Why You Should Be Using Lip Oil Instead of Lip Balm

It's time to retire that lip balm if you've been using for years (and, at the same time, aren't in love with) for something that works a heck of a lot better.

If your lips are feeling extra dry and irritated due to face masks or if you tend to get an annoyingly chapped, peeIy pout during colder months, you're not alone. Luckily, there are tons of lip balm options to hydrate, moisturize, and soften lips. But one product you might not be familiar with has been getting a lot of traction — and experts say it actually works better than that balm you've been only mildly satisfied with for ~years~.

Meet lip oils, which penetrate better than balms or chapsticks, says Mamina Turegano, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist who works with the online dermatology clinic Apostrophe. "Chapsticks and lip balms are usually composed of ingredients like waxes (like beeswax), petrolatum, shea butter, and/or lanolin, which all serve to protect and moisturize the skin, but only have a temporary effect, which can make them feel addictive with the need to reapply constantly," she explains. On the other hand, lip oils are composed of oils from ingredients such as almond, olive, jojoba, coconut, avocado, hemp seed, castor oil, and rosehip — and because these natural ingredients contain fatty acids, vitamins, and antioxidants, they're much more nourishing and hydrating for your lips, adds Dr. Turegano.

One key difference is that lip oils don't have the creamy feel that balms and sticks do — but that actually works to their advantage. Lip oils have a thin consistency that allows them to penetrate deeper into the skin with the good ingredients in tow. "Because oils can penetrate more readily through the layers of the skin, [a lip oil] can be more nourishing and hydrating," points out Dr. Turegano. (

Feeling like your current balm just isn't hacking it anymore, no matter how often you reapply? Ahead, the best lip oils that will seriously seep into all the cracks and crevasses of your dry lips to leave them smooth, soft, hydrated, and feeling great.

Tarte Sugar Rush Lip Sip Vegan Lip Oil

best lip oils tarte

Give lips what they want with this comforting formula, which contains jojoba, hazel, and sunflower seed oil to moisturize lips without leaving them sticky. Also nice: If you prefer a hint of color over a plain ol' balm, this lippy packs a shiny punch, thanks to subtle shades like Cherry Slush (sheer red), Dragon Fruit (sheer magenta), and Fresh Pressed (sheer nude). One reviewer wrote: "I use the product every time my lips are dry and it looks like lip gloss but it's thicker and hydrating."

Buy It: Tarte Sugar Rush Lip Sip, $15, ulta.com

Tower28 ShineOn Jelly Lip Gloss

best lips oils tower28

Available in a variety sheer colors — from basic clear and classic red to fall-appropriate berry and gorgeous gold shimmer — this lip oil is formulated with five natural oils, including raspberry seed, avocado, castor, and apricot kernel oils. While it's also super glossy, it has the comfort of a balm so your lips feel soothed if they're chapped or dry. Want more opaque color? Try the brand's new milky formulas, too. (

"I love the look of shiny lipstick and lipgloss; however, I haven't been able to find one moisturizing enough post-chemo. So I've been using chapstick for years now. I tried this lip jelly on a whim, and I love it! It's not sticky, and it's very moisturizing," shared a customer.

Buy It: Tower28 Shine On Jelly Lip Gloss, $14, credobeauty.com

Dior Lip Glow Oil

best lip oils dior

If you're the kind of person who needs a little color, this might be your new go-to. Available in seven sheer hues, this lippy is packed with cherry oil to protect against drying and adds a healthy shine to lips without the greasy finish of traditional glosses. As an added bonus, it has a fresh mint-vanilla scent.

"This product is AMAZING!!! I expected a very liquid consistency, but found it to be in fact the exact same consistency as vegetable oil. It hydrates and enhances the look of my lips. I don't know how much it revived the color of my lips, but it is an amazing product even without that feature!" raved one shopper.

