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Carmex vs Aquaphor 2024 (The Definitive Guide)

Two of the most popular and long-lasting lip care brands in the world are Carmex and Aquaphor. 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 Carmex Classic Lip Balm and Aquaphor Lip Repair and decide once and for all which brand is superior.

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Carmex Classic Lip Balm vs Aquaphor Lip Repair

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 Carmex Classic Lip Balm and Aquaphor Lip Repair. But how do they differ?

Are the ingredients any good?

It's not uncommon for similar skincare products to share a very similar ingredients list, but Carmex and Aquaphor actually differ a fair bit in theirs. Sure, they both contain protectants, and moisturizing agents—as you would expect from a pair of quality lip balms—but Aquaphor goes above and beyond by including sun protection and nourishing vitamins, while Carmex features Salicylic Acid (to slough away dead skin cells) and analgesics (painkillers).

Neither product contains entirely 'natural' ingredients. Don't be too alarmed by this, though; keep in mind that they're both advertised as medicated lip balms, and as we know, nearly all medications contain laboratory-born ingredients. While we appreciate this may be a turn-off for some, they are still very much safe to use.

Using ingredients as a deciding factor, we prefer Aquaphor Lip Repair due to the inclusion of sun protection, but if you're seeking a more run-of-the-mill lip balm, do not hesitate to give the Carmex Classic Lip Balm a shot. (Also bear in mind that Carmex also offers a version of their Classic Lip Balm with SPF 15, too).

What about the application and packaging?

Though their ingredients lists might share at least some resemblance, their packaging certainly doesn't. Carmex employs an unmistakable yellow and red color scheme, whereas the Aquaphor Lip Repair is unapologetically plain.

When it comes to their application, they're the exact same, in that both are available in tubes and sticks (and Carmex offers a version that comes in a tub). 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 Carmex Classic Lip Balm. It's an awful lot easier to spot a bright yellow tube in the depths of your handbag than a plain white one!

What are they designed for?

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.

Both are designed to help protect your lips from the elements - especially cold, windy weather. They help to restore a healthy moisture balance (by forming a protective, occlusive layer over your lips) and the Carmex Classic Lip Balm goes one step further by providing additional relief from sore lips (thanks to their inclusion of external analgesics [pain relievers]).

Some versions do not provide any sun protection, but both brands do offer alternatives in tubes and sticks containing SPF if that's primarily what you're looking for (Carmex Classic Lip Balm SPF 15 and Aquaphor Lip Repair).

One big reason you might actually prefer the Aquaphor Lip Repair over Carmex's is because Carmex sometimes gives your lips a tingly feeling after application (because it is medicated and contains an exfoliant). Although some people are fans of this sensation, we can see why it would be a turn-off for others.

A note about pricing

It’s almost comical to compare the price of these two products, because both are incredibly affordable. Carmex is a little bit cheaper, but not by much. If you like the sound of what Aquaphor has to offer, its price is certainly not going to deter you from purchasing it.

One nice thing about Carmex and Aquaphor is that they offer their products in bundles, making them 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?).

Final Verdict

Now that we have compared all of the major aspects of these two lip balms, you would have thought there would be a clear-cut winner. Truthfully, though, unless you're willing to split hairs, either of the two would make for an excellent choice for your lips.

Find the best Carmex prices on Amazon

Find the best Aquaphor prices on Amazon

This article was originally published on November 6th 2022, but it has been reviewed and updated with the latest available information on February 14th 2024 by Sara Mckay, MA.

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