When it comes to prepping your make-up look on the daily, whether it’s for just another day in the office or an elevated ‘night out’ face, your lips are likely a feature you can always rely on for a beauty boost played up. However, while we may think nothing of toggling between the likes of a bold red lip and glitter-heavy gloss throughout the week, it’s easy to neglect the actual crux of your lip care.
Peeling, dryness and irritation may be brushed over—literally—with a slick of pigment, but such an approach does nothing to fix the root of the cause. While all manner of moisturisers, facial serums and exfoliators are second nature for the skin on the rest of our face, it’s important to remember that the skin on our lips is just as deserving of TLC—if not more so. Skin is actually at its thinnest, most delicate, and bears the highest turnover on our lips.
Here, find your cue to boost the health of your pout—and subsequently, the impact when you do opt for look-at-me lippie moments—with Vogue’s top five essential steps.
The MVP of any lip care routine to keep stashed in your on-the-go beauty bag, the all-important lip balm really needs no introduction. Lip chapping can strike at any time and also arrive courtesy of irritants in products that you’ve tried. Applying lip balm habitually throughout the day is a sure-fire way to protect against these effects by maintaining your lips’s optimal moisture levels, which also makes it easier to apply other lip products.
Many lip balms also handily contain UV-defying SPF and are available in multi-tasking tints for a subtly fresh glow. Lip balm superstar ingredients to look out for include antioxidants and naturally derived boosters such as shea butter and cocoa.
While lip masks might be seen as an “extra” step within caring for your lips, this isn’t actually true. They are actually designed to deliver all of the benefits of your favourite lip balm, from softening to plumping, in a way that will last longer thanks to their targeting formulas. With effects such as levelled up moisture locked in for longer, you’ll find yourself needing to reach for your lip balm less throughout the day.
As per the lip balm hunt, look out for superstar ingredients. It’s also worth experimenting with the different forms a lip mask can take, from balms to sheets, to find out what works for you most effectively. A popular favourite is any overnight option for the instant result of simply going to sleep and waking up with an immaculate pout the very next day.
You’re likely well acquainted with your favourite exfoliator for the face, perhaps even the body. But here’s a case for a targeted, exfoliant-powered lip scrub specifically formulated for the mouth area: with turnover of the skin on your lips being so high, build-up of old and dry skin is even more likely on the lips than anywhere else on your face.
However, due to the lips’s delicate nature, a more specific formula is needed to cut it as compared to your all-over face favourite. Buffing away the dead skin on your lips ensures that the other star products of your lip care routine, from lip balm to lip masks, are more effectively penetrating and working on the freshest layer of your lips rather than merely coating cells of old. Try out one of these lip scrubs to feel the difference with heightened lip freshness.
As with the skin anywhere else from your face to your body, it all starts with SPF. By now, the importance of applying SPF to the face and body every single day should be second nature, but equivalent care for the lips is severely under appreciated.
The same SPF you apply everywhere else on your face is often unsuitable, and in fact just plain uncomfortable, for application to the lips. But with no melanin in your lips at all to protect against harsh UV rays, SPF is an absolute essential and your best bet is a specifically formulated lip balm.
It’s easier than you think to get started on lip SPF—simply start by replacing your favourite lip balms with those containing SPF. Bonus: In addition to preventing your lips from sun damage and skin cancer, using SPF on the lips also protects against ageing effects such as UV-induced lip thinning due to collagen breakdown.
Lip care starts with lip health
Due to the sensitivity and delicate nature of your lips, you should be paying equivalent attention to not only the super-ingredients that nourish, but also any particular products—and the specific ingredients within them—that irritate and dry.
Additionally, staying hydrated is one of the most important steps that you can take to look after your lip health, ensuring moisture is boosted from within.
Pucker up with these multi-tasking lip care products
With these all-important lip care steps in mind, make the most of your nourished lips with Vogue‘s selection of multi-tasking lip products that perfect your lips while simultaneously delivering nourishing benefits.