Did you know lip care can be classed in distinct categories depending on your needs? That’s right, it’s not as easy as grabbing that errant lip balm at the bottom of your purse when your pout feels a bit dry. Cosmetic gurus distinguish between three levels of lip care: lip balm for a quick burst of nourishing moisture, balms with added clinical ingredients to address specific concerns, and long-term lip treatments that can be applied overnight to truly rejuvenate the delicate, sensitive skin in this area. Your kisser will be color-ready after you pamper yourself with our best tips and products in each of these three lip care categories.
Favorite Quick-Fix Balms
Most balms provide moisture, but a few have that special something that makes them stand out from the crowd. These are our best bets for traditional lip balms that provide general hydration and nourishment.
- Colorescience Sunforgettable Lip Shine: Color and UV protection in one rich, lightweight gloss? Yes, please! This formula boost sheen while shielding your lips with broad-spectrum SPF 35 protection. A rainbow of shades makes it easy to find your ideal match.
- jane iredale LipDrink Lip Balm: This formula is designed to combine the shine and color of a traditional lipstick with the hydrating, rejuvenating effects of a balm. Available in both sheer and several alluring colors, this product has a silky, weightless consistency and a blend of nourishing ingredients designed specifically to be safe for those with skin conditions such as acne and rosacea. Pure pigments and natural ingredients enhance the beauty of your lips without irritating, drying compounds.
- L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Lip Balm: This balm offers the supple moisture of shea butter to restore the texture of dry, chapped lips. As with all L’Occitane products, the formula is infused with botanicals sourced from Provence–in this case, the delicate, feminine essence of cherry blossoms. We love how quickly this lightweight but effective product absorbs into the skin. Use it alone or pair with your favorite gloss. And did we mention the adorable gray and pink packaging?
- L’Occitane Shea Butter Ultra Rich Lip Balm: You’ll flip for this classic stick balm option from the French luxury brand. Enjoy rich, penetrating moisture and instantaneous recovery for even the driest lips.
- REN Vita Mineral Lip Balm: This balm is our product of choice for those who strive to practice natural skin care. This formula is free of synthetic ingredients and never tested on animals. Soybean oil and vitamin E hydrate lips while fighting off free radicals that cause premature aging.
Best Boosted Treatments
When you need a bit more than your basic balm offers, choose from these picks for the best lip treatments. Use these products as needed to address your aesthetic goals and create the smooth, soft smile of your dreams.
- Epionce Anti-Aging Lip Renewal: This product line is dermatologist-developed and takes advantage of more than two decades of clinical research to create safe, effective skin care products. The Epionce lip renewal formula smooths fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth to create a more youthful appearance while infusing the lips with the hydration of nourishing botanical ingredients. Integrated antioxidants improve the health of skin and ward off signs of premature aging. Because this product is free of irritating parabens, sulfates, gluten and fragrance, it’s safe to use on even the most sensitive complexions.
- Elta MD UV Lip Balm: Up the ante on sun protection by choosing a balm that shields your lips from UV rays. This conditioning option offers SPF 30 sunscreen in a non-greasy, transparent zinc oxide formula that can be worn alone or under your favorite shade of lipstick. The convenient three-pack makes it easy to throw one into every one of your regular bags.
- PCA Skin Peptide Lip Therapy: This treatment offers the natural moisture of sunflower oil and shea butter along with botanicals that repair chapped flaky lips, boost hydration and smooth the appearance of age lines. For best results, use this clinical lip balm formula twice a day.
- Vanicream Lip Protectant: Long-lasting sun protection is a must when you’re spending the day outdoors. Shield your lips with this sensitive-skin formula, which includes zinc oxide and titanium dioxide for broad-spectrum protection from both UVA and UVB rays. You’ll love the lightweight texture, which absorbs quickly and never clogs pores. Your skin will be safe from the sun while feeling soft, smooth and hydrated.
Choice Intensive Care Products
Sometimes your skin needs serious care to achieve your desired results, and lip care is no different. Whether you are concerned about signs of aging or want to improve the texture or appearance of the skin of your lips, reach for one of our go-to, holy grail intensive lip care systems.
- Grande Lips Hydrating Lip Plumper: Dramatically increase the volume of your lips with this hyaluronic acid-based formula. This product goes on clear and instantly provides fuller, more sensual lips. With regular use, you’ll notice a distinct difference in the fullness of your pout even when you don’t apply the plumper. Wear the hydrating formula alone or under your lip hue of choice.
- Image Skincare Ormedic Balancing Lip Enhancement Complex: This lip treatment is infused with polypeptides that reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth, eliminate signs of aging affecting the lips and eventually providing a plumper, fuller, more youthful-looking pout. For best results, smooth this cream over your lips twice a day as part of your regular skin care routine. Image Skincare products are clinically tested and developed by an aesthetician and plastic surgeon to help clients attain effective age-fighting results. If you love a little color, try the limited edition Sheer Pink version, which features a rosy hue along with natural collagen support for healthy lips.
- Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Lip Treatment: This product increases the volume of your lips while boosting hydration and filling in fine lines and wrinkles. You’ll notice an invigorating tingling sensation and smooth, sensual lips after regular use. Implement this product in your morning and evening skin care routine, with or without your favorite shade of lip gloss.
- Pevonia LipRenew Plump and DeAge Treatment: Packaged with a convenient pump, this volume-boosting product is designed to fill, plump and smooth lips for optimal anti-aging benefits. Active ingredients include capsicum, hyaluronic acid, sesame seed extract, collagen and shea butter. For best results, apply this product to your lips in the morning and evening after cleansing and toning skin. Use just a small amount of product and massage it into the lips until completely absorbed.
General Lip Care Tips
Caring for your lips is as easy as can be with the right products and some healthy beauty practices. Try these tips to achieve the softest, smoothest lips you’ve ever had, then try out some of the products we recommend above on your perfect new pout.
- Chapped lips can occur in any season. Use a vitamin-infused lip balm as needed, and choose a formula with sun protection. Lips have less melanin than the rest of your complexion, so they are even more susceptible to sun damage.
- Drink plenty of water. Like the skin, lips need hydration to look their best and remain healthy. Aim for about eight glasses of water each day.
- Exfoliate lips regularly. Use a soft toothbrush and your favorite lip balm to smooth away dead skin cells and improve circulation for a rosy glow.
- Stop smoking. You already know all about the health risks, but cigarettes also cause beauty issues like premature lines around the mouth. Prevent cancer and heart disease while boosting the health and appearance of your complexion by taking steps to quit.
- Limit salty snacks. Chips, pretzels and other high-sodium goodies dry out the lips.
- Use a humidifier. If your lips are prone to chapping and splitting, dry air at home could be the culprit. Try running a humidifier at night while you’re sleeping.
- Avoid licking or chewing on the lips. This nervous habit can damage the delicate skin.
- Use makeup remover on your lips at night. Even if your lipstick is no longer visible, cleaning the skin thoroughly before bed prevents drying and irritation.
- Prep lips before applying lipstick to help product go on smooth and shield your skin from potentially irritating ingredients. Most of the products recommended above double as great lipstick primers.
- Keep harsh cleansers away from the lips. Scrubs and creams with salicylic acid and similar acne-fighting ingredients are usually much too harsh for the sensitive skin in the lip area.
- Skip the lipstick once in a while, especially if you tend toward matte formulas. Switch it up or stick to gloss if your lips seem dry after wearing your favorite shade.
- Apply six to eight coats of lip balm during the day if you are prone to chapped lips or spending time in cold or windy weather. The oils shield your lips from irritating environmental conditions that can cause cracking and pain.
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