Have you ever wondered what the difference is between lip balm vs ChapStick?
Both lip balm and ChapStick are designed to moisturize, soften, and protect the lips. So are they the same? Lip balms come in many different brands and formulas. If you take nothing else from this post, just know that ChapStick is simply a brand-name lip balm formula.
Lip balm and ChapStick are both great products for keeping your lips moisturized, so let’s take a closer look at the benefits of lip balm and ChapStick!
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What is Lip Balm?
Lip balm is a moisturizing treatment that is applied to your lips to soothe them and keep them from becoming dry, chapped, cracked, or irritated. So essentially, lip balm is a lip protectant.
Lip balm can be manufactured from various ingredients, including coconut oil, beeswax, and cocoa butter. Lip balms typically contain wax to provide structure to the balm and help the balm stick to your lips.
Lip balms may also contain oils to moisturize, SPF sunscreen to protect your delicate lips from sun damage, and possibly a type of flavoring or coloring.
FUN FACT: The brand eos created the first wax-free lip balm in 2017. To read more about the formula, check out this press release.
Some common ingredients in lip balms include :
- Beeswax: Beeswax is an emollient produced by honey bees to build honeycomb cells. Beeswax helps thicken a lip balm, and it creates a barrier on your skin to lock in moisture. Beeswax also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Cocoa Butter: Excellent for dry skin, cocoa butter comes from cocoa beans and has a distinct chocolaty aroma. It gives lip balms its sweet, chocolate scent while also moisturizing the lips with fatty acids, Vitamin E, and antioxidants.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is a thick vegetable oil that contains ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid that gives it its glossy texture and occlusive properties that prevent moisture loss.
- Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is a hard vegetable wax and is often used in lip balms to help keep them solid and help the balms adhere to your lips.
- Petrolatum: Also known as Vaseline or petroleum jelly, petrolatum is a mixture of hydrocarbons obtained from petroleum. It’s one of the most occlusive ingredients as it forms a protective layer on the skin and is often used in lip balms to prevent transepidermal water loss.
- Honey: Honey is composed mainly of sugar and also antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that help soothe chapped lips. It’s also antibacterial and antifungal.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a vegetable oil derived from coconuts and is a natural emollient and rich in saturated fatty acids like lauric acid. Ideal for dry skin and skin issues like eczema, coconut oil is hard at room temperature and melts at 76°F.
- Shea Butter: Shea butter is a moisturizing and emollient butter derived from the seeds of the karite tree. It’s often used in lip balms to provide hydration and soothe dry lips. Shea butter is a dermatologist-recommended ingredient for lip balm formulas.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps keep your lips soft and hydrated and protects them from environmental damage.
- Lanolin: Lanolin is the waxy compound that comes from sheep’s oil glands. It undergoes a purification process prior to use in cosmetics. It penetrates the skin’s moisture barrier to soothe your lips. Lanolin also helps reduce transepidermal water loss.
What is ChapStick?
ChapStick is a brand of lip balm that was created way back in the 1890s. (No wonder it’s a household name – it’s well over 100 years old!). ChapStick softens, soothes, prevents, and heals dry, chapped lips (hence the name).
It is intended to protect your lips from chaffing, wind, and cold weather, while gliding on easily and without feeling waxy, sticky, or greasy.
ChapStick is a patented formula containing a special blend of ingredients that revolve around the wax and oil formula. As you can see from the list below, many of the key ingredients in ChapStick are found in the common lip balm ingredient list above.
Key Ingredients (Classic Original)
- White Petrolatum: Also known as petroleum jelly, petrolatum is an occlusive that helps promote hydration by slowing the rate of water loss. It is the primary ingredient in ChapStick. It forms a protective barrier between your lips and all sorts of irritants in the environment, like wind, chill, sun, etc.
- Camphor: Camphor is a fragrant, oily ingredient that is an effective anti-inflammatory. It’s often used as a topical pain reliever on the skin and can help promote blood flow to injured areas.
- Carnauba Wax: Carnauba wax is an emollient vegetable wax that is obtained from the leaves of the carnauba palm. It is used in ChapStick to help provide structure and keep it solid.
- Lanolin: Lanolin is a wax-like compound that comes from sheep’s oil glands (that condition their wool). It is often used as an emollient in lip balms to moisturize the lips and provide long-lasting protection against damage from moisture loss.
- Light Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is an occlusive that works by preventing water loss. It’s non-irritating and generally works well for sensitive skin. It also supports a healthy skin barrier function.
Lip Balm vs ChapStick: What’s the Difference?
The main difference between ChapStick and lip balm is that lip balm is a general term used to describe all types of ointments, salves, or sticks that can be applied to the lips. Whereas, ChapStick is a brand name for a very popular lip balm product.
While there are many kinds of lip balms on the market, there is only one ChapStick brand. Since ChapStick is one of the most popular lip balms in the world, the name ChapStick and lip balm are interchangeable and synonyms for some people. Because it is so well-known, some people call their lip balm ChapStick, even if it’s not made by ChapStick.
