The 4 Best Essential Oils For Lip Balm, According To An Expert

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by Masha Vapnitchnaia
Elite Daily/Amazon

If you’re making a DIY lip balm, adding a few drops of fragrant essential oil can benefit your skin and your mood. The best essential oils for lip balm are gentle on the lips once diluted with a carrier oil, and they’re USDA-certified organic so you can be assured that they’re free from synthetic preservatives and other potentially unwanted additives. Because there are so many essential oils to choose from, I reached out to Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat Cosmetics, to learn which ones are recommended for lip balm and which are more likely to cause skin irritation. And if you don’t want to go the DIY route, I’ve also included a set of essential oil-infused lip balms.

What To Look For In Essential Oils For Lip Balm

“Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts including the plant’s scent and/or flavor,” Robinson tells Elite Daily. When making an essential oil lip balm, Robinson recommends using rose, lavender, chamomile, and/or peppermint oils, and each has its own benefits.

According to a study published in 2011, rose oil distilled from the petals of the Rosa damascena flower contains antioxidants, which may help with UV damage, and it also has antibacterial properties and may help you relax. But because rose oil costs a lot to produce, it’s one of the more expensive essential oils to choose from. For similar benefits at a more budget-friendly price, lavender oil has calming aromatherapeutic properties and can help soothe eczema and skin irritations.

German chamomile oil has also been shown to soothe skin irritation and inflammation. The oil itself is a deep blue color due to its high content of chamazulene, a natural anti-inflammatory, so it will give your lip balm a blue tint.

Finally, peppermint oil has a cooling effect on the skin, and it can help soothe cracked lips, stimulate circulation, and may boost your energy levels. However, folks with sensitive skin might find peppermint irritating.

What To Avoid

Robinson says “some essential oils such as lemongrass, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and tea tree can be irritating to the skin, especially the lips, which can be sensitive,” so it’s best to steer clear of them when making lip balm. Additionally, lemon, lime, and sage can also cause irritation on sensitive lips.

Even with expert-approved picks, you will want to avoid applying essential oils directly and will need to dilute them with a carrier oil, but the best options? “Most of the carrier oils work well for the lips, including jojoba oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil,” Robinson explains. When creating a DIY lip balm formula, Robinson says, “A good start might be [three] parts essential oil with 60 parts carrier.” (If you need help getting started, this is an easy lip balm recipe that includes peppermint and lavender oils.) And before using any lip balm, Robinson notes that “consumers should patch test before going all in.”

The Best Essentials Oils For Lip Balms

With that in mind, scroll on for the best 100% pure essential oils for lip balm and a fan-favorite coconut carrier oil that will give your lips a boost of moisture.

1. This Cooling Peppermint Oil

In addition to having a cooling effect, peppermint essential oil can also help alleviate headaches and help you stay alert. This oil comes in a dark amber bottle that protects it from damaging UV light, and the dropper allows precise control when adding the oil to your lip balm formula. The 100% pure peppermint oil has earned more than 8,000 five-star ratings, and it’s USDA-certified organic and cruelty-free. The brand also offers other essential oils, including Robinson-recommended lavender.

One positive review: “Used for my homemade lip balms and will use for my aromatic blends. Smells great.”

2. A Luxurious Rose Oil

This rose essential oil is steam-distilled from the petals of Rosa damascena flowers that have been harvested in Bulgaria’s famed Rose Valley. The oil is USDA-certified organic and one reviewer described the scent as “calming” and “ethereal.” The 100% pure rose oil arrives in a dark amber bottle, and, according to reviewers, it comes with a built-in dropper and a pipette to make measuring easy.

One positive review: “I loved the product and have used it in my face serum, body cream and face lotion. It reminds me of my rose garden in summer.”

3. A Calming Lavender Oil

Sourced from fields in Bulgaria, France, Spain, and Greece, this lavender essential oil has earned a 4.7-star overall rating, after more than 2,000 aromatherapy enthusiasts have weighed in. The 100% pure essential oil is USDA-certified organic and comes in an amber bottle with a built-in dropper. Plus, it “smells incredible,” according to a reviewer.

One positive review: “Really loving plant therapy’s organic oils! I use them all the time in my bath, candles, lotions, hair diffuser etc.”

4. This Soothing Chamomile Oil

Made with German chamomile, this USDA-certified organic essential oil may help soothe dry, irritated lips. The 100% pure essential oil comes in a UV-resistant amber bottle with a dropper cap. The oil will give your lip balm a blue tint, and a reviewer described the scent as “woodsy and earthy.”

One positive review: “I have eczema on my face and I tried everything including steroids. Nothing worked. So it bought this oil [...] I mixed about 5 drops with [my] moisturizer and within 5 days my face was clear.”

Also Consider: This Moisturizing Coconut Carrier Oil

Cold-pressed and unrefined, this coconut oil can help moisturize skin, reduce inflammation, and more. When incorporated into your lip balm formula, it acts as a carrier to dilute your preferred essential oils — and it can also be used to dilute essential oils before applying them directly to the skin like a lotion. It’s solid at room temperature but melts easily when warmed, and it has a light natural coconut scent. The 100% pure oil is USDA-certified organic and backed by a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 54,000 reviews.

One positive review: “I use it to make my hand made lip balms and I love the texture I get when I use it. It's not an overwhelming coconut flavor once the lip balms are cooled.”

Also Great: An Essential Oil-Infused Lip Balm Set

If you want to skip the DIY aspect, you can opt for this essential oil lip balm set that’s backed by an overall 4.6-star rating after more than 18,000 reviewers weighed in. The set is USDA-certified organic and includes six essential oil-infused flavors: mint, citrus, beeswax, eucalyptus mint, vanilla, and coconut. And if you’re sensitive to some of those essential oils, you can also purchase multi-packs of each flavor individually.

One positive review: “I always have dry lips and these help a lot. They don't seem to wear off super quick and feel so good when applying to dry lips. The scents/flavors are fantastic and not at all overwhelming.”


Ron Robinson, a cosmetic chemist and founder of BeautyStat Cosmetics

Studies referenced:

Boskabady, M. H., Shafei, M. N., Saberi, Z., & Amini, S. (2011). Pharmacological effects of rosa damascena. Iranian journal of basic medical sciences, 14(4), 295–307.

Koulivand, P. H., Khaleghi Ghadiri, M., & Gorji, A. (2013). Lavender and the nervous system. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 681304.

Meamarbashi, A., & Rajabi, A. (2013). The effects of peppermint on exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 10(1), 15.

Göbel, H., Schmidt, G., & Soyka, D. (1994). Effect of Peppermint and Eucalyptus Oil Preparations on Neurophysiological and Experimental Algesimetric Headache Parameters. Cephalalgia, 14(3), 228–234.

Moss, M., Hewitt, S., Moss, L., & Wesnes, K. (2008). Modulation of cognitive performance and mood by aromas of peppermint and ylang-ylang. The International journal of neuroscience, 118(1), 59–77.