What Ingredients Make a Good Lip Balm? 12 Best Ingredients

What ingredients make a good lip balm?

I’ve tried many lip balms throughout my life and have finally discovered the best ingredients that make a good lip balm. I’m not surprised that the best ingredients out there are 100% natural. The best lip balm ingredients come straight from nature!

Here are the 12 best natural lip balm ingredients:

  1. Sunflower Seed Oil
  2. Sesame Seed Oil
  3. Avocado Oil
  4. Organic Beeswax
  5. Jojoba Seed Oil
  6. Coconut Oil
  7. Hemp Seed Oil
  8. Rosehip Oil
  9. Castor Oil
  10. Cacao Butter
  11. Borage Seed Oil
  12. Organic Essential Oils

What is the best natural lip balm? See my top 3 picks here on this site’s recommended natural lip balm page.

Disclaimer: Always ask your dermatologist before using any lip balm. Some people have allergies or unwanted reactions, even to natural products. These ingredients are based on my extensive research, experience, and personal opinion, but they may not work for everyone. This article is for informational purposes only and contains no medical or beauty advice.

I found out why all these ingredients are good for dry lips. In my opinion, the list above has the very best ingredients for lips, according to a ton of research I did (see details below).

1. Sunflower Seed Oil for Lips

Sunflower seed oil for lips

Sunflower seed oil is one of the very best main ingredients used in lip balm. It has wonderful properties that promote healing of the skin.

A study showed that when sunflower seed oil was applied to the wounds of lambs, their wound areas got smaller by 300% in 3 days, showing that sunflower seed oil made their wounds heal much faster. 1

Another study showed that sunflower seed oil helped preserve the skin’s natural barrier and increased hydration in human skin. 2 These factors are extremely important when considering a good lip balm.

It’s important to preserve the barrier of the skin in order to prevent the loss of moisture through the lip’s surface. Sunflower oil helps keep that moisture locked in so the lips stay soft, supple, and hydrated.

Sunflower oil helped protect a mouse from a skin tumor by 40%. 5

2. Sesame Oil and Lips

Sesame oil has been used for thousands of years for good reason. It’s famous in Ayurvedic medicine and has anti-bacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. Many people use it for massage and to nourish super dry skin.

Sesame oil is great because it moisturizes and softens dry skin while it absorbs quickly. Many people don’t like to use oils on their skin because of that greasy feeling. But sesame oil is one of the few oils that soaks in fast, so the skin stays soft without feeling greasy or oily on the outside.

Studies showed that sesame oil has the following benefits 3, 4, 5:

  • helps with aging skin
  • can reduce pain when applied to skin
  • serves as a natural sunscreen oil by blocking out 30% of ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • had a protective effect from a skin tumor (study on mouse)

Sesame oil has been used traditionally on the skin for wound healing, reducing inflammation, decreasing pain, and for soothing irritation.

3. Avocado Oil for Lips

Avocado oil provides a deeply nourishing base for a good natural lip balm. It’s a wonderful ingredient because it’s edible, nutritious, and good for both the inside and outside of the body! You can’t say that for all lip balm ingredients.

I prefer to use lip balm ingredients that are edible, if available. I figure if it’s nourishing internally, it must be good externally. There are many studies showing the health benefits of avocado oil.

Avocado oil can help dry and chapped skin.

According to a study, avocado oil increased the formation of collagen in rats. 6 It also had anti-inflammatory effects and promoted wound healing.

Natural collagen in the lips makes them look fuller and plumper. Many people are searching for how to increase collagen naturally. Avocado oil may be a helpful option. Ask your dermatologist if it’s right for you.

Avocado oil can be a great ingredient for lip balm to soothe and calm the lips.

4. Beeswax for Lip Balm

Beeswax is what gives your lip balm firmness and helps hold the liquid-based oils together in a form that can be easily applied with less mess.

Beeswax in a lip balm helps lock in moisture.

* Make sure it’s ORGANIC beeswax.

One of the benefits of beeswax is that it has antibacterial properties. It’s always good to keep lip balm as clean as possible for sanitary reasons. The addition of beeswax to the formula can help cut down germs.

Some people add beeswax to lip balm formula to help reduce inflammation and irritation. It makes a great ingredient binder and thickener.

5. Jojoba Seed Oil for Lips

Jojoba seed oil makes a wonderful addition to lip balm. It’s known to have similar properties to the natural oil human skin produces (sebum), which helps keep it soft and hydrated.

Jojoba oil is great at repairing the skin’s natural barrier, which is important to keep moisture locked in.

It’s a good natural oil with anti-inflammatory properties.

Jojoba seed oil can also be used to remove makeup. It has a natural attraction to the skin that moisturizes while it works to remove stuck on makeup. I like to leave some on my lips after washing my face for extra benefits.

6. Coconut Oil for Lips

This is one of the very best natural oils out there that’s used in lip balm today. It has so many beneficial properties that make it a starring candidate in any good lip balm formula.

