For many guys, lip balm isn’t considered a daily essential like skincare but more of an occasional treatment to reach for when your lips feel chapped, dry, or flaky. But with how much you use your mouth—to speak, to eat, to drink—your lips are subjected to a lot. They’re also one of the main focal points on your face. If you want to keep your smile looking its best, maintaining a regular lip care routine is a must.
Here, we’ll teach you more about why having a dedicated lip care routine is important and introduce you to three of our best lip balms for men. These Kiehl’s classics provide lasting moisture without adding unwanted color or shine, so you can put your best face forward. Keep reading for your all-in-one guide to lip care for men.
Why You Need Lip Balm
Before introducing you to our favorite lip balms for men, we thought it would be helpful to review why having a lip care routine is critical. As we mentioned, your lips see a lot of daily activity. Like the rest of your facial skin, they’re also constantly exposed to external stressors, like air pollution and UV radiation. A proper skincare routine largely protects against these damaging aggressors, but rarely (if ever) are skincare products applied to the lips. This means your lips are largely left to fend for themselves. Over time, neglecting to care for your lips properly can leave them looking dull, thin, and damaged.
To add insult to injury, your lip skin is more delicate than the rest of your facial skin. It’s incredibly thin—to the point where it’s nearly translucent—and doesn’t have sweat or sebaceous glands like the rest of your face. The absence of natural protective oils leaves your lips incredibly vulnerable to the damaging effects of external stressors. While lip balm won’t entirely eliminate these issues, it can help keep your lips hydrated and protected from excessive wear and tear. Lip balm with SPF can also help protect the skin against damaging ultraviolet radiation and the concerns that come with unprotected sun exposure, like sunburns.
3 Must-Have Kiehl’s Lip Balms For Men
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can get down to business. Keep reading to discover three of Kiehl’s best lip balms for men plus tips on how to use these essentials in your daily grooming routine.
Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1
We’ll start with a classic: the iconic Lip Balm #1. This unisex lip balm, which first hit Kiehl’s shelves in the 1960s, is formulated with a blend of moisturizing ingredients, including aloe vera, vitamin E, and olive-derived squalane (the latter of which is a Kiehl’s signature ingredient). The hydrating formula moisturizes and soothes dry lips, leaving them feeling softer and smoother. It’s untinted and creamy (not glossy), making it ideal for daily wear, and comes in three fresh fragrances plus one wear-anywhere unscented variety.
We recommend smoothing the balm on generously as one of the last steps in your morning skincare routine and allowing the formula to absorb while you finish getting ready. Reapply as needed throughout the day for lasting hydration.
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm
If you’d prefer a lip balm made specifically for men, reach for Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm. The matte-finish formula with olive-derived squalane and shea butter glides on easily, moisturizing the lips without adding shine. Apply a liberal amount of this refreshing men’s lip balm to keep your lips soft, smooth, and nourished.
Kiehl’s Tip: If your lips feel extra dry, you can pair your daily lip balm with an overnight lip mask, like Buttermask For Lips. The rich and intensely hydrating formula, which contains natural beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, and wild mango butter, helps repair the lips’ natural moisture barrier to visibly restore your lips while you sleep. The indulgent formula is fragrance-free and suitable for all skin types and can be used nightly.
Kiehl’s Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30
Sunscreen is a must every day—not just in the summer or when it’s super sunny out. And while this rule applies to all exposed skin, it’s pretty easy to forget to apply (and reapply) sunscreen to your lips. In fact, along with the back of the neck and top of the feet, it’s one of the most commonly missed areas when applying sunscreen. In addition to burns (which, trust us, you do not want sunburned lips), this can leave you vulnerable to a host of skin concerns, including premature visible aging and dryness.
To help protect your lips from damaging UV rays, we recommend reaching for a lip balm with SPF, like Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30. This coconut oil-based balm formulated with mineral sunscreens (specifically, titanium dioxide and iron oxides) provides long-lasting protection against both UVA and UVB rays.
Note that if you’re using this lip balm as your main form of sun protection for your lips, you’ll need to reapply it often, especially after eating and drinking. We recommend stashing one at your desk, one in the car, and keeping one in your Dopp kit to ensure you’re protected no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
Next: Great-looking lips don’t count for much if they’re surrounded by an unkempt beard. Learn how to keep your facial hair looking its best in our article Beard Basics: How To Trim a Beard And Avoid Ingrowns.