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Pucker Up: We’ve Found The Best Lip Masks On The Market

by Katie Muirhead

Jul 27, 2022

Lip masks boost moisture and hydrate your lips, leaving them supple and plump. They can fit into anyone's skincare routine, and may even replace your lip balms altogether. If you want the ultimate kissable pout, we've done the research to help you find the best lip mask for you.

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What is a lip mask?

A lip mask is a cream, serum, sheet, or gel patch that delivers hydration to the lip and the delicate skin around the mouth. While they have gained popularity in the West in recent years, they have been a staple in Asian skincare (especially Korean) for a long time.

Lip masks rely on humectants (water-attracting ingredients) such as hyaluronic acid or glycerin to draw moisture into the lips. They are usually thicker than regular lip balms to create a barrier that allows the lips to fully absorb that hydration. Emollient ingredients such as shea butter or squalane oil prevent further hydration loss.

How to use a lip mask

Lip masks are often created to be left on overnight, but in reality, they can be used at any time of the day. They are extra useful for those that live in cold or dry climates or those that wear drying lip products (like matte lipsticks).

Simply apply the cream or serum to clean, dry lips, then leave the mask to work its hydrating magic. For extra-parched lips, try applying the lip mask after gently exfoliating with a lip scrub or wet flannel.

Best lip masks

We have chosen formulas that work to instantly hydrate the lips from the first application. We also selected masks that keep your lips feeling soft and smooth (rather than just getting dry again a few hours after application).

All of the products in this list are cruelty-free, and some are also vegan. We believe that animal testing has no place in the cosmetic industry, and want to make it easy for you to make conscious consumer choices.

Here are our top picks for cruelty-free lip masks:

Best Overall:

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan, clean beauty
Notable ingredientsHyaluronic acid
Formula applicationBalm in pot
Great forHydration, plumping

This soothing lip mask is a great choice for those with sensitive lips or anyone who is searching for a balm with staying power.

Sweet blue agave leaf delivers lip-quenching hydration, and hyaluronic acid draws that into the surface of dry lips. Willow bark works to exfoliate and smooth rough lips, leaving lips that are soft and subtly plumped.

The texture is firm and balmy rather than greasy, and there is only a hint of sweet flavor. Over time you will likely feel yourself reaching for it less and less as your lips stay hydrated for longer.

Best Overnight:

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Notable ingredientsShea butter, hyaluronic acid
Formula applicationTreatment balm in pot
Great forPlumping, hydration, subtle tint

This lip mask will boost hydration to give a subtle plumping effect. There isn't a strong tingle like with some plumping products, but rather a pleasant buzz that lets you know it's working.

Hyaluronic acid draws hydration within the lips, and moisturizing shea butter creates a barrier to keep it there.

This high shine formula comes in two shades: translucent baby pink and sheer cherry. While the name suggests using it overnight, the tint makes this a great choice for a touch of shine on no-makeup days.

Best Under Makeup:

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Notable ingredientsHyaluronic acid 1%,
Formula applicationSerum with doe foot applicator
Great forHydration and plumping of the lips and lip contour

This lip serum is one of the most unique products on this list, but the science behind it makes a lot of sense. Rather than a thick balm (like many other lip masks) this thin treatment serum is formulated to use on both the lips and the surrounding area.

Hyaluronic acid helps this sensitive skin retain moisture, helping plump fine lines and smooth the area around the mouth.

This unique serum can be used throughout the day and is especially effective under makeup. This will help your natural lips appear fuller without the use of a plumping gloss.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Notable ingredientsSqualane
Formula applicationGel, comes with spoon
Great forHydration, plumping

This silky gel packs a serious moisture punch. It contains mega-hydrator squalane alongside Japanese Camellia Oil, a nutrient-dense botanical that is rich in oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory.

Japanese peach and rose extract work to repair cracks and protect from dryness, helping your lips stay smooth and soft.

Use it any time your lips need quenching, but right before bed is ideal. This lip mask comes with its own applicator spoon. Not a total necessity, but a great tool to improve your skincare hygiene!

EthicsCruelty-free, clean beauty, organic
Notable ingredientsHyaluronic acid, papaya enzymes
Formula applicationCream in pot
Great forHydration, plumping

A bedside staple, this overnight lip mask will leave your lips feeling fresh and plump by morning. Papaya enzymes have a light exfoliating effect to sweep away dead, dry skin on the surface of the lips. Hyaluronic acid then draws moisture within the lips, making them feel smooth, plump, and hydrated.

Due to the exfoliating properties of this mask, it's best to use it twice a day, maximum. It's not one to throw in your handbag, but definitely one to have next to that glass of water on your nightstand.

EthicsCruelty-free, vegan
Notable ingredientsHyaluronic acid, melatonin
Formula applicationCream in pot
Great forHydration

You might already be familiar with melatonin, which some take to help them get to sleep at night. But this lip mask contains the benefits of topical melatonin. It stimulates your lips' own antioxidant process, helping protect them from the aging effects of free radicals and environmental stressors such as sun and pollution.

A berry blend gives an extra antioxidant boost, helping to fight free radical damage and premature aging. This lip mask is topped off with the quenching power of hyaluronic acid to support your lip hydration and moisture retention.

Thick, smooth, and shiny, this lip mask is a great option to apply in the evening or whenever your lips feel especially dry. It's suitable for sensitive skin, including extra parched lips that react to other products.

EthicsCruelty-free
Notable ingredientsShea butter, honey
Formula applicationCream, comes with spoon
Great forHydration

This lightweight mask is not vegan, as it uses a range of bee-derived products to soothe the lips.

With the power of propolis extract, honey, royal jelly extract, and beeswax, this lip mask will work to hydrate and nourish your lips overnight.

There is no fragrance, and the formula isn't sticky or heavy, so it's light enough to also use throughout the day. The spoon applicator isn't a necessity but is a great addition to keep your pot sanitary.

EthicsCruelty-free, clean, organic
Notable ingredientsBeeswax, vitamin E, cocoa seed butter
Formula applicationTreatment stick
Great forHydration, plumping, minimizing wrinkles

While this lip treatment stick may look similar to your average lip balm, its list of ingredients sets it apart.

Beeswax, cocoa seed butter, and avocado oil work to quench the lips and help them retain their moisture throughout the day. At the same time, a range of soothing botanicals, such as calendula and Spanish lavender, work to minimize the appearance of wrinkles and nourish the sensitive skin of the lips.

Apply this mask throughout the day when your lips feel dry, or use it as the final step in your evening skincare routine. The price point makes this one of the more luxurious products on this list, but if a clean lip treatment is your priority, this is a great option.

The verdict

As they don't naturally produce their own moisture, the lips are prone to becoming dry and cracked. Lip masks are formulated to help your lips retain hydration and fullness. With long-lasting ingredients, lip masks can actually help you kick that chapstick habit.

There are some excellent cruelty-free lip masks on the market. They all work, so finding your favorite will be down to personal preference of ingredient ethics, application type, and formula.

To sum it up, here are a few of our standouts:

  • Best Overall: Alpyn Beauty Willow & Sweet Agave Plumping Lip Mask
  • Best Overnight: Lawless Forget The Filler Overnight Lip Plumping Mask
  • Best Under Makeup: Typology Lip Plumping Serum

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