy coat pockets or in the many crevices of our handbags. Its ability to just disappear before we hit the bottom of its stick dispenser or miniature pot might make it hard for someone to imagine dropping nearly a Benjamin on one. While lip balms can cost as low as $2, the price can also skyrocket to around $100.
There is a reason for the disparity. According to cosmetic chemist Ginger King, you can have peace of mind knowing that the pricing is impacted heavily by the ingredients in the balm. "Because balms are free of water, the value of the product is already much higher than your skin care," she said, adding that its small size is likely the reason consumers don't feel its value.
As for the ingredients, read the back of the label to decipher if it's truly worth the cost. "A basic lip balm is made from cannula wax, and that's dirt cheap," King said. She explains that though you need wax to seal in moisture, "you really need a combination of that, moisturizing oils [and/or] ceramides to make lips feel moisturized."
Dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., likes balms that mix in jojoba and sunflower oils "that are naturally compatible with existing oils in the skin, [making them] absorb really well for true moisturizing," as well as hydrating lanolin and coconut oil. The addition of said ingredients — along with sunscreen and lip plumping components — can cause a jump in price, but make it more efficacious depending on what you're looking for.
So keep tabs on your lip balm, as it can actually be a worthwhile investment. Shop our favorites, ahead.
Beauty by POPSUGAR Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm
The award for "most comfortable formula" goes to Beauty by POPSUGAR Be Sweet Tinted Lip Balm ($20), which our editors are prone to stashing whenever they're in need of on-the-go tszujing.
Laneige Glowy Lip Balm in Berry
Cue the nostalgia. From the outside, the Laneige Glowy Lip Balm in Berry ($15) looks like it's straight from the early 2000s, with a tube that's reminiscent of the iconic Juicy Tube by Lance. On the inside you'll find a nonsticky formula that instantly softens and soothes chapped lips.