It’s the balm: What your favorite lip balm says about you

Lip balm is a necessity. Photo by Grace Hensley.


It’s cold, it’s windy and I bet your lips are chapped. 

Winter is peak lip balm season, and I hope that all of you are using some type of lip protectant to keep your lips soft and hydrated. Lip balm is important, and if you, or a loved one, are a dedicated lip balm user, you know how critical it is to make sure that you always have a lip balm on you at all times. 

Junior biochemistry major Rushda Hussein is an avid lip balm user, and she shared her thoughts on how important it is to her. 

“I think I use [lip balm] every five minutes,” Hussein said. “I keep a little vial with me at all times, and I’m always using it. I can’t live without it.”

I, too, always keep some type of lip balm on me at all times as well. There are a plethora of lip balms and ChapSticks that exist, and most people are typically strongly committed to one particular kind.  But contrary to popular belief, there are right and wrong choices when it comes to choosing a lip protectant, and I’m here to judge you based on your choices. 

Burt’s Bees

Burt’s Bees has quite a dedicated fan base. For sophomore biology major Zohal Atmar, the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms are her favorite. 

“It’s perfect because it’s a similar shade as the Clinique Black Honey lipstick,” Atmar said. “It’s super hydrating, [and] it’s cheaper.” 

If Burt’s Bees ChapStick is your go-to lip balm, you’re a little bit pretentious. You enjoy using a product that seems like the cooler, quirkier and cleaner option. I know that you have those fake scientific posters hanging on your walls. You know the ones I’m talking about: they’re designed to look old and vintage when they definitely aren’t, and they have highly detailed illustrations of butterflies or various plants or the phases of the moon or God knows what else. You are a fake little hipster. 

But I must ask: how do your dry, chapped lips feel? Burt’s Bees simply does not work. I, too, was a supporter of the Burt’s Bees revolution in high school. I liked the pseudo-hipster packaging and the fun floral, herbal and fruit flavors. But one day, I suddenly developed a strange reaction towards the mango Burt’s Bees ChapStick; I looked like I had tried to achieve a DIY lip filler procedure, and it was not a pretty picture. From that moment onwards, I knew I had to stay away from Burt, his bees and their lip products. 


This is the NPC of lip balms. If you use the ChapStick brand of ChapStick, I am afraid of you. I have not touched one of these since I was a child. I have no idea if they even work, but I do know that I am a little bit spooked by your choice. 

Using ChapStick is a major red flag in my books. If I’m meeting you for the first time, and you casually pull out a ChapStick-brand lip balm, I am immediately looking for a way out of that interaction. I beg you to use literally any other lip balm. I’d rather you not use any lip balm at all. 

Atmar, however, had an alternative point of view regarding this matter. 

“Personally, I’m not a ChapStick snob,” Atmar said. “But if you have [and use] ChapStick, I think that’s a step in the right direction.”  

Although I personally believe that there are right and wrong options when it comes to lip balms, I had to kind of respect Atmar’s opinion. On some level, she was correct that using any lip balm at all was arguably better than letting your lips stay chapped and dry. 


Good, old-fashioned Vaseline is a classic. It’s a tried-and-true lip protectant that has consistently done well. Vaseline is undeniably a great product. Whether you’re slathering it over your cracked hands or chapped lips, it always works. 

If Vaseline is your favorite lip balm, I think you might be a tad bit boring. You need to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Perhaps this article will provide you with a fun, new ChapStick to try. I do, however, respect the fact that you stick to “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” quite strictly. Most people fall victim to TikTok trends and advertising, but you’ve never let that faze you and your tub of Vaseline. 


How old are you? If EOS lip balm, especially the kind that comes in the egg, is your favorite, I fear you may have peaked in middle school. We’ve all heard of people that peak in high school, but here lies someone that has managed to peak in middle school. 

Inaya Patel, a junior chemistry and Spanish double-major, was a little bit amazed at the thought of someone using EOS in this day and age. 

“I’m honestly kind of in awe of how they made it that far,” Patel said. “Because EOS really sucks. I don’t know how you can use that on a daily basis and not learn that it’s terrible.”

EOS never worked when I used it as a kid. Its primary function was looking like an egg, as opposed to being an actual lip balm. 

Atmar was skeptical that anyone other than a child would be using EOS.

“I’d question whether they’re an adult because it’s for middle school kids,” Atmar said. “It doesn’t even fit in your pocket because it’s an egg shape … It’s not convenient … and after you’ve used it many times, it just gets so disgusting and it looks misshapen … It becomes embarrassing to open it in public. Why would you want that for yourself?”

I couldn’t agree more with Atmar. If you use EOS, you are probably quite immature. Perhaps you don’t know how to do laundry or cook properly. Maybe you’ve never had any responsibilities in your life before. I suspect you are always late to class. 


Congratulations! This is the correct answer. Aquaphor is the most valid choice of lip balm. You are a smart, hardworking, unique and creative person if you use Aquaphor. When I see someone with their tube of Aquaphor, I immediately trust them. I’m drawn to them. I feel like I’ve already established a good connection with them. 

Aquaphor works so well. It heals. It protects. It nourishes. It’s everything you could ever ask for in a lip product. If Aquaphor existed in a physical and human form, she would be the It-Girl. I just know Aquaphor — maybe we can call her Aqua; I think she’d like that — would always smell nice. Aqua would be stunning. She would have a fantastic sense of style. Aqua reads complicated novels and texts for the fun of it. She would be a force to be reckoned with. 

Not using any lip balm

I am crying. I am shaking. I am sweating. This is blasphemous. 

What do you mean you “don’t use any lip balm or ChapStick?” Do your lips not get dry? Have you found a secret cure for dry and chapped lips? If so, could you please share it with me? I would really appreciate it, and I would make sure not to tell anyone. 

Atmar raised the point that sometimes men stay away from lip balms for certain reasons. 

“I know a few men that don’t use ChapStick because they say ‘it’s a girl thing,’” Atmar said. “And their lips are disgusting … I think everyone should use ChapStick … ChapStick is not a women’s product. ChapStick is a humanity product.”

A humanity product is a perfect way of describing it. If you seriously do not use any lip balm, I am spooked. I know that this article has consisted of me feeling very unsettled by your choice of lip balm, but this option is the strangest to me. 

I hope this article provided you with some insight into who you are as a person. Thank you for letting me profile you based on what lip balm you regularly reach for. If there is one thing to take away from this article, it should be that you need to start using some form of lip protectant if you currently aren’t. Please don’t let your pride get in the way of hydrated, smooth lips because there’s nothing better than the feeling of lips that are well moisturized. It’s simply “the balm.”


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