Lip Balm vs Chapstick: Check What You’re Putting On Your Lips

lip balm vs chapstick

Chapstick photocredit

Lip balm vs chapstick – how do they compare? Read more about it and you’d be surprised.

Key Takeaways

  1. We need to apply lip balm daily since our lips have no oil glands and are highly prone to drying out and peeling.
  2. Because of this, we must find a lip balm that is safe to use on a daily basis, one that is organic and has no synthetic nor potentially toxic ingredients.
  3. Chapstick’s main ingredients, petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil, are all occlusive ingredients. While they keep moisture in, they also keep moisture from the environment out and do not let the skin breathe. This means that whatever synthetic and toxic products like color, fragrance, lanolin, parabens in some variants, may be absorbed and have a cumulative effect.
  4. Organic lip balms are safer and a better option to use daily, and do not only moisturize but also provide nourishment for healthy, plump lips.

Chapstick is a brand of lip balm that has been around for decades, and you have probably used or are still using it.  Although actually a brand name, the term Chapstick has been used to refer to a remedy for chapped lips.

Before you slather your lips with it again, and in line with consumer healthcare, here is a factual head-to-head comparison between an organic lip balm vs Chapstick.

Lip Balm vs Chapstick Ingredients

Chapstick Ingredients

Petroleum jelly

Petrolatum is the main ingredient of the Chapstick brand. While it traps moisture, it also has occlusive properties, which means your skin cannot breathe and bars moisture from the outside.

Petroleum jelly is a refined form of petrolatum (yes, the fuel). This refining process can produce contaminants and toxins, such as  Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons. This has been associated with breast cancer. 

Other brands containing this include Carmex and Vaseline, although the last one as we all know, comes in a jar for many purposes.


camphor in Chapstick
Source: Wikimedia

Some people use lip balms with camphor for that tingling and cooling sensation it causes that soothe the lips after a long day out in the sun. 

However, dermatologists say they can irritate the skin and sometimes even remove its layers. It can thus leave your lips dry and unprotected.


Fragrance” in cosmetic products can be a combination of up to 200 chemicals. It is rather impossible to know the exact chemicals in a product because it is protected by federal law under “trade secrets.”

Hence, cosmetics manufacturers can safely label it as “fragrance” but depending on which ingredients, in particular, these chemicals can cause rashes, headaches, and dizziness among others.

Cetyl Alcohol

Similar to fragrances, cetyl alcohol causes dry or cracked skin.


Lanolin’s function is to make sure your dry and chapped lips retain water. Aside from being a lip balm component, lanolin is also a popular component in SPF lotions. 

Lanolin, however, has been found to cause irritation, so if this starts to happen, then it is the likely culprit.

Isopropyl Myristate

Isopropyl myristate helps your cracked lips by: 

  • Maintaining your lips moisture; 
  • Smoothening the chapped area; and 
  • Helping  your cracked lips absorb components of the product 

However, reports show that Isopropyl myristate is a potential allergen.

Light Mineral Oil

Light mineral oil is also a derivative of petroleum.  This is a popular component in beauty products, is FDA-approved, and considered generally safe. Like petrolatum, though, it is occlusive and does not allow the skin to breathe.

Isopropyl Lanolate

Isopropyl lanolate is a thickening agent whose function is to retain moisture. However, it may actually irritate. 

Octyldodecanol and Oleyl Alcohol

Both act as lubricants, so your chapped lips feel soft and look smooth. Aside from lip balms, both are used in lotions.  

Phenyl Trimethicone

Some lip balm and Chapstick brands contain phenyl trimethicone, a white silicone. It forms a barrier between the atmosphere and your face. 

Synthetic Dyes

synthetic dyes in chapstick

Tinted lip balms may contain any of these colors:

Red 6, Yellow 5, Blue 1

Synthetic dyes are produced from petrolatum and approved for food, medicine, and cosmetics.

While these are approved by the FDA, being synthetic dyes, they can also be a cause of irritation and skin sensitivity.

