Lip masks may seem a little niche, but in an industry that makes masks for your feet, your boobs, and your butt (all true stories), lip masks are a fairly rote offering — and, importantly, they really, truly work. Whether a balm, a gel, or a teeny-tiny patch, the best lip masks are packed with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, vitamin E, and plant-based oils to deeply soften, condition, and moisturize your lips.
You might be thinking: But that sounds exactly like a lip balm. And you’re not wrong! But just as a face mask is a more intense version of a serum, lip masks contain higher concentrations of these skin-softening ingredients, so they work harder and faster. Depending on the formula, that can be anywhere from three to 20 minutes, though you’ll find some overnight lip masks on this list, too. And unlike normal lip balms, some lip masks contain extra-special ingredients that do extra-special things — like AHAs for gentle exfoliation, peptides for strengthening and defining your lip contour, or skin-plumping hyaluronic acid.
Give your pout a nice little treat with any of the best lip masks featured ahead.
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1. Best Clay Lip Mask
Reason number one to like this sara happ lip mask: It looks and feels exactly like buttercream frosting. Reason number two: Unlike buttercream frosting (presumably), this’ll make your lips look visibly firmer, smoother, and more voluminous. That’s down to Bentonite clay, which helps soften your skin and boosts its elasticity. Shea butter, vitamin E, rosehip oil, and Swertia Chirata extract, which is derived from an ancient Himalayan herb, also help soothe and moisturize your lips. Don’t leave this on overnight, unless you want to wake up to a pillowcase smothered in pink frosting. Instead, leave it on for up to 20 minutes, then gently wipe it off with a warm washcloth or muslin.
2. Best Exfoliating Lip Mask
If you’re looking for something gentler than a lip scrub but with equal exfoliating powers, reach for this overnight lip mask from Mamonde. In here, glycolic acid digs deep into your skin and loosens the dead cells that contribute to dryness and flakiness. Sounds harsh, but it’s actually less abrasive than the physical exfoliants found in scrubs, which can cause microtears if you’re not careful with them. This one is actually mellow enough to use every night, thanks also to rich moisturizers like murumuru and shea butter, which work to restore and seal in moisture.
3. Best Plumping Lip Mask
For fuller lips, filler-free, try this Kaplan MD lip mask. Two hero ingredients in the skin care world show up in here: Hyaluronic acid, which plumps and rehydrates your skin; and a patented amino acid complex that helps strengthen and restore your skin (kind of like a protein smoothie). A vaguely ridiculous number of organic plant extracts are also in here (22, to be clear), which all work to nourish, hydrate, and gently exfoliate your lips. You’ll take it off when your lips start to get tingly. That should be in just about three minutes, so this is also a good choice if you’re crunched for time or constitutionally impatient.
4. Best Single-Use Lip Mask
If you don’t want to invest in a whole tub, get this pack of six single-use masks. Each sheet mask is steeped in a mixture of deeply moisturizing, all-natural ingredients, like sweet almond oil, sunflower seed oil, vitamin E, and rosemary leaf extract. It’s almost the same recipe as Burt’s Bees lip balms, minus the beeswax, so if you like those then you’ll definitely like this. Also, don’t stress if the sheet mask doesn’t fit your lips exactly — everything in here is beneficial for the skin around your lips, too.
5. Best Budget Lip Mask
For an even lower-risk investment (but with no less of a payoff), pick up this Handmade Heroes lip mask, which costs just under $6 on Amazon. The formula is about as clean and simple as you can get: Mango butter, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, some plant oils, done. And since there aren’t any actives in here, there’s no one prescribed way to use it: Apply it throughout the day as an intensive lip balm, keep it on for a few minutes for a quick treatment, or use it as an overnight mask. Or, as a wildcard option, massage it onto your cuticles.
6. Best Tinted Lip Mask
Not to be a wet blanket about it, but these Flower Beauty lip masks are technically tinted lip balms, not lip masks proper — despite their name. They are, however, intensely moisturizing tinted lip balms, courtesy of mango seed butter, cocoa seed butter, and vitamin E — so not only will they not make your lips feel drier, like some lip balms do, but they’ll actively soften them (in addition to imparting a sheer tint). Also fun: Each shade has a different sweet scent, like lemon sugar, buttercream frosting, or mango vanilla, so this is basically a more effective and sophisticated version of a Lip Smacker.
- Available shades: Lucky, Nectar, Pucker, Sangria, Smooch
7. The Fan-Favorite
One last lip mask for your consideration: this Hanalei lip treatment, which boasts over 3,000 five-star ratings and 1,500 five-star reviews on Amazon. Enriched with moisturizing ingredients like Hawaiian kukui nut oil, grapeseed oil, and shea butter, it can be reapplied as often like you want for heavy-duty hydration — think of it as an amped-up lip balm. Unlike most other lip masks featured here, this one comes in a slim tube, so it’s handier for stashing in your pocket or purse. Choose from six shades that each offer a subtle, barely there tint.
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