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Try This 5-Step Lip Care Routine For Soft, Smooth Lips

Our Ultimate Lip Care Guide: 5-Step Lip Care Routine

28 Feb 2024

Most of us have a makeup routine, a skincare routine, and a haircare routine that we follow (fairly) diligently. Less common is having a dedicated lip care routine—but we’d argue that it’s worth investing your time into. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, the skin on your lips is delicate and can benefit from specialized care. Also, lipstick and lip gloss just look better on smooth, soft, cared-for lips. That’s why we’ve put together this easy-to-follow lip care routine that you can incorporate into your daily self-care ritual. Ahead, you’ll learn a bit about why lip skin care is important and discover how to take care of your lips for a hydrated, healthy-looking pout. Keep reading for the scoop.

Why Do Your Lips Need Special Care?

The skin on your lips requires special care because it differs from the skin on the rest of your face. It’s thinner, for one—and it also lacks the oil glands that help keep the rest of your face hydrated. It’s also less able to hold onto water than other parts of your face, which can leave it prone to dryness and lead to everyone’s least favorite winter skin concern: chapped lips. The right lip care products can help hydrate your lips and ward off unwanted dryness. As for why we don’t recommend using your facial skincare products on your lips, well—they’re not formulated for your lips. It’s likely they’re designed specifically to provide benefits to the skin on your face and may not do the same for your lips.

The Benefits of Lip Care

The benefits of establishing a proper lip care routine extend beyond just reducing the risk of developing dry, chapped lips. Consistent lip care can also help keep your lips feeling soft and smooth. This creates a better canvas for lip makeup, so your lipstick will go on easily and evenly. It can even help prevent your lipstick from looking dry as the day goes on.

We also like to think of lip care as self-care. There’s something inherently indulgent about exfoliating your lips or applying a nourishing lip treatment before hitting the sheets. It just feels good—and we’re strong believers in the idea that you should always carve out time for self-care when you can.

Lip Care Routine: Step-by-Step

There are a few things you should keep in your lip care kit: an exfoliant, a balm, a sunscreen (if your balm doesn’t contain SPF), and a few (or more!) nourishing lip care products. We’ll break down the importance of each below and explain how to use them in your lip care routine.

Step 1: Clean Your Pout

Just as you wash your face before applying serums and moisturizers, you’ll want to remove any products from your lips before getting into your lip care routine. You can use a damp washcloth to gently cleanse your lips or, if you’re wearing waterproof lipstick, reach for a cleansing oil, balm, or micellar water. Note that you’ll want to keep your lips closed to avoid getting the cleanser in your mouth.

Step 2: Exfoliate

The best lip care routines always include exfoliation, and that’s because dead skin can leave your lips looking (and feeling) rough. Because your lips are more delicate than the rest of your face, however, you’ll want to avoid going at them with your face scrub. Instead, use a clean toothbrush to softly buff your lips for about a minute, or reach for a dedicated lip scrub to help remove dead, dry skin.

Should you exfoliate your lips every day?

You don’t need to exfoliate your lips every day. There’s no hard and fast rule for how often you should exfoliate, so we suggest going by feel. If you have dry lips, care for them with gentle exfoliation once a week. On the other hand, if your pout is generally smooth and soft, twice a month may be sufficient. Chapped lip care, on the other hand, should be as gentle as possible: Take a break from exfoliation when dealing with cracked or peeling lips to avoid further irritation.

Step 3: Moisturize With Lip Balm

Lip care for dry lips often involves the liberal use of lip balm, but in reality, everyone should use balm—it’s not just for those with drier pouts. As we mentioned earlier, lip care products (like balm) can help hydrate, soften, and smooth the lips. Balm is especially important to use after exfoliation, as it helps protect your freshly-scrubbed pout.

Step 4: Apply SPF

Using sunscreen daily is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking and feeling its best, but you’ll only reap those benefits if you use it properly. Unfortunately, the lips are one area many people forget to apply sunscreen. During the day, use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 15 to help protect your lips from the sun’s damaging rays. (And don’t forget to reapply!)

Step 5: Use Nourishing Makeup

Once your lips are exfoliated, moisturized, and protected, you can go ahead and apply whichever lip products you choose. But for really healthy-feeling lips, we recommend opting for lip makeup that also boasts lip care benefits.

If you’re someone who loves to rock a statement lip, pair your favorite lip liner with Fat Oil Slick Click. The creamy formula with cloudberry, raspberry, and avocado oil offers up to 12 hours of hydration. It’s available in 12 shades that provide a flush of buildable color—so you can go as sheer or as bold as you’d like.

For those who prefer subtler lip looks, we recommend Fat Oil Lip Drip Gloss. It contains vegan squalane and delivers up to 12 hours of hydration, plus tons of shine. Opt for one of the tinted versions for a subtle pop of color, or reach for the clear option for a glossy finish sans pigment.

Whichever type of lip you pick, share a picture with us at @nyxcosmetics on Instagram.

Next: Find inspiration for your next signature lip look in our article 10 Lipstick Trends You’re About To See Everywhere .


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