Mouth Guards: The 7 Best Lip Balms for Men

Aug 2, 2015

Category: Grooming

As a guy, it’s a difficult thing to apply lip balm without feeling a little effeminate. It’s one step away from mincing around asking your truck stop buddies if your corsage makes you look fat. That doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary. Hot and cold weather, dry climates, pollution, and just being out in the world is tough on your lips and you need products that soothe, protect, and heal them. Even if you don’t often need it, when you find yourself with a dry, chapped pucker, you’re going to want an emergency tube of lip balm to reach for.

Picking a lip balm is dependent on you and your climate. First and foremost, you want to avoid products that include preservatives that dry your lips out, requiring you to use (and buy) more. The best balms are made from the same stuff as the best beard and mustache waxes. Beeswax, nut oils, cocoa butter, and shea butter are all decent sealing and moisturizing bases. Some balms will be better for healing, some for adding moisture, some for protection from harm, and some from keeping your lips safe from the sun. Whatever your goal, one of the 7 best lip balms will serve your purpose.

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Aquaphor Lip Repair

Pro: Works with sensitive, irritated, and inflamed lips
Con: Oil based

To the Rescue: A stick of beeswax is ideal if you are looking to seal your lips away from danger and damage, but once they’ve been hurt it won’t give you much relief. Lip Repair from Aquaphor isn’t necessarily formulated to protect your lips, though it does have an SPF of 30 and the formula performs well at sealing moisture in for hours at a time. It’s oil based so doesn’t create a barrier between you and the elements, but when your lips have become chapped, sunburnt, or even if they suffer from eczema or hypersensitivity this will be a welcome relief. It lasts for hours with a single application which will keep your mouth feeling fresh as a daisy well into the next day. It is oil based which allows it to work better after a day on your snowshoes rather than a weekend on the beach. [Purchase: $2.50]

Burts Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

Pro: Inexpensive
Con: Doesn’t stand up in harsh weather

Most for the Money: A tin or tube of Burt’s Bees should always be kept on hand in case you run out of your favorite high-end lip balm but still need a fallback. This is your standard issue sidearm. The truly natural ingredients leverage the power of the planet for a more eco-friendly approach to caring for your lips. Burt’s falls just shy of being completely vegan thanks to the use of beeswax, but it’s still organic yet offers decent protection, moisturization, and renewal for a small cost. We prefer the tin over the stick for application by hand, but the choice is yours. This seems to operate better for basic indoor use rather than hard core protection or rejuvenation of damaged lips. It’ll save you in a pinch, but can be taken down by hard-core exposure to sun, surf, snow, and wind. [Purchase: $2.50+]

Jack Black Intense Therapy

Jack Black Intense Therapy

Pro: Many flavors
Con: Contains petroleum and parabens

EDC: Everything you could want or need is represented by this lip balm to varying degrees. Field tested in harsh weather this can stand up to dryness caused by cold and wind as well as the moisture-sapping heat of the desert. With an oil base this seeps into your lips quickly for use on the run. You’ll get broad spectrum protection from UV rays and an SPF of 25. It works equally well for helping to heal lips that have already taken a beating as it does preventing harm from befalling your mouth. Anti-oxidants destroy free radicals that wreak havoc on your winning smile while a broad spectrum of flavors and scents titillate the senses. Your lips will feel better, look better, and beg for attention. [Purchase: $7.50]

Kiehls Facial Fuel No-Shine Lip Balm

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Lip Balm

Pro: Long-lasting in harsh conditions
Con: No SPF protection

Snow Patrol: A lip balm’s mettle is tested most when the mercury drops, and that’s when Facial Fuel shines. Actually it doesn’t. Fuel is designed specifically not to give your lips a shiny coating while also providing you with a weather-proof seal that fights off the cold like a pair of winter boots. You’ll be able to shrug off long work days in sub-zero temperatures or arctic adventures as you hunt Santa’s reindeer. You do end up with some unnatural ingredients such as squalane, ethylhexyl palmitate, and cera microcristallina / microcrystalline wax, but those aren’t mean to be harmful but rather offer the best protection modern technology has to offer. There’s no UV protection in this since it is built with dark and cold in mind so those who are particularly sun-sensitive or live in more temperate climates should look elsewhere. [Purchase: $9]

Hurraw Balm

Hurraw! Balm

Pro: All-natural sun protection
Con: Not entirely clear

Vegan Essential: A lot of lip balms claim to be all-natural or fully organic, but they aren’t truly vegan since they often use beeswax. Hurraw! employs only oils from raspberry seeds, sea buckthorn, and pomegranate coupled with zinc-oxide. The zinc provides a natural barrier against UVA/UVB rays and adds an SPF of 15 to this that will help protect your lips for those boating trips or hitting the slopes from sunup to sundown. The creamy texture goes on smoothly and sticks for hours, but it is thicker than most. Use more than a couple of swipes and you’ll get a white, “newly-reanimated corpse” pallor on your lips. [Purchase: $6.50]

LOccitane Shea Butter Lip Balm

L’Occitane Shea Butter Lip Balm

Pro: Intense moisture replenishment
Con: Limited protection from the elements

Maximum Moisture: To start with, this uses 10% shea butter for a level of moisturization that rivals most hand creams without being too oily. It’s buttersilk smooth in its application and seems to soak into every nook and cranny; including the edges and corners of your mouth, which can often be hung out to dry. The deep moisturizing lasts for hours in the cold and keeps your mouth soft in the sun. Since it is built with moisture in mind, you won’t get as much external protection from the more disastrous elements. Coupling it with a waxy option can give you the best of both worlds. You could also use this as a daily repair for supple lips meant for nighttime adventures. [Purchase: $12]

MenScience Androceuticals Advanced Lip Protection

MenScience Androceuticals Advanced Lip Protection

Pro: Heavy protection for the sun
Con: Mild sunscreen flavor

Sundowner: The cells on your lips is far thinner than the rest of your body and that makes them more susceptible to sun damage. Beachcombers, surfers, and desert foxes will find that while the cost is excessive, the protection from the beating rays of our nearest star is worth it. You get a big dose of SPF 30 that also avoids allowing the wind and dry summer air to dry your lips out. In addition to being on guard against UVA/UVB rays, it also helps heal and protect damaged lips relatively well if used consistently. The drawback to the dense sun protection is an earthy flavor and scent that could leave you cold. It also seems to bear more shine than other options so if you aren’t secure in your masculinity, beware. [Purchase: $12]

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