If you’re among the many people who struggle with dry, chapped lips (like me!), you know how frustrating it can be to find a product that actually delivers!
Enter the lip oil: Innovative formulations have taken the beauty world by storm for good reason.
Lip oils provide the perfect combination of hydration and nourishment, leaving even the driest, flakiest lips feeling soft, smooth, and healthy. Many also contain natural ingredients that make your pout appear plumper and fuller.
And they add a glossy sheen to your lips, perfect for dressing up or down your look, depending on how you wear the oil. For instance, my favorite way is to apply tinted lip oil to bare lips to polish up a minimal look, such as a casual brunch at home with friends!
So, let’s take a closer look at lip oils, their benefits, ingredients, differences from other lip products, and the best options available (including the viral Dior Lip Glow Oil, Clarins Lip Comfort Oil, and NYX Fat Oil Lip Drip!).
What is a lip oil?
A lip oil is an innovative hybrid that combines the intense hydration of a balm, the shine of a gloss, and the (optional) tint of a lightweight lipstick.
But first, some skin science: Our lips do not have any sebaceous (oil-producing) glands, so they cannot produce their own protective layer of natural oils. In a double whammy, they also have the thinnest skin anywhere on the body.
That’s why lips often get dry and irritated with even the slightest triggers — like smoke, dehydration, sun exposure, or even our saliva!
And that’s where lip oils make all the difference.
They are made from nutrient-rich plant oils such as jojoba oil, sunflower seed oil, raspberry oil, cherry oil, almond oil, and even hazelnut oils.
Besides nourishing the lips, this gorgeous cocktail of beautiful oils is also rich in antioxidants and essential fatty acids, providing protection to the delicate skin.
And it’s not even just about the oils.
These lip care formulations can also incorporate several other ingredients to help your pout. For example, some include vitamin E, which helps to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Others contain hyaluronic acid, a powerful hydrating ingredient that plumps lips for a fuller look.
What’s the difference between a lip oil and lip balm?
Traditional lip balms are made from waxes and butters, rather than natural oils. Since oils absorb into the skin more easily than heavier waxes, lip oils can penetrate deep into our lips, leaving them soft and supple. Conversely, balms tend to sit on the lips, providing only temporary comfort.
And no, they don’t feel heavy or greasy — well-formulated lip oils are lightweight and quick-absorbing, offering a more comfortable, non-sticky experience than traditional balms that can leave a waxy residue. Result? Smooth lips with a glass-like shine and lightweight texture. And a hint of color if you’re using a tinted lip oil.
Another advantage of lip oils is their versatility. They come in various shades and finishes, from sheer to shimmery, and can be worn alone or over your favorite lipstick or lip liner.
[No, I am not saying lip balms are not good. I am only saying that a tinted lip oils is better in many situations.]
What’s the difference between a lip oil and lip gloss?
Lip oils are made with natural oils that provide intense hydration and nourishment for the lips. They also have a light, non-sticky texture and a barely-there feel.
In contrast, glosses have a thicker, stickier, gel-like texture that sits more heavily on the lips. They are often formulated with synthetic polymers or waxes to create their signature high shine. And their primary goal is to add glaze and glamour to the lips, with hydration being a secondary benefit.
Ultimately, the choice between lip oil and lip gloss comes down to personal preference. If you want deep hydration and nourishment, choose a lip oil. Go for a lip gloss if you want a high-shine finish.
The 12 best lip oils
As a beauty editor, I’ve tried countless lip oils, and these have always come out on top! They are packed with nourishing ingredients for deep hydration and a glossy finish, elevating your lip care routine.
Building on the success of the original Clarins Lip Comfort Oil, this offers the same nourishing and hydrating properties but with a more intense, saturated color payoff. Its non-sticky texture and high-shine finish make a statement while keeping your lips soft, supple, and well-nourished.
FAQs about the best lip oils
This FAQ will answer some of the most commonly asked questions about lip oils, including their benefits, how to use them, and more.
What does a lip oil do?
A lip oil provides intense hydration and nourishment to the lips with a blend of natural oils. It has a lightweight, non-sticky texture and is used to enhance the performance of other lip products or as a standalone treatment for dry, flaky lips.
Do lip oils help with dry lips?
Yes, lip oils can definitely help with dry lips. Their oil-based formula provides intense hydration and nourishment, using natural oils like jojoba, argan, and coconut oil. This allows them to soothe and hydrate dry, chapped lips, leaving them feeling smooth and hydrated.
Can lip oils be worn alone or with other lip products?
Lip oils can be worn alone for a natural, glossy look or layered over other makeup products, such as lipsticks or lip liners, for a pop of color with extra shine.
Can I use a tinted lip oil at night?
Yes, you can use lip oil at night. In fact, it can be very beneficial lip treatment. The nourishing natural oils can deeply hydrate your lips as you sleep, repairing dry and chapped lips for a soft and supple pout.
Are there any key ingredients I should look for in a lip oil?
When choosing a lip oil, choose products containing nourishing and natural ingredients such as jojoba, argan, or rosehip oils. Also, look for ingredients like vitamin E and antioxidants that can provide additional protection and benefits for your lips.
Are tinted lip oils better than lipstick?
Lip oils and lipsticks serve different purposes, with lip oils designed for intense hydration and nourishment (sheer wash of color is optional) and lipsticks for color and coverage. Whether lip oils or lipsticks are better depends on personal preferences and desired benefits.