Posted on February 20th, 2021

diagonal flat lay of several lip balms on light blue background representing the best lip balms of 2021 for dry, chapped lips from Invisalign or braces

If your lips are dry and chapped from Invisalign or braces, get soothing relief fast with one of the 10 ahh-mazing lip balms on our list!

Chapped lips is a fairly common condition that happens to most of us at some point in our lives. It’s usually caused by harsh weather conditions, such as the bitter cold of winter or the blazing sun of summer.

Your lips can become dry for other reasons, too, such as sensitivities to certain chemicals, and as a result of taking certain medications.

If you wear braces or Invisalign aligners, read on to learn why you may be more susceptible to chapped lips during treatment.

Then check out our list of the 10 best lip balms of 2021—no matter the reason your lips are parched, any one of these balms will quench them quickly!

Can Braces Cause Chapped Lips?

Have you recently started wearing braces and are finding that your lips are drying out? If the answer is yes, you’re not alone—dry, chapped lips is a fairly common complaint among new braces patients.

This because you may be holding your mouth open and/or breathing through your mouth more often than usual to accommodate the braces. Doing so causes the moisture on your lips to evaporate more quickly, which dries them out.

Note: Dry mouth is another common problem for those who wear braces, Invisalign, or retainers. If your mouth is feeling as desiccated as your lips, our 10 simple solutions for dry mouth will help.

Why are My Lips So Dry with Invisalign?

Many Invisalign patients experience chapped lips as well. If this is the case for you, your aligners are likely trapping saliva within them, preventing it from reaching your lips to keep them moist.

Whether it’s braces or Invisalign contributing to your dry lips, the good news is that it’s usually temporary and will subside when your mouth gets used to the appliance. Even so, you don’t have to suffer, even for a little while! With the right balm, your lips will stay soft and smooth for the duration of your orthodontic journey.

But before we get to our list of 2021’s 10 best lip balms, let’s take a quick look at the types of ingredients a good lip balm should include, as well as those that should be avoided.

Lip Balm Ingredients to Avoid

Many lip balms seem to soothe at first, but the relief fades quickly and you find yourself reapplying it more and more frequently.

Refinery 29 chatted with Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a New York-based dermatologist and director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, to find out why.

Dr. Zeichner says that some of the ingredients that well-meaning lip balm companies add to their products may be to blame. Salicylic acid, for example, is included in many products to exfoliate the lips. And while it may slough your lips as intended, it can also dry them out in the process.

Menthol, phenol, and camphor are also common ingredients in balms that are not as lip-friendly as they may seem: They do provide a soothing effect in the short-term, but in the long-term they can become irritating.

Other lip balm ingredients that may cause problems for people with sensitive skin or allergies include fragrance, beeswax, vitamin E, lanolin, peppermint, coconut oil, propylene glycol, and cinnamates.

Ingredients to Look for in Lip Balms

The dermatology team at Rapid City Medical Center suggests choosing a lip balm that contains ingredients that create a moisture barrier on the lips without irritating them. These ingredients include squaline, shea butter, silicone, petroleum, waxes, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and lanolin (provided you don’t have any sensitivities or allergies).

They also recommend opting for a balm that has an SPF of 15 or higher: “Your lips do not have the capacity to produce as much melanin as the rest of your skin so they need a little extra help blocking out harmful sun rays.”

Now that you know what should (and should not) be in your balm, check out our picks for the 10 best lip balms of 2021. We chose our favorites based on the inclusion/exclusion of the ingredients above, overall popularity and positive reviews, and personal experience.

2021’s 10 Best Lip Balms for Dry, Chapped Lips from Invisalign or Braces

1. Vaseline

several varieties of Vaseline lip therapy displayed on a light background

We thought we’d start our list off with one of the most affordable and accessible ways to get relief from your dry, chapped lips: Good ol’ Vaseline.

You probably have a 10 year-old jar of the stuff in your medicine cabinet right now. If not, you can pick one up at Walmart, or any other grocery, drug, or superstore.

