Two of the most popular and long-lasting lip care brands in the world are Blistex and Chapstick. They are so popular, in fact, that it’s nigh-on impossible for anyone who has used lip balm before to have not at least heard of them.
Whether it’s been in your purse or a friend’s pocket, or maybe even in your mom’s car, you’ve used a rogue lip balm before, and we'd wager it was probably one of these two brands.
But which one is better? They’ve both stood the test of time and have satisfied customers for years on end. We’re going to compare two of their classics, the Blistex Lip Medex and the Chapstick Classic Original Lip Balm and decide once and for all which brand is superior.
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Blistex vs Chapstick Lip Balm
A good lip balm will relieve the dryness while giving your lips a soft and glossy look. In contrast, a bad one won’t relieve your symptoms and will make your lips look greasy. That’s why finding the right lip balm is essential to your year-round comfort.
It's not uncommon for similar skincare products to share a very similar ingredients list, but Blistex and Chapstick actually differ a fair bit in theirs. Sure, they both contain analgesics (painkillers), protectants, and moisturizing agents - as you would expect from a pair of quality lip balms - but Blistex goes above and beyond in every department, containing more petrolatum (59% versus 45%), more actives (Camphor, Menthol, and Phenol versus just Camphor) and natural oils to boot.
Speaking of natural ingredients, neither product can claim to be entirely 'natural'. Don't be too alarmed by this, though; keep in mind that Blistex is advertised as a medicated lip balm, and as we know, nearly all medications contain laboratory-born ingredients. Chapstick isn't advertised as 'medicated', but it does contain synthetic pigments. While we appreciate this may be a turn-off for some, they are still safe to use.
Using ingredients as a deciding factor, we prefer the Blistex Lip Medex because it strikes a comfortable balance between a regular and medicated lip balm, but if all you're looking for is a run-of-the-mill chap-preventing balm, do not hesitate to give the Chapstick Classic Original Lip Balm a shot.
Application and Packaging
Though their ingredients lists might boast some similarities, their packaging certainly doesn't. Chapstick employs its signature black and white color scheme (and is most commonly found in stick form), whereas the Blistex Lip Medex is unapologetically dark blue (and found in tubs).
With Chapstick you apply the balm directly with the stick applicator, whereas with Blistex you need to scoop out the balm with your fingers. Ultimately, this is just a preference thing. It doesn't matter an awful lot how the balm makes its way onto your lips, just as long as it gets there!
The winner here - rather arbitrarily, we might add - is for the packaging, and that goes to the Chapstick Classic Original Lip Balm. It's marginally easier to spot a stick with a white lid in the depths of your handbag than a dark blue one!
Usage and Target Issues
Both of these lip balms are safe to use as often as you like. While we wouldn’t suggest rubbing them around your lips all day long, you certainly could.
Chapstick is primarily intended to keep your lips soft and supple, and aid in nourishment during the winter.
Blistex helps to restore a healthy moisture balance (by forming a protective, occlusive layer over your lips) while providing immediate relief from sore lips (thanks to their inclusion of external analgesics [pain relievers]).
One reason you might actually prefer the Chapstick Classic Original Lip Balm over Blistex's is because Blistex sometimes gives your lips a tingly feeling after application. Although some people are fans of this sensation, we can see why it would be a turn-off for others.
It’s almost comical to compare the price of these two products, because both are incredibly affordable. The Chapstick is a little bit cheaper, but not by much. If you are a long time fan of Blistex, its price is certainly not going to deter you from purchasing it.
One nice thing about Chapstick and Blistex is that they offer their products in bundles, making it even more affordable. Bundles are wonderful because lip balm is a product that, for some reason, is easily lost. Although they tend to be cheap to buy, it's always nice to have a few backups on standby just in case one is inevitably lost to the void (where on earth do they go, by the way?).
Now that we have compared all of the major aspects of these two lip balms, let’s choose our winner. The Chapstick Classic Original Lip Balm is a little cheaper and is definitely more your 'typical' lip balm, but Blistex targets more concerns (arguably more effectively).
Although they are remarkably similar, if forced to choose between the two, we choose the Blistex Lip Medex. It works well, it’s cheap, and it has proven to be effective for years.
Calum Torrington is the founder of FemmeNordic. He has worked as a beauty editor since 2020 and employs his analytical background in mathematics to thoroughly scrutinize complex INCI lists. Now, he helps over 1 million people per year to find the best beauty products.