We Tried It: 5 Popular Lip Oils That Provide All The Shine Without Stickiness

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Key Ingredients: Vegan collagen, prickly pear oil, squalane | Available Shades: 5


Frequently Asked Questions

How are lip oils different from lip balms?

We like to think of lip oils as the intersection between lip balms and glosses. As the skinification of makeup products becomes more popular, lip oils have become a favorite among beauty lovers, both in skin and cosmetics, for their subtle tints and moisture-replenishing properties. Besides the sheer aesthetics, lip oils also double as a nourishing lip treatment—without feeling greasy, heavy, or sticky.

With that being said, there’s actually a major difference between oils and balms that goes beyond texture. “Lip balms often contain humectants, emollients, and occlusive ingredients, working to help boost moisture in the lips, while lip oils provide an occlusive layer to the lips to help seal moisture in,” says Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City. “Lip balms tend to be best suited for those who experience dry and dehydrated lips, but can also be layered and used in combination with a lip oil.”

Which ingredients are commonly found in lip oils?

Long story short, many are formulated with lightweight emollients like jojoba, grapeseed, squalane, avocado, or rosehip oil, notes Brendan Camp, MD, a double board-certified dermatologist in New York City. However, Dr. Camp adds: “Some [lip oils] contain nourishing ingredients like peptides, which may encourage collagen production, ceramides, which help fortify the skin barrier, vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects skin from oxidative stress, and hyaluronic acid, which is a humectant that helps skin retain moisture.”

Meet the experts

How we test and review products

Before reviewing any makeup, we ask questions about a number of factors: What ingredients are in it? Does the brand offer a wide shade range inclusive of consumers with all skin tones and undertones? Is it safe for readers who have sensitive skin or wear contact lenses? Is it on the affordable side or more of a splurge? Is its packaging consciously designed or needlessly wasteful?

For our review of the best lip oils, we enlisted the help of multiple editors, writers, contributors, and board-certified dermatologists to review the products. This ensures our testing base spans different skin tones, genders, and dermatological conditions. We considered each product’s performance across four primary categories: ingredients, wear and longevity, packaging, and inclusivity. For more on what’s involved in our reporting, check out our complete reviews process and methodology page.

Our staff and testers

A beauty product is a personal purchase. You might be searching for a face cream to address persistent dryness or a new nail product to add to your Sunday self-care routine; you may simply be browsing around for the latest launches to hit the hair market. No matter what you seek or your individual needs and concerns, Allure wants to ensure that you love anything we recommend in our stories. We believe that having a diverse team of writers and editors—in addition to the wide range of outside testers and industry experts we regularly call upon—is essential to reaching that goal.



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