Hyaluronic acid (HA) is so much more than a skincare buzzword — it’s one of the preeminent ingredients for maintaining smooth, plump skin. “Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that holds water and keeps the skin hydrated,” explains NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank, MD. HA is found naturally in our bodies, and is partially responsible for skin’s plump appearance. These days, HA is added to an ever-growing number of topical products for this very reason. By the same principle, HA is a fabulous ingredient to look for in lip balm. (Tip: Sodium hyaluronate is a similar, slightly different form of HA, so either ingredient on the label gets a green light).
Hyaluronic acid lip balms can be used anytime, but for serious S.O.S., “Using a hyaluronic lip balm as a [lip] mask at night to [hydrate] your lips is a great option,” says Dr. Frank. Ready to give one a whirl? We pulled together a list of eight HA-infused balms beloved by dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Try one and experience long-lasting moisture, instant plumpness, and supreme softness for yourself.
Laneige® Lip Sleeping Mask
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Laneige® Lip Sleeping Mask
Why it’s a must-try: “This lip balm is great to hydrate your lips overnight and prepare them for the day ahead,” says board-certified dermatologist Ellen Marmur, MD. “The vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and moisture wrap technology help your lips to feel rejuvenated and moisturized the next morning. You can even use it during the day if your lips are feeling extra dry,” adds Marmur. Our favorite part: the spectrum of flavors, which ranges from apple to vanilla.
SkinMedica® HA⁵® Smooth and Plump Lip System
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip serum: SkinMedica® HA⁵® Smooth and Plump Lip System
Why it’s a must-try: This lip system is both a smoother and plumper. We mean that quite literally, as it comes with two separate, designated products to smooth and visibly plump lips, respectively. While these products are designed to be used in tandem, they can also be used alone. The plumping serum instills an instant, pouty look; similar to a traditional lip plumping gloss, it also contains stimulating ingredients that enhance the rosiness of the lips. (Read more about how lip plumping glosses work.) The smoothing serum delivers a tingle-free dose of hyaluronic acid and glycerin.
Milani® Rose Butter Lip Mask
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Milani® Rose Butter Lip Mask
Why it’s a must-try: While budget-friendly, this mask still feels incredibly pampering. Moisturizing hyaluronic acid, antioxidant-rich rose oil, and smoothing shea butter are just a few of the luxe ingredients you can find in the pot. Paired with its delicate rose scent, this lip treatment is nothing short of a treat.
Kosas® KosasportTM LipFuelTM
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Kosas® KosasportTM LipFuelTM
Why it’s a must-try: We’re partial to this formula’s barely-there tint, which imparts a flattering, rosy flush (it’s also available in a clear formula). According to NYC-based plastic surgeon Bruce Moskowitz, MD, "LipFuel goes on smooth, is long-lasting, and is very hydrating. It also seals in moisture, which is what you want in the winter months.” A bonus for fans of natural beauty: “LipFuel is also clean and uses natural ingredients,” he adds.
Lanolips® Lip WaterTM Lipgloss
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Lanolips® Lip WaterTM Lipgloss
Why it’s a must-try: This non-sticky lip “water” combines a liquid form of lanolin — a usually-waxy, protective emollient — with hyaluronic acid. Think of it like an anti-aging serum for lips that plumps, smooths, and leaves them glowing with a delicate iridescent sheen.
Fresh® Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Fresh® Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Treatment
Why it’s a must-try: In addition to hyaluronic acid, “This lip balm also contains natural plant oils to repair chapped lips, as well as beeswax to lock in the moisture,” says NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Y. Claire Chang, MD. Bonus: The stick format makes it quick to apply and toss into any bag.
Dermalogica® Nightly Lip Treatment
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Dermalogica® Nightly Lip Treatment
Why it’s a must-try: This anti-aging treatment for lips aims to tackle those annoying fine lines that lipstick tends to feather into. Designed for overnight use, it combines skin-firming vitamins and polymers with deep moisturizers (including HA). With repeated use, lips will have a supple, silky texture and fine lines will be less noticeable.
Epionce® Anti-Aging Lip Renewal
The hyaluronic acid-infused lip balm: Epionce® Anti-Aging Lip Renewal
Why it’s a must-try: “The formula goes on with a silky-smooth, light texture, and is very hydrating and moisturizing — and, it's packed with antioxidants,” says NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD. In addition to the moisture and plumping provided by HA, this balm has a few additional tricks up its sleeve: “Apple fruit extract allows for very gentle exfoliation to smooth the lips, and peppermint leaf extract provides a slightly minty sensation without irritation,” adds Dr. King.
Dr. Ellen Marmur is a paid Allergan® consultant.
SkinMedica® is an Allergan®-owned skincare line.
Product prices may vary from the time this article was written.
Allergan® may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this article.