How Does Lip Oil Differ From Lip Gloss?

If you're into your lip products, chances are you know your way around the basics. From lipsticks to lip stains, balms, glosses, and oils, there's a whole host of lip products that all claim to do different things. And you may know the difference between lip oil vs. lip balm, but what about lip oil compared to lip gloss? 

Lip oils have gained a burst of popularity recently. The Dior Beauty Lip Oil was everywhere on TikTok despite its hefty $35 price tag. Meanwhile, lip gloss has also been making a steady comeback thanks to the glazed lip trend, which heavily utilizes lip gloss to create the plump, shiny effect that's so key to the aesthetic.

On the surface, lip gloss and lip oil appear to be almost the same product. However, there are some differences between the two that you should know about if you can't decide between buying a lip oil or a lip gloss.

The two have more in common than you may think

Though we're focusing on their differences, there are more similarities between lip oils and glosses than you may have thought. Firstly, hydration. You may think lip oil will hydrate better, but as cosmetic chemist Victoria Fu told Byrdie, "there's no guarantee that lip oils hydrate more than gloss and vice versa." There's more oil in lip oils than glosses — which isn't surprising, since it's in the name — but this doesn't mean lip gloss can't be hydrating, too. Via TikTok, cosmetic chemist Javon Ford shared that this misconception comes from the fact "lip oil is considered a skin care item that actually nourishes and moisturizes your lip with natural oils, but lip gloss does that, too." 

Another similarity between lip oils and lip glosses is their lip-plumping ability. It's the other way around for this one — you probably assume lip gloss contains more plumping qualities than lip oil, but, again, this all depends on the ingredients. 

These are the main differences you need to know

Color and pigment are huge differentiating factors between lip oil and lip gloss. Lip oil tends to have a fainter pigment, therefore offering less color payoff, whereas lip gloss can be used instead of lipstick or a lip stain because of the higher color concentration. Lip oil may actually be preferable to some because of this, especially for those who prefer a natural makeup look. 

Then there's the longevity. If you feel annoyed at having to reapply your lip gloss every time you take a sip of your drink, lip oil could be a better option. The latter penetrates the skin on a deeper level and therefore won't need as much reapplication as a gloss does. Still, you should note that lip oil will make your lips shiny rather than glossy, so if the finish is important to you, it's better to go for a gloss.

Moreover, though lip glosses can be just as moisturizing as lip oils, the key difference is that lip oils have the extra benefit of protecting your skin from environmental factors. You can find an intensely hydrating lip gloss just as you can find a plumping lip oil. The main differences are pigment, staying power, and finish, all of which come down to personal preferences. The best thing to do is check the benefits of each individual product to pick the lip oil or gloss that suits what you're looking for the most.