The Rise in Lip Skincare: Do We Really Need Another Step in Our Routine?
Oh how we love a beauty debate here at Live That Glow, and the whole lip-skincare-yes-or-no debacle is just one of those should we/shouldn’t we issues that come up frequently.
Why? Because rise in lip balms, masks (I’m looking at you, Laneige), scrubs and treatments quite frankly seems OTT no?
But equally, given that the skin on our lips is very different to other areas, perhaps actually taking a lip routine seriously is a good idea.
And so begins our debate.
Should we be spending more of our hard-earned money on yet another area of our face? Should we be doing a three-step lip care regime and giving our lips their very own muslin cloth? Or is there somewhere we can meet in the middle where we don’t neglect our lips, but don’t overindulge them either?
Our experts, dermatologist Dr William Kwan, aesthetic nurse prescriber Nina Prisk and beauty expert Ian Michael Crumm weigh in on our pout-themed predicament. Keep scrolling for their take on lip skincare.
Lip skin: The facts
First of all, it’s important to point out that the skin on our lips is different to the skin on our face. “It’s thinner, lacks sweat glands and has fewer oil glands compared to the skin on the rest of your face,”explains Dr Kwan. “This makes it more delicate and prone to dryness and chapping.”
Prisk adds, “[the lips have] approximately 3-6 layers of cells in comparison to more than 10 everywhere else on the body.”
Do our lips need a skincare routine?
According to the experts, lip skincare isn’t essential; but it can help to target specific concerns and keep lips in tip top condition.
Dr Kwan explains, “Lips benefit from specialised skincare products like lip scrubs, masks and SPF due to their unique characteristics and vulnerability to dryness, sun damage and chapping”. He adds, “Using these products can help maintain the health and appearance of your lips.”
On the other hand, Crumm says even just one targeted product will help the appearance of lips. “It’s not necessary to have a large, separate routine for your lips, but dedicated products are often beneficial to help with dryness and overall protection,” he explains.
I know what you’re thinking – what’s the difference between using one product and having a dedicated routine? Surely there can’t be much to lip skincare…
You’d be surprised. If you were putting together a complete lip skincare routine first, you would use a lip scrub with your fingers to exfoliate the skin. Next, you’d wipe the scrub off with a warm towel or muslin cloth before using a lip sheet mask and then an overnight lip mask to lock in moisture and keep lips supple. Spoilt much?
But if doing a facial for the lips is not your bag, I get it. Applying a decent lip balm containing SPF regularly will suffice when it comes to taking care of the skin on your lips.
“Choosing a lip product that contains hyaluronic acid… will help to keep lips moisturised, plump and healthy,” confirms Prisk.
“It will also leave them less likely to become dry and cracked which is when the skin barrier will then become compromised and more prone to attack from bacteria and infection.” In between, Dr Kwan recommends avoiding licking, picking and biting your lips
Here are the lip skincare products I’ve found actually make a difference, for whichever route you choose.
- Lip scrub:
- Lip mask:
- Lip balm:
The bottom line? There is no right or wrong when choosing whether or not to have a lip skincare regime. If you enjoy it and have the time and money to spare then go to town.
But since adding an actual regime to your probably-already bursting skincare routine isn’t compulsory, no amount of shiny lip-plumping TikToks should ever make you feel like you’re missing out.
Because as it turns out, a decent SPF lip balm will suffice at keeping your lips well looked after when applied frequently.
Meet the experts
Dr William Kwan is a board-certified dermatologist at the prestigious Lasky Skin Center in Beverly Hills, offering a wide spectrum of cosmetic procedures such as botulinum toxin injections and dermal filler injections for many types of skin improvement.
Nina Prisk is an aesthetic nurse prescriber and owner of Update Aesthetics Cosmetic Clinics, both in London’s Harley Street and Cornwall. Prisk is a lecturer and ambassador for global industry brands. She advocates for the importance of a multi-faceted regime that incorporates both injectables and skincare products. Qual: RGN, INP, BSc, MSc.
Ian Michael Crumm is a celebrity aesthetican and beauty expert as well as co-host of the BeautyCurious podcast with Dr. Elyse Love. He is known for his passion for skincare and sun safety, is actively involved in philanthropic efforts to promote skin cancer awareness and believes that #ProtectedSkinWins.