September 22, 2021

The 7 Best Clean Lip Balms That Need To Be In Your Bag

Last Updated on April 4, 2022

Ahh lip balm. I suppose it’s not the sexiest of the makeup family, but I’ll bet it’s one of the most reached for items in anyone’s stash. And as I mentioned in my post about switching to clean beauty, one of the very first things I knew I had to swap out were my lip products, with clean lip balms being #1.

While I wouldn’t call it an obsession (that’s really such a strong word) of mine, I have always had a particular weakness for all lip products in general. They have far and away always been my favorite cosmetic, all the way back to Lip Smackers, Village Lip Lickers, Kissing Potion and my first frosty Wet ‘n Wild lipstick (my fellow children of the ’80’s are feeling me here, right?!).

Having dry skin much of the year, my lips are easy to chap, and I’m sadly prone to cold sores if I don’t stay on top of things (one bad sunburn on the lips as a teenager = lifetime of keeping cold sores away!). Needless to say, I’m constantly applying. I’ve got lip balms stashed in my purse, car, various places around the house, my beach bag…I always have a lip balm in reach!

When looking for the perfect lip balm, I need it to:

  • Be clean (obvs)
  • Preferably have peppermint essential oil in the ingredients – I learned long ago that peppermint was hugely effective at keeping cold sore outbreaks away, so my first order of business was to find a replacement for my previously beloved Jack Black Intense Therapy mint lip balm.
  • Have some serious staying power – meaning I need it thick. So many lovely lip balms out there are more like an oil or lightweight gel, and that just won’t cut it. I need old school, Chapstick-style, not-coming-off-until-I-wipe-it-off power.

Below you’ll find my current top picks for clean beauty lip balms, including best daytime, night treatment, multi-purpose, tinted and best all-round clean lip balm. A few don’t hit all 3 of my criteria, but they’re all fantastic for different reasons, and you’ll see why they all make the ‘It List’.

My CLEAN LIP BALMS ‘It List’ (updated)

Kosas Lipfuel, clean chapstick, pictured on a fig leaf, best daytime clean lip balms

Best Clean Daytime Lip Balm (aka purse lip balm)

KOSAS | Lipfuel

Kicking it off with one I couldn’t do without. Great job of sealing in moisture, and while not quite ye olde Chapstick (though I call it my clean chapstick), it feels like butter and has terrific staying power. It also checks the mint box, though for those that don’t like it overly minty, this is actually fairly subtle (for you fellow mint-lovers, I’ve got your truly minty lip balm below!). And the tube shape…it’s simply the perfect container for your purse, wallet or pocket. Baseline (clear) is a staple for me and I use it daily, but the tinted options for lovely too.

Best Clean Overnight Lip Balm

FITGLOW BEAUTY | Night Lip Serum

I’ve been through several tubes of this now, it’s just that effective (and I’ve tried several overnight lip treatments). I’ve seen the lines that are trying to form around my lips fade away, and the pucker still feels moisturized in the morning. This one I have come to love so much that I gift it, as it’s definitely a splurge for most folks (stock up when sales hit!!). But while it is on the spendy side for a lip balm, I consider it an element of my skincare routine…and since I only use it once a day, one tube lasts quite a long time. Literally checks all the clean boxes too: Organic, Vegan, Gluten Free and Cruelty Free. Definitely one of my favorites for an effective, clean lip balm, and has a cult following for a reason.

Fitglow Night Lip Serum, pictured on a fig leaf, best nighttime clean lip balms
Ilia Balmy Tint, pictured on a fig leaf, best tinted clean lip balms

Best Clean Tinted Lip Balm

ILIA | Balmy Tint

This one is new to my clean lip balm stash, but what a find! I’m forever searching for a great tinted lip balm…I find as I’m getting older that I want some color, but not necessarily all of the shininess of my lip glosses. But so many tinted lip balms I’ve tried are not usually very…tinted. Then Ilia’s Balmy Tint walked into the room! This feels like a creamy, buttery lippie that shows as a sheer lipstick. Color is definitely buildable though! And the vanilla scent is DIVINE. I love the shade Memoir which is a warm mauve. But I’m looking at Faded next, because I can’t pass on a 90’s style brown lip…too good.

Best Clean Multi-Purpose Lip Balm

OLIO E OSSO | Lip & Cheek Balm

Many have tried, but I’ve yet to find a multi-purpose stick balm that feels as good as these. Filled with nourishing oils, these natural lip balms come in a lovely range of shades, and again in a fab container that’s great to go anywhere. My top 2 faves are 6 and 12. No. 6 is a very subtle bronze that makes a great summer highlighter, or in the Spring when my legs are blindingly white I’ve even swiped it up my shin for a bit of color! I’ve even dabbed some on my eyelids for an easy summer look. No. 12 is a warm plum with just a hint of gold shimmer to it…gorgeous and universally flattering. And that citrus smell…so refreshing!

