Lip Balm vs ChapStick, What’s the Difference?

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We’ve all experienced chapped lips, especially during the cold winter and dry summer days. It feels really uncomfortable, and it makes your lips look bad.

In the worst conditions, chapping can lead to bleeding of the lips. Ouch!

So what did you do when your lips felt dry? Did you lick them more often, or did you use lip products?

There are loads of different products you can apply to chapped and dry lips to soothe them.

When you ask people about chapped lips, many will talk about Lip Balm vs ChapStick. Is there really a competition between the two? What are their differences, and is one option really better than the other?

The truth is, lip balms and ChapStick are similar products. ChapStick is simply the best-known brand of lip balm. It is a very popular brand and many people have mistakenly believed that it is highly different from other lip balms. 

Let’s further clarify that by telling you more about ChapStick and other lip balms. After that, we’ll also tell you what ingredients to look for when selecting a lip product for your dry or chapped lips. 


Lip Balm vs ChapStick: What’s The Difference


Some people argue that in order to keep your lips supple and hydrated even on the coldest and driest days of the season, you should use a lip balm. 

Others will insist that you use a ChapStick. 

Are ChapStick and lip balm the same thing?

Well, lip balms and ChapSticks may not be exactly the same. All ChapSticks are lip balms but not all lip balms are ChapSticks. 

Did we confuse you further? Well, to simplify the explanation, ChapStick is just a form of lip balm. It is actually a brand that produces lip balms. 

Why do people call lip balm ChapStick?

Why do people call tissues Kleenex, even if they’re not Kleenex brand? Sometimes it’s just a term of convenience, sometimes people forget the term “lip balm”.

What Are Lip Balms?

Organic Lip Balm

The general term for products that you use on the lips to help protect them or hydrate them is called a lip balm. Some people may also refer to them as lip salves or lip butter, depending on the ingredients they contain. 

Nevertheless, their function remains the same. They contain various ingredients that help prevent your lips from drying out. 

They are used to prevent or to relieve dry, cracked, or chapped lips. 

The main ingredients used for lip balms may vary depending on the brand. Some make use of petroleum while others frequently use shea butter or lanolin.

What Is ChapStick?


Contrary to what some people believe, ChapStick is not different from lip balms at all. It’s a brand of lip balm. ChapStick is one of the oldest brands around, and it was formed back in the 1880s!

Chapstick is the most popular brand of lip balm around the world. Due to its popularity, many use the terms lip balm and chapstick synonymously. 

The interchanged terms may be similar to calling all tissue Kleenex or calling all types of cola Coke.

Regardless, Chapstick may have similarities and differences to other lip balms. As a brand, it has its own formula(s). Other brands also have their own formulas and list of ingredients focusing on No products found., organic ingredients , sun protection , etc. 

Lip Balms And Moisture

We often hear that lip balms moisturize the lips. But, there are some who use lip balms liberally but still end up with dried lips — and they may even feel a burning sensation when applying lip balm!

That’s because lip balms don’t really add moisture. Instead, they lock in the moisture on your lips. They simply prevent them from drying out. 

So you should still make sure that you give your body adequate hydration to prevent dry lips. Lip balms work as support. They prevent further drying by protecting your lips from the elements. 

Chapped and dry lips can happen whether it is cold or hot. And the sun can also be harsh to your lips so you’d also benefit well from lip balm with sunscreen .

Petroleum jelly, which is commonly used in lip balms, creates a barrier on the lips that will prevent the moisture already present on the lips from evaporating. 

Even if you use lip balm on your lips, if you tend to lick them often, the lip balm will be removed.

Furthermore, the saliva dries up quickly too. 

What Ingredients To Look For In A Lip Balm

There are many brands of lip balm (Chapstick is the most famous) and many of the brands also offer different varieties. So how do you select which lip balm to purchase? 

Well, one of the things you should do is to take a closer look at the ingredients. Here are some great ingredients to look for: 

  • Lanolin
  • Honey
  • Petroleum
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Vitamin E
  • Beeswax
  • Castor oil
  • Hemp seed oil

These ingredients are the most effective ones in keeping the lips moisturized and supple. 

Final Thoughts

The lip balm vs ChapStick debate shouldn’t really happen. Chapstick is the most well-known brand of Lip Balm. Sometimes people may interchange the term lip balm and the brand name ChapStick.

That’s because of how long ChapStick has been in the industry. 

However, we can still compare ChapStick with other brands of lip balms. Lip balms don’t just stop your lips from drying out. They also provide sun protection, gloss, and taste sensations.

Although lip balms can prevent your lips from drying by preventing moisture from escaping, you still have to make sure your lips are moisturized by keeping yourself hydrated. 

Additionally, no matter how tasty the lip balms seem to be, you should resist the urge to lick the lips! Licking your lips will just remove the balm, and your saliva on the lips could cause them to dry out further.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).