In times where brands seem intent on making every product seem like a must-have, one does begin to wonder - what all do you really need? Well, while skincare is definitely important, it turns out that your lips need some TLC too. But not to worry; we are going to keep things simple here.
Why do you need a lip balm?
Lip balms are everywhere - they come in all sorts of formulations. But do you really need a lip balm? Can you not simply use your moisturiser on your lips? The skin on our lips is a lot different than that on the rest of our face or body. For one, it is much thinner. So if you use a gel moisturiser and want to apply it on your lips, it probably will not hydrate and moisturise your lips well enough.
Another point to note is that our lips do not have any oil glands. They also do not produce melanin, which is a pigment that helps protect the skin from UV damage. This means that our lips have virtually no sun protection of their own. Thus, a lip balm (especially with SPF) during the day is a must - to hydrate, moisturise, and offer sun protection.
How do lip balms work?
As the term suggests, lip balms are more nourishing and occlusive. They are generally made of rich butters, oils, and other occlusives that can both add moisture and help seal it. There are a wide variety of lip balms available today, though. Some might be more hydrating while others might be more occlusive. Depending on what you want you can opt for either.
Commonly Occurring Lip Problems
When your lips are starting to split, you know they are really dry! Most commonly experienced during the colder months, lips splitting suggests that your environment is really dry. So consider getting a humidifier if such a climate is to persist. Also, be sure to use a really thick lip balm - a mask or an oil - overnight to protect your lips from further damage.
If your lips are splitting, you are in need of some serious repair and Alanna’s Lemonade Lip Balm is the one for you. It contains a blend of ultra-nourishing and moisturising ingredients such as Coconut oil, Castor oil and Shea Butter.
2. Chapped lips
Chapped lips are not a seasonal problem, although they do become a frequent occurrence during the cooler months. This could be because of two things - either your lips are naturally dry and need more protection or you are not drinking enough water. It could also be both. In such a case, you need a lip balm that is hydrating and occlusive.
Daughter Earth’s Antioxidant Lip Balm is a great choice for chapped lips. It consists of moisturising oils such as Olive and Almond oils and essential vitamins from Watermelon and Pomegranate extracts. This lip balm is also rich in antioxidants and helps prevent UV damage.
3. Pigmented lips
Pigmented lips can be a result of UV damage or they could be genetic. While there is not much that can be done for the latter, there is a lot that you can do for the former. Look for balms rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C or any other brightening ingredient.
Juicy Chemistry’s Blood Orange & Rosehip Lip Balm is a great option for pigmented lips. It contains antioxidant-rich oils that help reduce pigmentation and prevent further damage.
Mask vs Butter vs Balm vs Oil vs Serum
1. Lip masks or butter
Lip masks are essentially meant to be worn during the night because they are thicker and more occlusive. Think of them as sleeping masks but for your lips. We often tend to ignore lip care for the night and wake up with chapped lips in the morning. Time to do away with this habit!
Of course, there is no set rule of wearing lip masks during the night and not during the day. But you probably want to make sure your daytime lip balm has some SPF or antioxidants in it. A lip butter is also a thicker version of a balm.
Bliscent’s Watermelon Lip Butter is a great choice for a lip butter. It contains Almond, Olive, and Coconut Oils as well as Beeswax and Shea Butter. These ingredients effectively lock-in moisture and add plumpness to the lips.
2. Lip balm
Lip balms are your standard products. They are lighter than your masks or butters and will rub off easier.
Bare Necessities’ Busy Bee Lip Balm is a great no-fuss lip balm that contains a mix of ingredients such as Honey (humectant), Vanilla Extract (emollient), Shea Butter (emollient) and occlusive oils such as Coconut and Almond Oils.
3. Lip oil
A lip oil is a liquid version of a lip balm that mostly contains a mix of plant oils and essential oils. It gives a nice shine to the lips and is intensely moisturising.
Skog’s Lip Repair Oil is a great option and oils such as Avocado, Argan, Sea Buckthorn, Sweet Almond, Rosehip, and Calendula oils that are rich in essential fatty acids and vitamins.
4. Lip serum
Lip serums are the lightest formulations when it comes to lip care. They are a great option if you enjoy layering lip balms. These generally contain more hydrating ingredients so you will need to apply an occlusive lip product (be it mask, butter, balm, or oil) to lock in the hydration and moisture.
Do's and Don'ts
Now that you understand all about lip care, here are a few tips on the things you can do to make your lips healthy and happy.
That’s right, your lips need exfoliation as well! Dead skin cells often tend to accumulate on the lips, making them look crusty. To avoid such a look, use a lip scrub once to twice a week.
Juicy Chemistry’s Blood Orange & Rosehip Lip Scrub is a great option. It is hydrating, moisturising, and an effective scrub. Be sure to pat away the sugar particles and follow up with a lip balm/mask/oil/butter.
Often it happens that our skin and lips are dry because we are not drinking enough water. Remember - what is going on inside often reflects on the outside. So drink a lot of water. Especially during the colder months.
3. Choose the right makeup
Be sure to take a break from matte lips once in a while. Matte lipsticks - be it bullet or liquid formulas - can sometimes be very drying to the lips. So prep your lips with a lip balm and blot it off before applying your lipstick and try to use more hydrating formulations once in a while.
4. Don't lick your lips
When you lick your lips, you coat them with saliva which evaporates very quickly, making your lip drier still. Then there is also the fact that saliva contains certain enzymes that might not be the best for the lips. So ditch this habit immediately!
Lip Care is as important as skincare. The secret to soft and plush lips is paying attention to your lips and your body. Drink a lot of water throughout the day, apply a thick lip balm, mask, butter, or oil before going to bed, and exfoliate regularly. You will thank us later!
- Gauri Sindhu