What Are ChapStick’s Best Sellers?
ChapStick’s best-sellers are Moisturizer Original, Classic Cherry, and Classic Original.
ChapsStick Classic Original Lip Balm
ChapsStick Classic Original Lip Balm is the original lip protectant that started it all. The patented formula moisturizes and softens your lips. Whether trying to heal chapped lips or prevent them, this is an easy choice for year-round lip protection.
It has a light camphor flavor and provides long-lasting relief for dry, chapped lips. This is the classic version that you’ll find most people using as their go-to ChapStick.
ChapsStick Moisturizer Original with SPF 15
ChapsStick Moisturizer Original contains extra moisturizing ingredients with the classic ChapStick flavor and SPF 15 sunscreen protection (Avobenzone 3% and Octinoxate 7.5%).
The supercharged formula also contains Aloe barbadensis leaf extract from the aloe vera plant, which has soothing and anti-inflammatory benefits. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the lips.
This lip balm goes on clear and has a moisture-rich formula that provides 8 hours of lip protection and contains SPF 15 to protect your lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
ChapsStick Classic Cherry
ChapsStick Classic Cherry softens lips and protects them from getting chapped with a cherry flavor and a pale blush tint. This lip balm would be ideal for under lipstick or lip gloss or for a natural flush when worn alone.
Like other ChapStick products, it applies smoothly and never leaves a waxy, greasy, or sticky finish on your lips.
Which Is Better: ChapStick or Lip Balm?
ChapStick is a type of lip balm. ChapStick or a different brand of lip balm could be better, depending on your needs. What other brand of lip balm are you comparing to ChapStick? Do you want a lip balm with SPF? Do you want a tinted lip balm? How about a flavored lip balm?
Keep these preferences in mind when shopping for ChapStick or a different brand of lip balm so that you can find the best lip product for you.
Invented by pharmacist Dr. Charles Browne Fleet, in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the 1890s, ChapStick originally took the shape of a candle without a wick.
Dr. Fleet sold the formula to a friend, John Morgan, in 1912 for just $5! John Morgan’s wife suggested the change in packaging to a smaller stick that you could push up as you use the product up. The rest is history.
ChapStick grew exponentially and eventually expanded worldwide. The business has been bought and sold over the years, and its most recent owner, GlaxoSmithKline, purchased the brand in 2019.
The ChapStick brand even offers lip butter, lip scrubs, and lip oils and sells customized ChapStick in bulk (24 tubes) where you can write your own words on the labels for a personalized gift or keepsake for yourself.
Today, ChapStick is produced in a variety of forms, tints, and flavors. A large blender mixes the heated ingredients. Then the flavor and color are added, and the warm mixture is poured into containers.
Is ChapStick Cruelty-Free?
Chapstick is not cruelty-free. Although Chapstick states that animals are not used to test ChapStick in the US, certain countries outside of the US where ChapStick is sold may mandate animal testing for cosmetics.
Is ChapStick Vegan?
Chapstick is not vegan because it contains animal-derived ingredients such as lanolin. Lanolin is a fat that is naturally excreted from the oil glands of sheep, and it’s often used in commercial lip balms.
What is the shelf-life (expiration date) of ChapStick?
ChapStick does not have an expiration date and does not expire, but for freshness, you should use it within a year after opening. You should store chapStick at room temperature: 68°F to 77°F.
Effective Lip Balms to Try
If you’ve tried ChapStick and it’s not for you, or if you simply want to try a new brand, consider these best-selling lip balms that are affordable and available at drugstore prices:
Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm
Created in 1991, Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm is a cult-favorite lip balm formulated to soften dry lips with responsibly sourced beeswax, a natural skin conditioner. It also contains coconut oil, a hard oil at room temperature that soothes dry skin, and sunflower oil, a moisturizing plant oil that protects the skin barrier.
The original Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm contains peppermint oil for a minty cooling sensation, as well as soybean oil and canola oil. Lanolin is an emollient that softens and protects dry skin. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant and helps repair damaged skin.
This beeswax lip balm soothes dry lips without leaving a waxy residue, which is a common complaint about other brands of lip balms that contain beeswax. This Burt’s Bees product has been one of the best-selling lip balms for over two decades.
This 4 pack of Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balms is a great way to try a few different flavors of Burt’s Bees lip balm. It contains the original Peppermint flavor, Strawberry Coconut & Pear (my favorite), and Vanilla Bean.
eos 100% Natural Organic Lip Balm
Eos 100% Natural Organic Lip Balm is an organic lip balm made with plant-based ingredients, certified USDA organic oils and extracts, and skin-nourishing shea butter. Shea butter is a moisturizing vegetable butter rich in antioxidants and vitamins that help heal dry skin.
This eos (which stands for “evolution of smooth”) lip balm also contains soothing sunflower oil, beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, carnauba wax, and olive fruit oil for long-lasting hydration. The Vanilla Bean flavor is sweet, and the lip balm leaves your lips hydrated and smooth.
