Why your lips need skincare more than your face

Why your lips need skincare more than your face

When Hailey Bieber posted a mirror selfie featuring a phone case doubling up as a lip gloss holder, the internet went wild.

Lip balm is the one product you always need but never seem to have, and this ingenious idea sparked conversation on why we’re more focused on our lip care than ever before.

From Korean cosmetics to ‘no-make-up make-up’ looks, skincare is replacing heavy, piled on products in favour of dewy skin and wet-look shadows – and your lips are no exception.

“Our lips have fewer layers than the rest of our skin and don’t produce any oils,” explains Weleda’s Elizabeth King, the skincare expert whose career has focused on making natural skincare mainstream. “Using a 100% natural lip balm is key to bypass irritation.”

While often overlooked, our lips’ health is as integral to maintain as our face, as we ingest whatever encounters their barrier.

Why do our lips need prepping? 

“Lacking sweat and oil glands, our lips are more susceptible to damage from various environmental factors, such as dry air and sun exposure,” explains Mathilde La Merre, director of innovation at Patchology. “Dehydration and weather conditions often cause the lips to lose their natural moisture, leading to dryness and cracking.”

Drastic flucuations in weather can affect our lips’ skin barrier (Alamy/PA)

External factors from medication use to seasonal changes can also have major effects on our lips. La Merre suggests adapting your lip care routine to these changes: “Provide extra hydration in the winter and apply an appropriate SPF during the summer months.”

One thing you should stop doing to your lips

People who frequently lick their lips risk disrupting the natural pH balance of the skin, says La Merre. “Although it often provides temporary relief, licking your lips can strip them of their natural moisture and cause them to dry out even more. Always use a balm or lip mask for added hydration.”

However, King warns against overusing lip balm, adding: “Mineral-based lip care might deliver immediate sense of relief but causes long-term dehydration as it draws moisture to the skin’s surface.” She recommends to stop using any product containing harsh synthetic pigments.


Weleda Skin Food Lip Balm 8ml, £7.75


Lip Q Liquorice Balm 30g,  £9.95

One thing you should start doing for your lips?

If there’s one thing to incorporate into your routine, it’s hydration, says La Merre. “Always have a nourishing balm on hand to prevent dryness and prioritise lip hydration in your daily routine.

“It’s important to establish a regular lip routine that stops your lips from drying out overnight, and having a hydrating treatment with you means you can quickly treat your lips whenever they feel dry.”

King states: “Invest in your lips. One nourishing balm for the bathroom, one at your bedside, and one in your make-up bag.”


Patchology Lip Service Gloss-to-Balm Treatment, £12

The experts’ step-by-step guide to perfect plump lips

1. Prioritise hydration, exfoliation and protection.

Alongside balms and SPF, “Lip scrubs can effectively remove dead skin cells,” says La Merre. “However, they should not be used more than twice a week and should always be followed by a mask to rehydrate the lips.”

Incorporating products that contain natural oils, enzymes and vitamins is far better for long-term lip health than chemical-based formulas.

Looking out for ingredients such as jojoba oil, honey, fruit enzymes and vitamin B3 are all natural moisturises and exfoliants that nourish the skin without being too harsh.


Skincycles Exfo Lips 15g, £45

2. Introduce weekly rituals.

Once a week, introduce an overnight lip mask, says La Merre. This penetrates the skin’s epidermis. “This forms a protective barrier that locks in moisture, reducing transdermal water loss and keeps your lips hydrated,” explains La Merre.


Patchology FlashPatch Hydrating Lip Gels, £8

3. Combine care and cosmetics.

All this talk of hydration may not be music to the ears of matte-lip wearers. However, it’s not black and white, the “skinification” of make-up has driven brands to develop formulas that combine skincare and make-up. As a consequence, the rise in lip tints, glosses and pigmented oils have become indispensable make-up staples.


HydroPeptide Perfecting Gloss Lip Enhancing Treatment, £34

Source: independent.co.uk