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Is Coloured lip balm good?

Lip balm has become a staple in many people’s beauty routines. Traditional lip balms tend to have a medicinal look, often being some variation of pale pink or completely clear. However, coloured lip balms have become increasingly popular, adding a pop of colour while moisturizing lips.

But is coloured lip balm actually good for your lips? There are some pros and cons to consider.

Pros of Coloured Lip Balm

Here are some of the benefits that coloured lip balms can provide:

  • Adds subtle colour – Coloured lip balms allow you to add a touch of colour to your lips without having to wear full-on lipstick. The colour payoff is more sheer and subtle.
  • Moisturizes lips – Like a regular lip balm, coloured lip balms still contain moisturizing ingredients to hydrate and soften lips. Look for options with shea butter, vitamin E, and oils.
  • Convenient – You can get both colour and care in one simple product. Coloured lip balms are easy to apply and reapply throughout the day.
  • Buildable colour – With many coloured lip balms, you can layer on multiple coats to build up to your desired intensity of colour.
  • Wide shade ranges – Coloured lip balms come in a huge variety of shades from nudes to bold brights. You can find a shade to suit any mood or look.
  • Fun and trendy – Coloured lip balms offer a fun way to experiment with different lip shades. Many brands release limited edition and trendy colours.
  • Affordable – Coloured lip balms tend to be relatively inexpensive, especially compared to most lipsticks. The affordable price makes it easy to try new shades.
  • Multipurpose – Many coloured lip balms can also be used on cheeks as a cream blush. You get two products in one.

Cons of Coloured Lip Balm

However, there are some downsides to keep in mind as well:

  • Drying formulas – Some coloured lip balms are prone to dryness and can potentially dry out lips more over time. They may contain irritating dyes.
  • Lack of nutrients – While traditional lip balms focus on nourishment and repair, some coloured lip balms forego those skin-beneficial ingredients.
  • Less longevity – The colour of a coloured lip balm may wear off more quickly than traditional lipstick. Reapplication is often needed.
  • Less precision – Coloured lip balms tend to be applied with fingers instead of a precise lip brush applicator. The application may not be as neat.
  • Stickier texture – In order to get the colour to adhere, coloured lip balms can have a thicker, sticker texture. Some find this less comfortable.
  • Limited for pigmentation – For those wanting very intense, dramatic lip colour, a coloured lip balm may not provide enough pigment. A liquid lipstick would be better.
  • Not moisturizing enough – For extremely dry lips, a medicated lip balm may still be needed in addition to the coloured lip balm.
  • Potential allergies – As with any cosmetic product, coloured lip balms run the risk of causing an allergic reaction in some people, especially to dyes.

Ingredients to Look For

When shopping for a coloured lip balm, read the ingredient list closely. Look for key ingredients that will nourish lips and provide ample moisture:

  • Shea butter – Rich in vitamins A and E, shea butter helps heal chapped lips and restore suppleness.
  • Cocoa butter – Another excellent plant-based butter that softens and conditions lips.
  • Beeswax – Beeswax forms a protective barrier on the lips to seal in moisture and prevent evaporation.
  • Cupuacu butter – Made from the seeds of the Cupuacu tree, this Amazonian butter adds deep hydration.
  • Murumuru butter – Derived from the seeds of Brazilian murumuru palms, this butter melts easily to coat lips.
  • Coconut oil – Contains medium-chain fatty acids that penetrate deeply into lips.
  • Castor oil – Locks in moisture and can help treat any cracked or chapped areas of the lips.
  • Vitamin E – This antioxidant vitamin boosts collagen production and repairs dryness.
  • Hyaluronic acid – Binds moisture to the skin and replenishes lips’ hydration.
  • Natural oils – Look for plant-based oils like olive, avocado, almond, jojoba or grapeseed oil.
  • Natural waxes – In addition to beeswax, Candelilla or Carnauba wax also glide onto lips smoothly.
  • Lanolin – Derived from sheep’s wool, lanolin mimics skin’s natural oils.

