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Burt’s Bees vs Carmex 2024 (The Definitive Guide)

Two of the most popular and long-lasting lip care brands in the world are Burt’s Bees and Carmex. 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 classic products, the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and the Carmex Classic Lip Balm and decide once and for all which brand is superior.

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Burt's Bees vs Carmex 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.

Two of the best balms that you can find for your lips are Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and Carmex Classic Lip Balm. But how do they differ?


It's not uncommon for similar skincare products to share a very similar ingredients list, but Burt’s Bees and Carmex actually differ quite a lot in theirs. Burt's Bees features a lot of oils, as well as some citrus derivatives and, of course, beeswax. Note that when you’re looking for beeswax in the list of ingredients that they have listed it as Cera Alba - they haven't forgotten their signature ingredient, don't worry!

While Carmex does contain some natural ingredients such as oils and beeswax, it is also full of sun protection agents and unnatural ingredients like salicylic acid. Don't be too alarmed by this, though; keep in mind that Carmex is advertised as a medicated lip balm, and as we know, nearly all medications contain laboratory-born ingredients. While we appreciate this may be a turn-off for some, it is still safe to use.

Using ingredients as a deciding factor, we prefer the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm because we're definitely partial to all-natural products these days, but if you need medicated lip balm, do not let a few unnatural ingredients stop you from buying Carmex. It delivers unrivalled care for your lips, especially if they are in desperate need of repair.

Application and Packaging

One reason these two products are nearly indistinguishable from one another is their packaging. Both employ a yellow and red color scheme, with Burt’s Bees featuring honeycombs to highlight their honey bee theme. Carmex’s packaging looks the same as it always has.

When it comes to their application, they're the exact same, in that both are available in sticks, tubes, and pots. The only thing that might make you prefer one over the other in terms of application is if one of the sticks more naturally contours to your lip, and you like the feel of it - the only way to find that out for yourself, though, is to give them both a go!

The winner here - rather arbitrarily, we might add - is for the packaging, and that goes to the Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm. The honeycomb is adorable and using a cute product definitely adds to the experience.

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.

Carmex is medicated to help protect your lips from the elements, including cold weather. Carmex reminds you to reapply it every two hours, especially if you are in the sun. And you should also put it on 15 minutes prior to sun exposure if you are going to use it as a sunscreen for your lips. Even if you’re just staying indoors it’s important to apply SPF because we still are exposed to some of the reflected UV light from the sun, and we believe that creed extends to lip care as well.

Burt’s Bees is not used for sun protection. It’s primarily intended to keep your lips soft and supple, and aid in nourishment during the winter.

Sun protection is definitely a big differentiating factor (in Carmex's favour), because otherwise they have such similar properties. Another reason we prefer the Carmex Classic Lip Balm over Burt’s Bees is because Burt’s Bees sometimes gives your lips a tingly feeling after application. Although some people are fans of this sensation, we can't quite get used to it.


It’s almost comical to compare the price of these two products, because both are incredibly affordable. The Carmex is a little bit cheaper, but not by much. If you are a long time fan of Burt’s Bees, its price is certainly not going to deter you from purchasing it.

One nice thing about Carmex 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?).

Burt's Bees offers bundles, too, but there aren’t quite as many options. So albeit very narrowly, the Carmex Classic Lip Balm wins on price.

Final Verdict

Now that we have compared all of the major aspects of these two lip balms, let’s choose our winner. The Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm has cuter packaging and natural ingredients, but Carmex has a better price, and targets more concerns (arguably more effectively).

Although they are remarkably similar, if forced to choose between the two, we choose the Carmex Classic Lip Balm. It works well, it’s cheap, and it has proven to be effective for years.

Find the best Carmex prices on Amazon

This article was originally published on March 14th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 1st 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.

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