Motivation The Chapstick Challenge: 7 days, 7 lip balms

The Chapstick Challenge: 7 days, 7 lip balms


CONTEST ALERT! How do you protect your lips? Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to Shopper’s Drugmart! See details below.

By iRun Gear Test Team member, Sarah Macfadyen

Runners these days have all sorts of high tech gadgets. But sometimes, it’s the simplest things that get forgotten when you head out for a run—like lip balm.

Training outdoors in the sun and wind can wreak havoc on lips. Because they don’t have oil glands to keep them nourished, lips dry easily and can become chapped. They also don’t produce much melanin, the pigment in our skin that protects us from the sun, which means they can burn. Lip balm with SPF helps seal in moisture and prevents lips from burning. The next time you lace up your running shoes and dash out the door, grab some lip balm. Your lips deserve the attention.

Choosing a lip balm can be as difficult as picking out the perfect pair of running shoes. You can spend anywhere from a couple of dollars to as much as $30. To help wade through the plethora of products on the market, we put seven lip balms to the test. Here’s how they stacked up.

Day One
Nivea Sun SPF 30
, $2.99
★ ★
If you like to actually feel that you are wearing lip balm, this is the one for you. It goes on very thick and has a slightly waxy texture. Wearing this lip balm will give you an idea of how a car feels after a wax job—water just beads off your lips (wax is one of its ingredients, so it’s no surprise). Once the waxy texture disappears, lips are left smooth, but a little tight. It has an SPF of 30, which is a selling point. But be warned, if you have long hair, you might find your ponytail sticking to your lips on a windy day.

Day Two
RoC Soleil Protexion
, $11
★ ★ ★ ★ .5
Leave it to the French to make a lip moisturizer that feels more like an expensive lipstick than a
lip balm. It goes on silky, with almost no smell, and finishes semi-matte. After a few minutes it is almost like it’s not there at all. Lips felt moist after a tough workout on a hot and humid day. It also has SPF 30, but it protects lips from the sun’s harmful rays without feeling like you are smearing sunscreen all over them.

Day Three
Arbonne Lipsaver Sunscreen SPF 30
, $10
★ ★ ★ .5
This lip balm goes on silky and is very light, but it has a definite menthol smell to it and makes your lips tingle a few seconds after it is applied. The tingling sensation disappears fairly quickly, but if you’re not a fan of feeling like you have Rub A535 on your lips, this may not be the lip balm for you. It does contain SPF 30, which is a definite plus. It also contains safflower seed oil, chamomile extract and vitamin E, which leave lips smooth and moisturized for a long time. It doesn’t hold up to heat well, though, so make sure you don’t leave the tube in the sun on a hot day.

Day Four
Nuxe Rêve de Miel Lip Moisturizing Stick
, $9.00
★ ★ ★
Nuxe has ditched the traditional cylinder shape lip balm and made this one actually look like a tube of clear lipstick. It glides on light and creamy, leaving lips feeling soft and moist. It contains natural products such as sunflower and macadamia nut oils, argan oil, Shea
butter, honey, and a Vitamin E-derivative. The company claims to have tested this lip balm in “extremely cold conditions in Canada,” and found that it protects “against external aggression (88%*).” The major drawback is that it has no sun protection.

Day Five
Burt’s Bees Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm
, $5.79
★ .5
This lip balm is like butter on you lips and despite its name, it doesn’t have the waxy feel of some other lip balms. It contains kokum, shea and cocoa butters to hydrate lips and it claims to offer four hours of long-lasting moisturization. Maybe it should say 40 minutes? Instead of making lips moist, it leaves lips feeling quite dry. It also seems necessary to keep reapplying. After a day of using this product, lips felt more chapped than they did before. It also loses points because it doesn’t contain sunscreen.

Day Six
Blistex Five Star
, $4.99
★ ★ ★ ★
Blistex claims that its main five ingredients are the perfect combination for dry lips. It contains glycerin to hold in moisture, candelilla (wax) to protect lips from the wind, wheat germ to moisturize, calendula oil to soothe chapped lips, and SPF 30 to protect them from the sun. Blistex might have come up with the perfect combination. This lip balm goes on a little thicker than some of the others tested, but it is barely noticeable after a few minutes. It also has a pleasant cocoa butter scent. Dry lips felt much smoother after wearing this lip balm. And even after a long run, it didn’t feel like it was necessary to reapply it. Who says something has to be expensive to be good? But be warned, I wouldn’t forget it in the car on a hot day. Even after a few minutes in the heat, this lip balm was a gooey mess.

Day Seven
Chapstick Active SPF 30
, $2.99

Made specifically for athletes, this lip balm goes on smooth, albeit a little waxy. It has a slight odour, which you can actually taste in your mouth. So unless you want the aftertaste of lip balm lingering in your mouth, best to leave this one on the rack. It also contains parabens, a preservative used in cosmetics that has raised some health concerns. This lip balm does have SPF 30, so in a pinch, slathering a little of this on before your run might be a better option than having nothing at all.