Titanium Dioxide 

Titanium dioxide is also a popular colorant for certain lip balms, such as Chapstick. This is also usually seen in sunscreen products with SPF. 

Titanium dioxide is a possible carcinogen and toxic in the long run


paraffin was in Chapstick
Source: Wikimedia

Paraffin helps you in keeping your skin’s moisture level by creating a barrier. However, it is known to clog pores and is thus generally not good for the skin. All the while, it also rids of dead skin cells, if not purified, paraffin in lip balms as that in Chapstick might contain 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen.

Natural Lip Balm Ingredients

Below we’ve listed the organic lip balm components. If you will notice in the list, the formulation is far less complicated yet powerful not only in achieving moist lips but healthy as well:

Cocoa Butter

cocoa butter in organic lip balm

The difference between lip balm and the brand lies in components. 

Natural healthy components like cocoa or shea butter are usually present in the former. 

This is sourced from the wax of cocoa beans, possibly the best lip balm ingredient that helps your dry skin lock in that moisture even with exposure to the sun. Therefore, preventing cracked lips or skin:

  • Grants lip balms to moisturize your skin like shea butter
  • It gives lip balms the power to boost skin elasticity
  • Protection against sensitive skin dryness

Coconut Oil

coconut oil ir irganic lip balm vs chapstick

Another healthy and best lip balm ingredient is coconut oil. This contains 100% fat, wherein most of it is saturated fat.  As a healthy natural component, this is often used to give lip balm its creamy texture. 

Another difference between lip balm and Chapstick is that this texture in the latter is given by isopropyl lanolate. 

As for its benefits, coconut oil has moisturizing properties similar to ingredients like shea butter. Thus, lips lip balm will benefit from this as a component. 

The famous Burt’s Bees, a brand of lip balm, included ingredients like coconut oil in their formulation. 

Lastly, this natural ingredient will help skin with cold sores. Cold sores refer to small blisters due to the HSV, worsened with exposure to the sun. 


CBD oil

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural ingredient of cannabis. It gives lip balms nourishment such as omega 3 and 6, antioxidants, vits A, B, E. and D.

Thus, ingredients like CBD oil in lip balm are excellent for sensitive skin and chapped areas. 

Essential Oils

These are extracts from plants. Aside from the benefits of being a relaxant and sleep-inducing, essential oils are often used to soothe the lips.

Some natural essential oils flavor that actually makes a high-quality natural lip balm is the following: 

  • Lavender Flavor: Gives lip balms anti-inflammatory properties
  • Eucalyptus Flavor: Gives lip balms pain-relieving property
  • Cinnamon Flavor: Grants lip balms anti-inflammatory properties. 

One difference between lip balm and chapstick is that the latter uses synthetic camphor while the former uses eucalyptus. 

Another difference between lip balm and Chapstick is that essential oils can act as fragrances in natural lip balms.   


Beeswax is beneficial in natural lips lip balm since it creates a barrier. This barrier created by beeswax prevents moisture from escaping your chapped skin. 

Aside from keeping moisture in, beeswax actually attracts water and naturally rids it of dead cells. This is the same organic product that is in Burt’s Bees.

The bottom line is that beeswax, like shea butter, gives lip balms moisturizing, hydrating, and soothing properties. 

Compared to synthetic paraffin, natural ingredients like beeswax is a better option. Check out this video to know more about their difference.


What Is the Difference Between Lip Balm vs Chapstick?

The main difference lies in the type of ingredients in each. Unlike Chapstick that has synthetic and potentially toxic components, organic lip balms have natural ingredients which promote healthy lips. Thus, organic lip balms do more than keep lips moist, they also nourish them, resulting in plump, fuller lips.

ChapstickOrganic Lip Balm
Petrolatum (1)CBD Oil, Essential Oil (2)
Paraffin (3), Beeswax (4), Synthetic WaxBeeswax (4)
Mineral Oil (5)Cocoa Butter (6), Coconut Oil (7)
Alcohol (8)
Synthetic Dyes (9)
Fragrance (10)
Camphor (11)
Lanolin (12)
Comparison of Ingredients: Chapstick vs Organic Lip Balm

Do You Really Need Lip Balms?

