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How do I Choose the Best Medicated Lip Balm?

Choosing the best medicated lip balm involves considering ingredients, your specific lip concerns, and any allergies. Look for hydrating components like beeswax or shea butter, and medicating agents such as menthol or camphor for soothing relief. Avoid irritants like artificial fragrances if you have sensitive skin. Curious about which ingredients work best for your lips? Let's explore together.
Diane Barnard
Diane Barnard

Medicated lip balm can provide relief to chapped, cracked lips by soothing and healing. Almost all medicated lip balms contain menthol and camphor as the healing agents. The differences between the many brands available are in the types and strengths of the added ingredients. To choose the best medicated lip balm, you will have to consider your needs, your lifestyle and your personal preferences. For example, you might need one that contains sunscreen or one that is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

The two traditional therapeutic ingredients for chapped lips are menthol and camphor. Menthol is an analgesic that eliminates the pain associated with chapped lips. It produces a cooling sensation that soothes raw, tender skin. Camphor, commonly used for skin problems, has antiseptic properties and heals cold sores.

Aloe, which is renowned for healing burns and wounds, also moisturizes and soothes. Clove oil has antiseptic and disinfectant properties. These two medicinal ingredients are less frequently found in lip care products.

A woman with chapped lips.
A woman with chapped lips.

When looking for the best medicated lip balm, pay attention to the ingredient list. It usually is divided into “active” and “inactive” ingredients. Lip products that give the best results will have the medicinal elements in the active ingredient list.

If you suffer sunburn easily, choosing a lip balm that contains sunscreen is important. There are several on the market that are labeled with their sun protection factor (SPF). Lip products that have an SPF of 15 will filter 92 percent of ultraviolet B radiation from the sun.

Most lip balms contain camphor, which has antiseptic properties.
Most lip balms contain camphor, which has antiseptic properties.

If you are an athlete or spend a great deal of time outside, there are medicated sport balms. These products contain a higher SPF number and filter more harmful rays from the sun. They are designed to protect against wind, cold and heat. Some also are water resistant, which might be helpful if you enjoy water sports.

Finding a hypoallergenic product is important if you have allergies or sensitivities to specific products. Certain medications might react with the ingredients in medicated lip balm. It is best to check with your pharmacist for any interactions if you take medication. Look for a lip balm that does not contain ingredients that might cause reactions.

Cold sores can be treated with medicated lip balm.
Cold sores can be treated with medicated lip balm.

You do not have to give up the frivolous-but-fun lip conditioner characteristics that you enjoy. Medicated lip balm comes in some of the pleasing flavors that are available in regular lip balm. From cherry to piña colada flavors, there is a wide variety in the medicated products. Packaging is a personal choice, and medicated lip balms come in all of the standard containers. You can choose your favorite type, whether it is a tube, a stick, a jars or a tin.

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Discussion Comments


@stormyknight: Yes, you can make your lip balm. I started making it a couple of years ago and now that is all that I use. This is how I make it:

Your ingredients are ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, 4 tsp. shea butter, 4 tsp. soy wax, and 15 large sized Vitamin E capsules. You need to poke a hole in them to get the liquid inside. You need to have a double boiler, also.

Place all of the ingredients in a heat-safe bowl and place that bowl into your double boiler. Allow the ingredients to melt but do not let it boil. When all of the solids have melted, remove from heat and stir until very well mixed. Pour the mixture into small lip gloss bottles and allow it to cool completely before putting the top on and before using.

Sometimes, I will use a little bit of medicated Carmex in the mixture if my lips are really chapped. You can even add a few drops of your favorite flavoring or essential oils to your mixture.


Is it possible to make homemade lip balm?

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    • A woman with chapped lips.
      By: Eric Fahrner
      A woman with chapped lips.
    • Most lip balms contain camphor, which has antiseptic properties.
      By: Alfonso de Tomás
      Most lip balms contain camphor, which has antiseptic properties.
    • Cold sores can be treated with medicated lip balm.
      By: uwimages
      Cold sores can be treated with medicated lip balm.