Coconut oil has the following beneficial properties for skin:

  • Moisturizing
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Protects skin
  • Fights bacteria, fungus, and viruses
  • Protects skin’s barrier
  • Helps form collagen
  • Promotes wound healing
  • Partially blocks out ultraviolet radiation (UV)

This is a super oil for lip balm! If I made my own lip balm, I would definitely make sure to add organic cold-pressed extra-virgin coconut oil. It has too many positive and beneficial qualities to ignore.

Coconut oil is one of those natural moisturizers I use for many purposes: dry feet, after shaving, lips, face, makeup removal, and a deep hair conditioner. Bonus!

7. Hemp Seed Oil for Lips

Hemp seed oil has a history of being used for skin inflammation and moisturizing purposes. Its soothing properties have also been linked to an anti-aging effect.

I’m a huge fan of hemp seed oil because I can also eat it. I always feel good about putting things on my body that I know are safe to eat. There are many studies that point to the health benefits of hemp seed oil. I love the brand Nutiva hemp oil in my homemade salad dressing as well as in my lip balm!

Hemp seed oil is rich in linoleic acid and a-linolenic acid. These are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are known to provide a wide spectrum of beneficial effects.

Hemp is known to be rich in the following:

  • Broad range of essential minerals
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • beta carotene

Another great quality of hemp seed oil is that it has antibacterial properties. This is always a good thing for lip balm, considering there’s a ton of bacteria inside and around the mouth area.

8. Rosehip Oil in Lip Balm

rosehip oil in lip balm

Rosehip oil has amazing qualities when used in lip balm. It has similar effects on both skin and lips.

Some people use rosehip oil alone as a daytime moisturizer or as a perfect primer for foundation makeup. These moisturizing properties are also seen when used on lips. Rosehip oil can make the lips more soft and hydrated.

Rosehip oil has the following beneficial qualities:

  1. Good antioxidant effects
  2. Contains vitamin C (great for skin)
  3. Anti-inflammatory
  4. Helps heal wounds
  5. Reduces scars
  6. Slows down aging of cells

9. Castor Oil for Lips

If you’ve ever used castor oil, you know it’s super thick, rich, gooey, and sticky! Even though it may be a bit messy to work with, it’s excellent when carefully added to make a good lip balm.

These gooey properties are actually super moisturizing and deeply hydrating when used on the lips.

Castor oil has the following properties:

  • Moisturizing and conditioning
  • Improves healing of wounds
  • Helps hold together all lip balm ingredients in a smooth rich form
  • Soothing
  • Promotes stability in the formula
  • Anti-inflammatory

Castor oil is a popular night-time skin moisturizer for many people. It can be applied to the lips at the same time to give extra nourishment and hydration. It’s best to apply after a warm shower to keep the skin’s moisture locked-in.

10. Cacao Butter for Lips

Cacao butter has rich, creamy, and thick properties in a good lip balm. When you add it to the formula, it helps thicken the consistency. That makes it easier to apply.

Cacao butter is amazing for helping the lips look plump and firm. It penetrates the lips and hydrates the cells in a way that makes them softer and fuller.

Cacao butter also has properties that make the lips feel more resilient to stress. It protects them while making the lip tissues feel more pliable and stretchy.

You know that feeling when your lips are dry and will crack if you smile? Cacao butter helps with that. It nourishes lips in a way that helps reduce that cracking sensation. It needs to be mixed with other hydrating ingredients and oils to work optimally (because it’s too thick to use alone).

Raw cacao butter is ultra softening and moisturizing. This natural ingredient will take any good lip balm to the next level.

11. Borage Seed Oil for Lips

Borage seed oil is a smart ingredient to add to lip balm. It has properties that help protect lips from the harsh elements. It keeps the outer surface of lips stronger and more resilient to environmental forces.

By keeping the outside of the lips in better condition, borage seed oil locks in moisture. If the outside layer of the lips is damaged, it’s more likely to evaporate essential moisture from inside. Borage oil helps keep this moisture within the protective wall.


Borage seed oil has been used to reduce skin redness, irritation, and itchiness. Many people say it has soothing and relieving qualities.

It’s not uncommon for lips to get cracked and dry from the wind. Borage seed oil helps maintain the barrier of the lips to help reduce the irritation that goes along with windy dry conditions.

Borage oil contains the fatty acid GLA (gamma linolenic acid). GLA is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and comes from the seeds of the borage plant.

12. Organic Essential Oils for Lips

It’s really common to mix in a tiny amount of essential oils in a good lip balm to make it smell amazing.

It really comes down to personal preference: What scents do you enjoy the most? That’s what to look for in lip balm ingredients. For example, if you like cherry, look for a cherry essential oil (or cherry lip balm).

