The 8 Best Clean Lip Balms

Written by: Jean Godfrey-June


Updated: January 3, 2023

We’re slowly emerging from our winter cocoon—trying a fresh color here, and a lighter moisturizer there—and dipping our toes cautiously into spring. Because our lips don’t have oil glands and because the lip area has some of the thinnest skin on the entire body, a super nourishing lip balm is essential year-round. And because you ingest some portion of any lip product, a clean-as-can-be formula is especially important. (Conventional lip balms often contain ingredients like parabens and petroleum that we don’t want anywhere near us, let alone on our mouths.) Packed with nourishing, clean ingredients (no greenwashing here), a single swipe of any of these balms leaves lips supple, plumped, and supremely hydrated. Plus, each and every one feels incredible going on and works wonders on chapped and even cracked lips. Pick your favorite (or favorites) and stash everywhere—in your handbag, jacket pockets, night table, office desk, and bathroom cabinet.

The Bombest Balms

  1. goop Beauty GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm
    goop Beauty GOOPGENES Clean Nourishing Lip Balm goop, $20

    This ultramoisturizing clean lip balm has the creamiest smooth-gliding texture that’s pure luxury for lips. Cushy, nourishing, high-performance, and subtly scented, it took three whole years to make: “Worth it!” says GP. “My lips get really dry in the winter especially, and this balm soothes and moisturizes like nothing else.” Consumer-tested and dermatologist-approved, it’s made with rich, highest-quality botanical oils—coconut, argan, castor seed, jojoba, and sunflower—plus pomegranate extract and shea butter. It’s as incredible for chapped, cracked, or dry lips as it is for every day (and it comes in the most adorable package).

  2. Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm V2
    Henné Organics Luxury Lip Balm V2 goop, $19

    An ultramoisturizing combination of coconut oil, beeswax, avocado oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and vitamin E, this beautifully hydrating lip balm is unscented and free of essential oils, so it’s great for sensitive lips.

  3. L:A Bruket No. 017 Lip Balm Almond/Coconut
    L:A Bruket No. 017 Lip Balm Almond/Coconut goop, $15

    Smooth on this super nourishing balm for incredibly soft and supple lips. The skin-coddling formula of beeswax, almond oil, jojoba, and coconut oil gives lips a surge of moisture and smells subtly of almond and coconut.

  4. Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm
    Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm goop, $55

    Take this brilliant balm wherever you go—it’s a miracle for keeping lips supple and nourished in the face of biting winter air, oppressive summer heat, office AC, and more. Infused with a gorgeously rich blend of shea butter, avocado and coconut oils, and antioxidant vitamin E to help shield lips from free radical damage, the moisturizing yet lightweight formula absorbs instantly and also adds the prettiest glow to cheekbones and eyelids.

  5. Grown Alchemist Watermelon & Vanilla Lip Balm
    Grown Alchemist Watermelon & Vanilla Lip Balm goop, $23

    Made with purified watermelon extract; rose hip, jojoba, and sweet almond oils; and shea butter, this everyday lip essential is incredibly moisturizing—amazing for seriously dry or cold climates. Fatty acids soften lips’ texture, while antioxidants nourish. All ingredients are bioactive and certified organic—i.e., good enough to eat.

Balms with a Tint

  1. Olio E Osso  Balm
    Olio E Osso Balm goop, $28

    This citrusy, super moisturizing tinted lip and cheek balm delivers all the cushy hydration of the original No. 1 Balm, with the addition of the most flattering-to-all-skin-types sheer pigment out there. Period. It’s the sort of your-lips-but-better color that brightens up your whole face yet doesn’t read as “lipstick” or even “gloss”—just all-natural prettiness, pure and simple. Bonus: The stick fits the shape of your lips perfectly, so it feels especially fantastic going on.

  2. Kosas Kosasport Lipfuel
    Kosas Kosasport Lipfuel goop, $18

    Adorably packaged and sized to fit easily in a back pocket or a makeup bag, this silky tinted balm (it comes in clear, too) is made with a moisturizing, gel-like network of konjac root and spheres of hyaluronic acid, so it both feels incredible and really lasts. The colors are gorgeous and super wearable, the nourishing ingredients are pure magic on your lips, the scent is minty-fresh, and the sleek, modern tube is just so cool.

Extra Credit: The Lip Mask

  1. Henné Organics Lip Mask
    Henné Organics Lip Mask goop, $37

    If you’re hunting for the most coddling balm on the planet, look no further. This rich treatment leaves lips ultramoisturized, supple, and smooth. The rich orange tint comes from a cocktail of restorative organic oils, including sea buckthorn, rose hip, and avocado. The texture is thick and luxurious, so a single layer lasts for hours.

  2. Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask
    ILIA Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask goop, $26

    This ultramoisturizing pot of goodness for lips has some amazing clinical results—and it just feels so good. The cushiony, restorative formula is made with active levels of moisture-boosting salicornia (sea succulent), plumping hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich mango butter, and papaya enzymes to gently exfoliate. Layer it on before bed and wake up with smooth, deeply nourished lips. In an independent consumer-testing panel of thirty-two women ages twenty to sixty, 94 percent noticed their lips felt smoother after a single day, and 97 percent said their lips felt softer after one week.