The Final Word on Dry Lips
If your lips are constantly chapped, drink more water. While it won’t heal dry lips, it will help keep them from getting worse. When all else fails, you might want to turn to a product many long distance runners often have on hand: Vaseline. Slathering on petroleum jelly at night, and throughout the day, will lock the moisture in your lips. But you will still want to have a lip balm with sunscreen on hand for running outdoors to give your lips the protection they deserve.

CONTEST ALERT! How do you protect your lips? Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to Shopper’s Drugmart! Contest closes at midnight on Monday, August 4th, 2014. Winner will be contacted by email, and will be announced on Facebook on Tuesday, August 5th. Contest open to Canadian residents only.


  1. I used to get very bad split on my lips during winter months. Since I adopted blistex I haven’t got any problem for the past 2 yrs. they work !

  2. I have to agree with Victoria. Carmex by far out performs anything else in the winter! Especially here in Winnipeg!

  3. Nivea Sun SPF30 is the one for my family. Covers all the bases perfectly without fashion label madness or pseudo-scientific organic pretensions 🙂

  4. Plain Vaseline works great! Otherwise i always have many chapsticks, Nivea moisturizing lip balms, softlips, body shop lip balms around 🙂

  5. Carmex is the answer– every night before bed and before every run– leaves the lips moist, pouty and oh-so-kissable! 😉

  6. For every day use, I use vaseline but if I am going to be out in the sun at the beach or skiing, I like a product like Burt’s Bees or Blistix.

  7. I’ve been wearing “chapstick” (I’m a guy; don’t call it lip gloss!) for decades and can’t leave the house without a supply in my pocket (winter or summer, going for a run or going to work). I really like the Blistex Five Star because it actually protects my lips (SPF30) and has a subtle flavour (i.e. it isn’t cherry or mint). I have some Blistex Five Star in my pocket right now.

  8. I use Blistex which I buy at the dollar store and it seems to be the only one so far that doesn’t actually dry out my lips. I am thinking of maybe trying the Blistex 5 star.

  9. Love Roc. Slather it on before I head out the door and keep it in my little pouch for the really long runs.

  10. Eos has been pretty good so far, but whateveI use, I tend to put a nude lipstick over with SPF, it tends to keep my lips moist for longer
    And agree with drinking lots of water:)

  11. EOS has been pretty good so far, but whatever I use, I tend to wear a nude lipstick with SPF over.. It tends to keep my lips moist for longer. And I agree with drinking lots of water:)

  12. I love the lip balms from Bath and Body works. I have yet to find something that I feel comfortable using while I run though.

  13. I used to use vaseline in the cold winters (I am a year round runner) but recently discovered Arbonne’s Lip Save Chapstick with SPF30…..THE BEST CHAPSTICK EVER!!!!

  14. I like to use lip balm from Melaleuca, it works great at keeping my lips moisturized and it is gluten free

  15. Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm with Vitamin E & Peppermint is my go to lip balm. I like that my lips have a cool sensation when the air hits them from the peppermint.

  16. I always carry lip balm and usually not
    To picky – unless it’s super waxy — but I recently discovered Eos brand – and the mint one is terrific!

  17. Blistex Mint. Always carry one in my water belt pouch. I have used it as well on my nose or cheeks as a sun block while on a long run. Doesn’t sting your eyes like conventional sun screen.

  18. I have used Aveeno chapstick, it healed my extremely chapped lips after a ski touring weekend and has been good all year round. Feels healthy going on!

  19. Vaseline Lip Therapy – Cocoa Butter. Goes on smooth, lasts long, protects and moisturizes without feeling like it’s sucking the life out of your lips! The coconut flavour and smell just perks up the senses! Great in the winter time on cheeks and exposed skin on face to protect from frostbite.

  20. I love ANYTHING with a little bit of colour in it. Then when my face turns chalk white from running to far, at least my lips look “kissed”!!!!

  21. Have used Blistex Mint for years, tried others always come back to Blistex. Never leave home without it!

  22. I use Nivea SPF 30, I burn fairly quickly and this does the trick, I also like the price if I loose it, wash it, or melt it beyond use I’m not out a lot of $$. I also buy them in mult-ipacks to make them even cheaper.

  23. I use both Carmex and Blistex. I do not leave the house without lip balm. I have an extra tube in my purse and more again at work. When outside I always make sure my lip balm is SPF 30.

  24. I use “Dermatone” summer and winter . In the summer on my lips , winter all over my face – a little goes a long way .

  25. I have about four different brands of lip balm scattered amongst my personal belongings…Chapstick, Burts Bee, Blistex and EOS but my go to Lip Balm -morning and night is Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 – always keeps my lips chap free!

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