Buy It: Dior Lip Glow Oil, $34, sephora.com

Elaluz 24k Lip Therapy

best lip oils elaluz

While it might look like your average balm, hear me out: This balm acts as a lip oil to restore elasticity and promote moisture absorption, thanks to an antioxidant-rich blend of papaya, açaí berry, and grapeseed oils. Plus, it's way more luxurious than other lip treatments out there, since it also contains 24k gold flakes. Fancy, right? Shoppers also love how they don't need to reapply it over and over, which helps keep lip balm addiction at bay (hey, it's a real thing).

A reviewer on the Elaluz site said: "Love this! Have tried hundreds of lip balms but this is one that actually hydrates my lips and leaves them so smooth and I don't need to reapply all the time they stay soft and hydrated."

Buy It: Elaluz 24k Lip Therapy, $28, net-a-porter.com

Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen Lip

best lip oils algenist

While it's not technically a lip oil, this vegan lip treatment was too cool not to make the list. It suspends botanicals and tiny beads of microalgae oil (see, it totally has oil in it!) in collagen water to smooth lips. Not to mention, it contains nourishing sunflower seed oil to further moisturize and soften your pout and alguronic acid (an ingredient sourced from algae, and patented by the Algenist team) to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, so lips are nice and plump. (

"This stuff is amazing. Buy it. You'll love it. Plumps my lips and keeps them healthy. Stopped the peeling," noted one customer.

Buy It: Algenist Genius Liquid Collagen Lip, $34, amazon.com

NYX #ThisIsEverything Lip Oil

best lip oils nyx

Not only is this NYX option crazy affordable (it's practically free since it's currently discounted on Amazon), it's packed full of almond, rosehip, and jojoba oils to moisturize and soothe dry, chapped lips. It also has a light vanilla and cherry blossom scent and a nice sheen to it that mimics a gloss without feeling sticky.

A reviewer shared: "This is absolutely, hands-down, the best moisturizing makeup for lips I've EVER used. I have chronic dry skin, including my mouth, due to medical issues. This lip oil has been a life-changer for me. No more peeling, painful lips. It lasts a few hours, like most lip balms, but it moisturizes on a deeper level than all the other balms, lip glosses and sticks I've ever tried. this is amazing, and I swear by lip oil now."

Buy It: NYX #ThisIsEverything Lip Oil, $4, $6, amazon.com

Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss

best lip oils kosas

A powerful combination of hyaluronic acid, peptides, and avocado, castor seed, and evening primrose oil ensures that this lip oil treatment hydrates, plumps, and protects lips — all while adding juicy color. Choose from five bright shades that will give your pout a summertime glow, even in the dead of winter. (

"I love this product so much! It is really moisturizing and isn't sticky imo. It has this like orange ice cream strong scent that I enjoy so much and because I got the clear one I don't have to worry about staining my mask," wrote a shopper.

Buy It: Kosas Wet Lip Oil Gloss, $27, sephora.com

NARS Orgasm Oil-Infused Lip Tint

best lip oils nars

If you're on the hunt for a product that will seriously moisturize your lips and flatter your natural lip color, you'll be thrilled by this lip oil-tint hybrid. Containing raspberry seed oil and pomegranate extract, this formula has a gel-oil texture that feels super comfortable and lightweight coating your pout.

Customers swear by its natural color, with one shopper stating, "Light moisturizing. Color accents your current lip color. Not too much and not too little. It is just right. Goes on smooth. Love this product!"

Buy It: NARS Orgasm Oil-Infused Lip Tint, $17, amazon.com

Morphe 2 Glassified Lip Oil

best lip oils morphe

You've been warned: Don't sleep on this lip oil. Infused with jojoba, coconut, and moringa oil, this moisturizing product will leave your pout super soft. It also comes in six sheer colors, so there's always a shade to match your mood. (

"This gloss is incredible!! It is sooo shiny, not sticky, and incredibly smooth. It leaves my lips soft and moisturized. It doesn't have a taste so it won't bother you. It is not thick and not thin, just the perfect medium. Any time my hair goes onto the gloss it comes right back off without being coated or getting stuck," said a reviewer.

Buy It: Morphe 2 Glassified Lip Oil, $9, ulta.com

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles