There is an area on the face that even the most intensive skin care routines ignore: the lips. However, lips are made of skin, too — it is one of the thinnest, most delicate skin on your face!
Of course, different types of skin are not biologically the same. One of the differences between the skin on your lips and the skin on the rest of your face is that lips do not have the same concentration of sweat or oil glands, which is why they can become cracked and sore very quickly. Because they lack the benefits of natural oils, lips may need extra nourishment. Our lips do have to put up with so much throughout our lives, so it is important to help them out every so often by keeping them hydrated and moist with a good nourishing lip treatment. Lips can easily become intensely chapped and can even crack and bleed if you ignore or avoid applying any hydration to them — especially during the dry winter months.
These underrated but essential beauty products are becoming more and more popular as lip care continues to gain popularity, steadily rising from the beauty trend to an essential skincare step on your daily skincare routine.
Below, our top reasons to give your lips some extra love with products devoted entirely to perfecting and benefitting your pout.
RESTORE MOISTURE AND FULLNESS TO DRY, FLAKY LIPS
Lips are constantly exposed to environmental stressors, like cosmetics, cold weather, and lip licking can do some painful damage. All of these factors can dry out the skin barrier, resulting in irritation, inflammation, and flaking.
The answer? Extra hydration. We love lip masks for this since they are specifically formulated to infuse the skin on your lips with deep, lasting hydration. Much like a regular face mask, a good lip mask will hydrate, nourish, and heal for softer, smoother skin. You may even notice some of the same ingredients you see in your other hydrating skincare products like hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and coconut oil.
New research is still emerging as the trend continues to grow, but initial clinical assessments on lip treatments look promising. This study concluded that a two-step topical lip care treatment was effective at restoring moisture and fullness to the lips of female subjects with mild-to-moderate lip dryness.
REJUVENATE AND PLUMP WITH NATURAL OILS
Along with a serious hydrating boost, many lip masks also contain plumping ingredients for fuller-looking lips. This makes sense since dehydrated lips can dry out and shrink.
It’s worth noting that plumping effects are generally temporary, lasting for a few hours or so, not bad for a few minutes of effort.
For maximum volumizing benefits, look for ingredients like Cloudberry oil that contains an incredibly high amount of vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, making it a phenomenal lip care ingredient. Antioxidant-rich Vitamin C helps brighten, firm, and plump the lip for smoother, younger-looking skin.
Hint: Two-step lip treatments that work together, scrubs exfoliate, and plump masks that hydrate and smooth your lips for a beautiful result.
DRY LIPS TREATMENT
Just like all skin on your body, your lips are regularly replenishing and shedding dead skin. Keeping your lips hydrated will help prevent dry flakiness, however, you may still need to manually exfoliate to get perfectly smooth lips. Exfoliation also helps ensure masks and balms can penetrate deeply.
Lip scrubs are a great way to soften, exfoliate, and soothe lips to promote healthy skin over time. Regular exfoliation can help with flakes, be sure to use a gentle sugar scrub with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E. Avoid scrubs with harsh or jagged particles in this ultra-delicate area.
PREVENT SUNBURNED LIPS
Everyone knows it is very important to wear sunscreen daily, but it can be easy to forget about your lips. Even worse: many lip glosses magnify UV rays, making lips even more likely to burn.
Since your lips are exposed to the environment every day and highly susceptible to sun damage, lip protection shouldn’t be an afterthought. For daytime, choose a lip balm that has an SPF and reapply it regularly.
ALWAYS USE NATURAL LIP CARE PRODUCTS
Includes all those products you put on your body but is especially important your lip treatment. Why? Because lip products tend to get eaten. Ingesting lip products is hard to avoid — it can happen as you sip your morning coffee, eat a sandwich, and even lick your lips.
According to this consumer guide, released by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund in 2018, the amount ingested is significant: the average American woman will apply lipstick 2.35 times per day; women can apply lipstick as often as 14 times per day. The result is women will ingest a pound of lipstick every two years.
The problem is that some brands use toxic chemicals that are linked to cancers, allergies, neurological disorders, and reproductive issues. So throughout a lifetime, the lip products you ingest can seriously impact your health.
Even though science shows long-term exposure to toxic chemicals in cosmetics can cause significant harm to human health, this is all perfectly legal. There is no governmental task force in the U.S. responsible for inspecting the ingredients used in personal care products.
Until cosmetics regulation policies catch up with modern science, it’s up to you to make sure your beauty products are safe. Always read labels and stay away from additives like parabens, sulfates, and phthalates.
When in doubt, talk to your doctor or dermatologist to make sure the ingredients in your lip care (and other skincare) products are safe for use.