Here are some common and popular essential oils used in lip balm:

  • Lime – Lime essential oil smells light, clean, and vibrant. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s known to have antibacterial properties. When mixed with proper carrier oils, it can help soothe dry and cracked lips.
  • Bergamot – Bergamot essential oil smells citrusy with a hint of sophistication. It’s great because it kills bacteria, reduces inflammation, and soothes irritation when diluted properly in a carrier oil.
  • Lemon – Lemon essential oil is super bright, clean, and zingy! It helps prevent the growth of germs in your lip balm. It’s known to promote healing and can help relieve cracked lips.
  • Tangerine – Tangerine essential oil is a bit softer and sweeter for a warming citrus scent. It’s an excellent addition for chapped lips and can soothe inflammation.
  • Grapefruit – Grapefruit essential oil has a lifting brightness and zip with citrus overtones. It’s known to kill germs and bad bacteria. Adding this to lip balm may help keep the formula more sanitary and smelling good.
  • Orange – Orange essential oil is popular in a good lip balm. When mixed with the proper carrier oil, it has moisturizing properties and may help smooth the surface of lips. It’s known to soothe skin irritation.
  • Clove – Clove essential oil smells like spicy Christmas cider on the stove. It’s warming and comforting. Clove essential oil is known to kill bacteria, help heal burns, improve cuts in skin, and promote repair of flesh.
  • Rose – Rose essential oil is amazing. When diluted in the proper carrier oil, it can help fight wrinkles, moisturize, reduce inflammation, promote healing, and soothe irritation. There are so many benefits to this oil that it should be added for reasons aside from smelling good! The list goes on…
  • Hyssop – This is a sacred oil of purification listed in the Bible. It’s often used to eliminate negativity and to attract protective positive energy. Scientific evidence shows that hyssop essential oil promotes the healing of wounds and sores, improves scars, reduces inflammation, and soothes irritated skin. 7

When adding essential oil ingredients to lip balm, always make sure that they are properly diluted in a good carrier oil (see oils and other ingredients listed # 1-11 above), to avoid possible skin irritation.

Consult a dermatologist and essential oil specialist to determine the appropriate ratio of essential oils to carrier oils. Each oil is different and should be used with caution.

The best natural lip balm will contain only organic essential oils.

Here are my favorite natural lip balms (recommended product page on this website).


Hopefully by now, you know exactly what a good lip balm should contain. Many people prefer to use natural ingredients because lip balm is so close to the mouth. We accidentally swallow what’s on our lips from time to time. The best natural lip balm ingredients come straight from Mother Nature (in my opinion).

It’s better to avoid lip balm ingredients that are synthetic or artificial, if possible.

All the above listed natural ingredients are good for lips as compared to synthetic ingredients. In my opinion, they’re definitely the best lip balm ingredients out there on the market today.

Carpe diem. Let your Light shine.


1. Guo S, Ge Y, Jom KN. A review of phytochemistry, metabolite changes, and medicinal uses of the common sunflower seed and sprouts (Helianthus annuus L.). Chem Cent J. 2017; 11: 95. doi: 10.1186/s13065-017-0328-7. [PMC free article]

2. Danby SG, AlEnezi T, Sultan A, Lavender T, Chittock J, Brown K, Cork MJ. Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care. Pediatr Dermatol.  2013; Jan-Feb; 30(1): 42-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1470.2012.01865.x.  [PubMed]

3. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2018; Jan; 19(1): 70. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010070 [PMC free article]

4. Korać RR, Khambholja KM. Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2011; Jul-Dec; 5(10): 164–173. doi: 10.4103/0973-7847.91114 [PMC free article]

5. Kapadia GJ, Azuine MA, Tokuda H, Takasaki M, Mukainaka T, Konoshima T, Nishino H. Chemopreventive effect of resveratrol, sesamol, sesame oil and sunflower oil in the Epstein-Barr virus early antigen activation assay and the mouse skin two-stage carcinogenesis. Pharmacol Res.  2002; Jun; 45(6): 499-505. [PubMed]

6. de Oliveira A.P., Franco E.d.S., Rodrigues Barreto R., Cordeiro D.P., de Melo R.G., de Aquino C.M.F., e Silva A.A.R., de Medeiros P.L., et al. Effect of Semisolid Formulation of Persea Americana Mill (Avocado) Oil on Wound Healing in Rats.  Evid. Based Complement. Alternat. Med.  2013; 2013: 8. doi: 10.1155/2013/472382. [PMC free article]

7. Orchard A, van Vuuren S. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017; 2017: 4517971. doi: 10.1155/2017/4517971. [PMC free article]

Natural Universal Secrets

The author is a nature enthusiast who loves to share tips on how to live closer to nature. These gems of knowledge encourage a simpler life and cleaner way of living. Inspired by the magnificence and power of the natural world, these info-packed articles feature independent research, personal experience, and universal wisdom. Products that support natural beauty, clothing, personal hygiene, and a healthier lifestyle are explored. All natural product reviews are based on harmony with nature as the guiding principle and gold standard.

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Here are the 12 best lip balm ingredients.