Olio E Osso Lip & Cheek Balm, pictured on a fig leaf, best multipurpose clean lip balms

Best Clean Lip Balm for Cold Sores

BEAUTYCOUNTER | Lip Conditioner – Peppermint
BENEATH YOUR MASK | Remedy Conditioning Lip Balm

Here we have a tie! Both of these are terrific clean lip balms for those that suffer from $%#&ing cold sores as they each contain essential oils that are known to be highly effective as virucidals: peppermint and rosemary.

  • The Beautycounter balm is new to my stash, but it is the mint bomb I’ve been looking for! So refreshing, and application is very silky. I don’t love that it’s in a pot, but as I typically just use this once a day as a part of my get-ready routine, I’m not taking it on the go so no biggie.
  • Beneath Your Mask’s balm is in a great metal tube…not sure how it would fare in a hot car or purse, but again I use this more for treatment/supplement so it stays home most of the time. Application is very similar to Beautycounter’s, but instead of peppermint, this is full of rosemary!
Beautycounter Lip Balm and Beneath Your Mask Lip Balm, pictured on a fig leaf, best clean lip balms for cold sores
Treat Matcha Mint Jumbo Lip Balm, an organic chapstick alternative, pictured on a fig leaf, best budget clean lip balms

Best Clean Budget Lip Balm

TREAT | Jumbo Organic Lip & Eye Balm – Mint & Matcha Tea

There is just something about a big fat lip balm! And you can’t beat the price…that’s a lot of natural lip balm (and organic, no less!) for $13.99. I always have this in my purse, and yes I’ve used it under my eyes for depuffing and moisture. I’ve also dabbed it under a stuffy nose. Super minty (but also very sweet!), sometimes I just take off the lid to take a deep refreshing breath. My daughter also loves the Marshmallow Moisture Stick version (heck so do I…works great on cuticles, and smells so yummy!).

Best All-Around Lip Balm for Dry, Chapped Lips

CLOVE + HALLOW | Lip Mask

The big daddy of all the clean lip balms, this right here is the clean Vaseline dupe you’ve been looking for. But it’s so much more…more hydrating, more staying power, more mint (though I wish it had a wee bit more!) and more youthful-looking lips! Again, it’s in a jar, but this stays on my nightstand to be used first thing in the morning…and it lasts through lots of coffee AND breakfast. During the winter when my lips are chapped, this is my go to. Nice and thick, great staying power. Definitely my pick for best natural lip balm for dry lips. A wintertime savior! And with code Affiliate15, you save 15%.

The best clean lip balms - A clean, natural vaseline alternative, Clove + Hallow Lip Mask, pictured on a fig leaf

Some honorable mentions….

A few other balms that are definitely worth checking out:

  • Ouli’s All-Purpose Beauty Ointment* – made from Grecian olive oil, this balm does it ALL. Lips, eyes, hair, cuticles, scrapes or burns, safe for babies, makes a great natural highlight or eye balm. It’s one I always love to have on hand and a top pick product for me. I don’t grab it as much for my lips as I do other things and that’s the only reason it didn’t make the lip balm ‘It List’. But it’s still a must-have.
  • Erin’s Faces Tinted Lip Balms – I simply love the minty-vanilla scent of these, and the mint packs a decent punch. These fall into the barely-there wash of color variety of tint, but that makes them easy to apply without a mirror! The color Crushed is my fave…like a sheer wash of Clinique’s Black Honey.
  • Solara Suncare Pout Protector SPF 15 – including this one as I know so many love it. I had high hopes for it, but sadly it seems to dry my lips (does the exact opposite for most folks it seems!). The zinc oxide is the goodies, and the white cast is fairly easily smushed away. It’s making for a great hand SPF in my purse! Worth a look if you’re on the hunt for a beach/pool lip balm with SPF, and one of my friends’ favorite finds of the summer.
Oulis Ointment and Solara Pout Protector, pictured on a fig leaf

So there you have it! Comment below if you have a clean beauty lip balm you love, or any you think I have to try…you know I’m always on the hunt ;).

The Best Clean Lip Balms title on a fig leaf

7 Comments

  1. […] drink, smooch…they’re definitely working their way inside. /edited to add: check-out my top picks for Clean Lip Balm to get you […]

  2. […] of my top clean lip balms! Slightly minty, moisturizing and the perfectly shaped tube. I’ve been through several tubes […]

  3. […] myself as well to test it out. And let me tell you, I love this balm (I’ll be adding it to my favorites!), and the color is close…it’s a bit more berry than brown on me, but very pretty and […]

  4. […] incredible Lip Mask early on in my clean beauty swapping (it’s the tippy top of my best clean lip balms list!). The line has grown to include outstanding options for the whole face (and their brushes are […]

  5. Christine Coughlin May 3, 2022 at 1:51 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for putting this together. I’m always on the lookout for a great lip balm. I’ll for sure give some of these a try.

    • Tracey French May 3, 2022 at 9:55 am - Reply

      Report back on how you like them! I’m testing a few new ones now, so I may be updating this list soon ;).

  6. Jhon herry August 10, 2022 at 5:52 am - Reply

    This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These types of articles keep the user’s interest in the website. Best lip oil to get you in the mood, here’s our US finest lip oils – just in time for US Day.

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