Lip Oils Have Become Wildly Popular, But Is There A Downside? Here's What To Know

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There is something about lip oil that we just can't stay away from. For those who don't know, lip oils are made with natural oils that are made to bring shine to the lips without any stickiness (via Gisou). This is because lip oils have a thinner consistency than a gloss, but can penetrate deeper than a lip balm. Lip oils are perfect for the person who wants to add a wet look to the lips without the thick film that lip gloss can potentially leave.


What is supposed to make lip oils different from other lip products is that they are said to be hydrating. Brands like Charlotte Tilbury have made claims that these oils add more moisture to the lips, however, this may not be the case in reality. "It's important to note that oil on its own, whether used on the face or lips, does not provide any hydrating benefits," skincare expert and cosmetic doctor Dr. Ana Mansouri explained to Refinery 29. So before purchasing your lip oil, it's important to understand the downsides, and what it does to the lips exactly.

What oils do to the lips

Despite the numerous claims, lip oils are not hydrating in the strictest sense of the word because they don't actually inject any hydration into the lips. "Hydration in skin care means applying water or water-binding ingredients to your skin," cosmetic chemist Krupa Koestline told Allure. Unfortunately, oil does not have the power to do this. However, that doesn't mean we should write it off. 


"Oils are part of the moisturizing process," cosmetic chemist Vince Spinatto revealed to the outlet. "So while oils can condition the skin and hair, they only retain water content — not add it — which means they are moisturizing but not hydrating."

This means that oils in general are meant to lock moisture in, but they can't turn dry lips into healthy lips in the long run. According to Russh, the skin on your lips can get worse if you apply oil to the lips before a true hydrating ingredient, as the oil can stop any hydration from sinking into the skin properly. 

Since lip oils are moisturizing and do leave a nice sheen on your lips, you don't have to get rid of them altogether. Just make sure you're hydrating your lips in addition to wearing lip oil. 


How to keep the lips hydrated

Regardless of whether you want to wear lip oils or not, keeping your lips hydrated is very important. According to Treat Beauty, hydration stops your lips from becoming irritated and chapped, helps lipstick to sit on your lips better, and allows them to look their best as you age. 


The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA) explains that one of the easiest ways to keep your lips hydrated is by applying "non-irritating lip balms" to create softer and more supple lips. If looking for lip balms, it's best to prioritize ones with ingredients that will improve your lips over time, staying away from problematic additions such as eucalyptus and fragrances. 

Dermatologist Heather Rogers explained to Insider that products with castor oil are great to add to your collection if your goal is getting softer lips. Also look out for lip balms with honey and shea butter.

According to Tatcha, incorporating lip masks into your nightly routine also allows the lips to experience a hit of hydration. The cosmetic brand explains that lip balms often contain power ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid, to hydrate and soften the lips. If you're going to use a lip oil, ensure that you're also using a top-quality lip balm and regular lip masks to guarantee that your lips are hydrated and healthy.