A good organic lip balm should be a part of everyday lip care because our lips have no oil glands, and it is thus prone to peeling and cracking. When you use an organic lip balm with the right ingredients, you supply the moisture and nourishment that your lips need to make up for the absence of these oil glands. This results in healthy-looking and luscious lips.

Is Chapstick Bad for Your Lips?

Chapstick has unhealthy ingredients which makes it not ideal for your lips. These components include petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, fragrances, synthetic dyes, lanolin, and alcohol. Since lip balm needs to be applied daily, you should opt for healthier, organic lip products that have no synthetic nor potentially toxic components.

Zenrooted CBD Lip Balm
Zenrooted CBD Lip Balm
Zenrooted CBD Lip Balm
Chapstick vs Zenrooted Organic CBD Lip Balm

Which Lip Balm Is Best?

If you’re finally ready to give your dry lips the love it deserves, then check our favorite organic lip balms you can apply on your lips – Zenrooted CBD lip balm or Essential Oil lip balm. 

Many of our customers love that easy-to-apply Zenrooted lip balms do not contain camphor and paraffin often present in several lip balm brands. 

Instead, they love that these easy-to-apply, and feel-good lip balms, have cocoa, CBD, essential oils, and coconut oils. 

Calming Lip Balms

Lavender CBD Lip Balm is an excellent Zenrooted CBD lip balm with lavender flavor. 

Consider easy to apply Zenrooted essence lip balms, such as Lavender essential oil lip balm, as a calming alternative if you’re allergic to CBD oil.   

Both options are helpful for those with cold sores. 

Plumping Lip Balms

For a plumper look, opt for an easy to apply lip balm. One of our most popular products contains cinnamon which helps improve blood flow:

Soothing Lip Balms

Zenrooted CBD lip balm incorporated eucalyptus essence into its lip balms to help soothe the lips:

Benefits of CBD Lip Balms

If your lips are always dry and in need of protection, look into the several benefits of CBD lip balm below, and decide for yourself whether it’s worth slathering on.

Other Benefits of Organic Lip Balms

Aside from having an organic formulation, our CBD lip balm has several benefits.

  1. It has antibacterial properties.

A study conducted at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia explored the antibacterial properties of CBD

The results suggested that CBD is actually more effective in controlling the growth of bacteria than some antibiotics. Thus, in case of irritation or a wound, CBD-infused lip balms can fight off bacteria while it is healing. 

  1. Our CBD lip balm has anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. It fights off free radicals because of the powerful antioxidant activity of CBD.
  3. CBD lip balms are likewise enriched with omega 3 and 6, and other abundant nutrients like vitamins A, B, D, and E. These nutrients in CBD have the ability to invigorate the skin back to health. This is why CBD lip balms can make your lips plump, luscious, and sexy.

The Verdict: Choosing Between Zenrooted Lip Balm vs Chapstick

healthy lips
Healthy plump lips is sexy

Now that you know the difference between an organic lip balm and Chapstick, you can make an informed decision for healthier, organic alternatives to prevent dry lips.

Remember that healthy lips need daily care and weekly exfoliation. Which product are you willing to apply on your lips every single day? 

It likewise helps to remember that the lips only have 3-5 layers of skin cells, so absorption of any synthetic and potentially toxic materials is easier.

Plus, paraffin, mineral oil, and petrolatum in Chapstick are all occlusive components – which means they can trap all the ingredients you put on your lips and possibly increase absorption and long-term cumulative effect.

Why should you be content with a lip product that has synthetic and potentially toxic substances, when you can smooth on moisture, protection, and nourishment at the same time?

When you try our CBD lip balm, you will see the difference. For those who cannot use CBD for some reason, we also have an organic alternative, our essential oil lip balm.


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