If you want an upgrade from the all-purpose version, try one of Vaseline’s Lip Therapy formulations, which come in several scents and container styles (the round tins are adorable!).

While not the most eco-friendly option on our list of lip soothers, Vaseline is cheap, available everywhere, and—it works.

2. Aquaphor Lip Repair

tube of Aquaphor lip repair on light grey background

The next lip balm on our list is Aquaphor Lip Repair. Like Vaseline, it is inexpensive and readily available at most grocery, drug, and big-box stores.

Aquaphor is made with vitamins, shea butter, and jojoba oil to nourish your lips and seal in moisture. It is also free of dyes, fragrances, and preservatives, so it’s a good choice if you have sensitive skin (unless you are sensitive to beeswax or vitamin E, both of which Aquaphor contains).

3. Moroccan Magic

5 varieties of Moroccan Magic lip balm on a light grey background

Next up is Moroccan Magic Organic Argan & Essential Oil Lip Balm. Although not as well known as the first 2 drugstore balms on our list, it is equally affordable ( only $3.99 on at the time of writing).

Even with its bargain price, Moroccan Magic is comprised of all organic ingredients. So if you are looking for something more natural to soothe your dry, chapped lips without breaking the bank, this may be the balm for you.

4. First Aid Beauty

A tube of First Aid Beauty displayed on a light background

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair contains all the emollients you’d expect in a highly-effective, highly-coveted lip balm, such as jojoba oil, glycerin, and shea butter.

Perhaps less expected, yet just as beneficial, is the inclusion of colloidal oatmeal, which is known to soothe irritated skin.

Another thing you’ll love about Ultra Repair is what isn’t included: It’s gluten-free, soy-free, nano-free, and it’s vegan.

5. Vermont’s Original Bag Balm

Bag Balm displayed on a wooden background

While Vermont’s Original Bag Balm is amazing at keeping chapped lips at bay, it can be used anywhere you have dry skin. It even works to soothe your furry friends’ dry paws and noses!

6. Dr. Bronner’s

4 tubes of Dr. Bronner's lip balm

Dr. Bronner’s may be better known for their castile soap, but the effectiveness of their organic lip balms prove that this company is no one-trick pony.

These balms are highly moisturizing with ingredients like organic avocado, jojoba, and hemp seed oils. And the organic beeswax creates a barrier to seal in moisture and protect your lips from the elements,

7. Glossier’s Balm Dotcom

5 tubes of different versions of Glossier's balm dot com on a light grey marble background

Like Vermont’s Original Bag Balm above, Glossier’s original formula of Balm Dotcom is another multi-tasker and can be used anywhere you have dry skin.

While Vermont’s Original kept things simple, Glossier took things further by expanding their line to include a wide variety of tints and unique flavors.

8. Hello

hello lip balm in red and light blue tubes on light background

Say goodbye to dry, chapped lips from Invisalign or braces with hello vegan lip balm.

This balm keeps your lips soft and smooth with coconut and olive oils, and comes in strawberry or mint flavor.

9. Hurraw!

3 varieties of Hurraw! lip balm on light gradient background

Your lips will say Hurraw! when you try this vegan lip balm. It is chock full of soothing oils and butters, comes in tons of fun flavors and tints, and is available in a variety of unique packaging.

10. Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm

several tubes of different flavors of Jack Black's lip balm

Last, but certainly not least on our list of the best lip balms of 2021, is Jack Black Intense Therapy. With over 11,000 ratings on Amazon (82% being 5-star at the time of this writing), it’s safe to say that this lip balm is popular. And for good reason: It comes in several yummy flavors (and unflavored if you prefer), it has the added bonus of sun protection with an SPF of 25, and, most importantly, it works!

If you’re suffering from dry, chapped lips from braces or Invisalign, take comfort in knowing that it’s very likely a temporary situation while your mouth acclimates to the new appliance. In the meantime, give one of the awesome lip balms above a try and your lips will be back to their old soft, smooth selves before you know it!