Blistex Medicated Lip Balm with SPF 15
Blistex Medicated Lip Balm with SPF 15 has been a best-seller for many decades. Blistex lip balm contains beeswax, an emollient that thickens the formula, and camphor which soothes the skin on irritated lips, reducing inflammation due to dryness or exposure to harsh conditions.
This Blistex lip balm also contains menthol for that minty cooling sensation. Lanolin moisturizes and softens dry, rough lips. Cocoa butter nourishes the skin, while fatty acids help to lock in moisture. Mineral oil is a non-irritating moisturizer.
The lip balm also contains SPF 15 (Octinoxate (6.6 %) and Octisalate (4.4 %)) to protect your lips from the sun’s harmful rays. Blistex is a great product to keep on hand if you spend time outside in cold weather or live in harsh, dry climates.
Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Lip Treatment
Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Lip Treatment is filled with nourishing ingredients, including coconut oil (81% organic), jojoba seed oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and vitamin E. It also contains beeswax and carnauba wax to condition the lips and to create a solid texture.
Physician’s Formula Lip Treatment is a luxe lip balm that feels more expensive than it is. This lip balm is an excellent lip conditioner, making it a perfect choice for people who want to keep their lips hydrated and protected.
Mario Badescu Rose Lip Balm
Mario Badescu Rose Lip Balm is a rich rose-scented lip balm made with avocado oil, cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and sweet almond oil for optimal hydration and moisture.
Omega fatty acids like linoleic acid and linolenic acid are moisturizing and support a healthy skin barrier. The formula also contains aloe leaf extract and German chamomile flower extract to calm and soothe dry, chapped lips.
This lip balm feels luxurious and leaves your lips feeling silky smooth. This lip balm is extra rich and creamy, but it doesn’t feel heavy on your lips. It comes in an easy-to-use squeeze tube.
If you love the delicate scent of rose, this is the lip balm for you. It’s a fantastic lip treatment for the evening when used as a lip mask overnight. Say goodbye to dry, flaky lips!
Lip Balm vs Lip Ointment
The difference between lip balm and lip ointment is that lip balms usually contain a higher percentage of waxes, whereas lip ointments contain more oils and tend to be stickier and greasier than lip balms.
Lip balms are usually in stick form, and lip ointments come in tubes or pots since ointments may have a harder time holding their shape at room temperature.
Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment is formulated to relieve dryness and cracked, chapped lips. It contains castor oil, a thick and occlusive moisturizer, moisturizing glycerin, shea butter, and soothing panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) and bisabolol. Vitamin E is a protective antioxidant. Beeswax thickens the formula and softens your lips. This rich ointment comes in a squeeze tube.
This lip treatment is formulated to be a protective and repairing salve that provides lasting hydration and moisture to your lips. It also helps restore your lips’ natural protective layer and heal any existing damage due to dryness or over-exfoliation.
Related Post: Aquaphor vs Eucerin: Which is Better?
Lip Balm vs Lip Salve
Lip salves are similar to lip balms but tend to be softer and more oily. Like lip balms, lip salves contain ingredients to soothe and heal the skin on your lips. Lip salves are often packaged in a pot and applied with your fingers and can be worn both underneath and over lip products. Lip salves are great to use before bed because they lock in moisture while you sleep to heal chapped lips overnight.
Smith’s Rosebud Salve is a best-selling lip salve that contains petrolatum, cottonseed oil, a trade secret essential oil blend. Rosebud Salve is a cult-favorite lip salve and a multi-tasker that can not only be used on chapped lips but also on dry elbows or knees, for minor burns, for hair flyaways, and can even be used to treat diaper rash.
The classic lip salve has a pleasant light flavor and is packaged in a metal tin with a screw-top lid for easy application. It also comes in a squeeze tube which is less messy and easier to use.
Chapstick vs Vaseline
Vaseline is 100% white petrolatum, also known as petroleum jelly, which acts as a barrier to seal in moisture and protect your lips from further damage.
ChapStick contains petroleum jelly (petrolatum) as one of its ingredients, which serves as a moisturizer to soothe dry lips. ChapStick also contains waxes and oils that help keep your lips hydrated and protected from dryness. ChapStick may also have added ingredients, SPF, a tint, or flavor, depending on the variety.
While ChapStick is formulated for the lips, Vaseline can be used as a spot treatment on your lips, face, and body. Vaseline Lip Therapy is designed specifically for the lips with 100% white petrolatum (and flavor) and comes in an easy-to-use squeeze tube.
Related Post: Aquaphor vs Vaseline: Which is Better?
Final Thoughts on Lip Balm vs ChapStick
ChapStick lip balm may be one of the most well-known lip balms on the planet, but as you can see from the options above, there are many different kinds of lip balms and lip treatments for different needs.
If you have extremely chapped lips, consider using a rich lip ointment or lip salve to give your lips the most intense treatment each night. Otherwise, ChapStick is a perfect choice for a daily lip treatment.
Now you know that ChapStick is just a type of lip balm, you can explore the best kind of lip treatment based on your needs and preferences.
Thanks for reading, and until next time, here’s to your good skin health!