Two of the most popular lip care brands in the world are Blistex and Vaseline. 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 Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly and decide once and for all which brand is superior.
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Blistex vs Vaseline
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.
Petrolatum, more commonly referred to as Petroleum Jelly, is a hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, jelly-like ingredient that helps to protect and hydrate skin, fight free radical damage, and reduce wrinkles. It isn't absorbed by the skin, so it sits on top acting as a barrier to keep dirt out and more importantly keep moisture in.
The Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly formula consists of 100% petrolatum and doesn't contain any other ingredients—not even water. Blistex Lip Medex, on the other hand, only contains around 59% petrolatum, with the remaining 41% being made up of: analgesics (painkillers), wax (protectant), seed oils (smooths and softens), benzyl alcohol (aids in healing), and fragrances/flavorings.
This distinction in formulas drastically changes what each product can be used for, and what they are best at. With Vaseline being made entirely of an occlusive protectant, it offers nothing more than a break for your lips from external elements. To this end, it is an excellent preventative (in that it can prevent your lips from chapping as easily), but it cannot replace lost moisture by itself, nor can it rapidly soothe sore lips (though it may over time).
Rather contrastingly, the Blistex Lip Medex serves the entire opposite purpose as a restorative lip balm. This means that it *does* have the ability to relieve existing chapped lips, both in the sense of pain relief AND moisture replenishment.
Using ingredients as a deciding factor, we prefer the Blistex Lip Medex as a lip balm. Vaseline doubles up as so much more than a lip balm, offering skin benefits beyond just your lips (think: for dry hands, for ashy feet, for mild wounds, etc.), but that's not necessarily what we're looking for here.
Application and Packaging
Both products employ their signature dark blue branding and come in tubs of varying sizes. There's no applicators, so you'll be scooping out the balm with your fingers. I'll be frank: there's no real differences of note here; let's move on to the next factor.
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.
Vaseline is primarily intended to keep your lips (or other dryness-prone patches of skin) soft and supple, and aid in protection 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 Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly over Blistex's lip balm, though, 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. Blistex is a tad more expensive than its Vaseline counterpart, but this is understandable given that it contains a formula of ingredients - as opposed to just one.
One nice thing about Vaseline 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?).
Having now compared all of the major aspects of these two balms, it's clear to see that Blistex Lip Medex is the better lip balm, but if you're seeking a multipurpose treatment for dry skin for your whole body (i.e., not just your lips), then Vaseline is your answer.