Ingredients to Avoid

On the other hand, there are some ingredients in coloured lip balms that you may want to steer clear of:

  • Artificial fragrances – These can contain phthalates and other chemicals that irritate lips.
  • Artificial dyes – Look for lip balms using natural mineral pigments instead of FD&C dye.
  • Parabens – Parabens are preservatives that may disrupt hormones and cause reactions.
  • Propylene glycol – A solvent that allows other ingredients to penetrate deeper, but can be drying.
  • Triclosan – An antibacterial chemical that research shows may lead to antibiotic resistance.
  • Phthalates – Plasticizers sometimes lurking in “fragrance” that are endocrine disruptors.
  • Oxybenzone – A chemical UV-filter that can produce allergic reactions.
  • Petrolatum – Petroleum jelly that can be contaminated with toxins during processing.

How to Apply Coloured Lip Balm

While coloured lip balms are low-maintenance, here are some tips for getting the best results when applying:

  • Start with clean, dry lips – Remove any traces of balms or scrubs so the colour adheres well.
  • Use your ring finger – Your ring finger tends to be the most gentle and apply the lightest pressure.
  • Dab on lightly – Avoid rubbing harshly, which can pull at delicate lip skin. Gently dab for an even layer.
  • Build gradually – Apply thin layers, allowing each to dry before adding more to build colour slowly.
  • Blot before adding more – If needed, blot with a tissue before adding another layer to increase longevity.
  • Use lip liner – Lining lips first helps colour stay in place and prevents feathering.
  • Pair with lip scrub – Exfoliate with a lip scrub 1-2 times per week for smoother, flake-free application.
  • Don’t share – Never share lip products with others to avoid transferring bacteria.

How to Remove Coloured Lip Balm

Taking off coloured lip balm takes a little more effort than a clear balm since colour will linger on lips. Here are some effective makeup remover options:

  • Micellar water – Saturate a cotton pad and gently wipe across lips.
  • Makeup melting balms – Massage in a makeup melting balm before wiping away with a tissue.
  • Cleansing oil – Work in a lip-safe cleansing oil and rinse off completely with water.
  • Double cleansing – Remove first with micellar water or cleansing oil, then follow up with a face wash.
  • Lip scrub – Buff away all traces of colour with a gentle lip scrub.
  • Coconut oil – Apply a light layer of coconut oil to dissolve colour, then wipe off.
  • Warm washcloth – Run a warm, damp washcloth over lips to help steam colour away.

DIY Coloured Lip Balm

For those who prefer all-natural products, you can easily make your own coloured lip balm at home. Here is a simple recipe to try:


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (melted)
  • 1 tablespoon shea or cocoa butter (melted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • Natural food colouring
  • 5-10 drops essential oil (optional for flavour)


  1. Add the coconut oil, beeswax, shea/cocoa butter, and honey to a small glass jar or tin.
  2. Gently heat the jar in a pan of boiling water until ingredients melt together. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in a few drops of natural food colouring to achieve your desired shade.
  4. Next, mix in any essential oils for flavour. Suggestions: peppermint, lemon, vanilla.
  5. Pour the mixture into lip balm tubes or small tins and let cool completely until hardened.

This makes a moisturizing, all-natural coloured lip balm. Feel free to customize with different colour combinations and essential oil scents. Store in a cool, dry place and use within 6 months.

Should You Use Coloured Lip Balm?

When it comes to choosing whether coloured lip balm is right for you, consider these key factors:

  • Your lip needs – If you have perpetually dry, chapped lips, go for a nourishing traditional lip balm first. Save coloured balms for occasional use.
  • Ingredients – Read the ingredient list closely to choose coloured lip balms with mainly natural moisturizing ingredients and without irritants.
  • Type of colour – Sheer tinted balms are less likely to dry out lips than intense, saturated pigments.
  • Your sensitivity – Discontinue use if your lips show any signs of redness, stinging or allergic reaction.
  • Occasional use – Limit application to 3-4 times per week at most to prevent over-drying lips.

The Bottom Line

Coloured lip balm can be a fun way to experiment with different lip shades while keeping your pout kissably soft. Look for options that emphasize conditioning ingredients first and colour second. Read reviews to choose shades that apply nicely and feel comfy. With the right nourishing formula, coloured lip balm can give your lips a boost of colour without compromising on care.

Use common sense – if your lips are extremely dry or irritated, give them a break from lip products and focus on moisturizing and healing before adding in colours. Aim to use coloured lip balms in moderation as a cosmetic treat, not an everyday necessity. And as with any lip product, discontinue use if any discomfort occurs.

Overall, coloured lip balms deserve a place in any makeup bag to pull together a casual, everyday look. Just be diligent about reading labels to get a blend of care and colour that leaves your lips soft, smooth and ready for those close-up moments!