Whether you’re going for a naturally youthful look or striving for seriously plump lips, maintaining a lip care regimen is a must. Giving your smile some TLC can help prevent chapped lips, keep them smooth and soft, and can even help create a more hydrated, kissable, gorgeous-looking pout! Best of all, successful lip care can take just a few minutes—as you can see from this simple step-by-step guide.
Step 1: Gently Exfoliate Your Lips
Use a gentle lip exfoliant to help keep your lips smooth and soft. You can use a clean washcloth to gently rub away dry skin, or you can try a clean, soft-bristled toothbrush to get the job done. There are lip exfoliants made with sugar that you can also enlist if you want a sweet treat along the way. Just make sure to only exfoliate when it’s clear your lips need it, and to use a very gentle hand when doing so.
Step 2: Use a Nourishing Lip Balm
After exfoliating your lips, apply a nourishing lip balm to help lock in moisture. Available in four sheer shades, Je Ne Sais Quoi Hydrating Lip Balm Treatment is a clinically-tested balm that gives your lips a boost of intense hydration and a naturally pretty flush of color. It's made with a lip-loving blend of essential butters and oils, as well as hyaluronic acid spheres that help hydrate and soften.
“[It] has helped heal my lips from over 20 years of drying, cracking and peeling—and I have only been using it two months,” says one reviewer on itcosmetics.com. “Love the way my lips stay moisturized for hours with one application.”
We love this balm for everyday lip care, so consider keeping one in your purse for some on-the-go lip love. You can also use it as a lip mask by applying a generous amount as the first step of your makeup routine. While you let the balm hydrate and nourish your lips, apply the rest of your makeup and then gently wipe away the excess before applying your lipstick or gloss.
Step 3: Use Hydrating Lipstick or Lip Gloss
If you’re in the mood for a bold lip color or a subtle glossy sheen, make sure the lip products you’re using are packed with nourishing, moisturizing ingredients. For example, Pillow Lips Lipstick is infused with collagen and hyaluronic filling spheres for fuller-looking lips and a visible reduction in lip wrinkles. In addition to helping you get gorgeous, pouty lips, it packs a high-impact color payoff and acts as a gentle lip plumper. Choose from 14 different shades in either a cream or matte finish.
For a glossy option, try Pillow Lips Solid Serum Lip Gloss. This 5-in-1 superstar gloss combines the hydration and care of a nourishing lip balm with the sheer tint of a gorgeous gloss. Plus, it’s formulated with lip-loving ingredients—such as hyaluronic acid spheres and natural oils—that help create the look of gorgeous, plump lips.
“I love humectants like hyaluronic acid, which can bind 1000x its weight in water to deliver intense hydration to the skin on the lips. I then like to follow this step with an occlusive barrier to help lock in the moisture for lasting hydration. This is essential as lips naturally do not have oil or sebaceous glands and are more prone to dryness and chapping,” notes Tiffany Libby, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and IT Cosmetics Advisory Board Member.
She continues, “Pillow Lips Solid Serum is perfect for combining all these steps, with its tri-oil complex, hyaluronic acid, and collagen leaving lips feeling moisturized and revitalized. The beautiful tint of color is the ultimate finishing touch.”
Step 4: Apply Moisturizer Around Your Lips
It might seem a bit odd to include this step in a lip care routine, but hear us out! Moisturizing the skin surrounding your mouth can help hydrate and smooth your skin, which minimizes the look of fine lines around your mouth while adding to the visible plumping effect. If you want a luxurious cream, try Confidence in a Cream Hydrating Moisturizer, and if you prefer a gel-based option, apply Confidence in a Gel Lotion.
Step 5: Protect Your Lips From Sun Damage
The skin on your lips is quite thin and, as a result, susceptible to sun damage. Not only does sun damage increase your risk of skin cancer, but it leads to signs of premature aging, including fine lines and wrinkles and skin laxity. Try to reduce the amount of sun exposure your lips get. Wear a lip balm with SPF 30+ when spending a lengthy amount of time outdoors, hang out in the shade when you can, and shield yourself with a hat or sun umbrella.
Looking for more tips that’ll create the look of super plump lips? Read through our list of Simple Makeup Tricks That Make Your Lips Look Fuller.