3 Reasons Why Lip Products Are Drying Your Lips Out (& How To Fix It)

Expert Advice

via Giphy

A good lipstick or gloss can take your pout from work to the weekend in a single swipe. But with great power comes great responsibility, and unfortunately, not all of them come through. Today, we’re discussing the “bad guy” ingredients inside lipstick formulas that can actually dry out your lips. For the insider scoop, we sat down with Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Idriss Dermatology in NYC. Keep scrolling for *gasp*-worthy info on formulas, skincare ingredient essentials, and a nifty trick for buttery soft lips.

Bad Guy #1: The Formula  

The reality is: lip formulas aren’t all created equally – while some may be super nourishing, others can leave your lips dry and chapped. Dr. Idriss confirms, “Lip products like stains and matte lipsticks can dry out your lips over time because of their formulation. [Stains and mattes] are waxier, therefore, have fewer oils, which allows for a richer color on the lips, but less hydration.” We’ve dissected some popular lip formulas so that you’re never caught off-guard:

1. Cream: These are great if your lips tend to dry out as they’re typically rich in moisturizing ingredients that soften and plump your lips. For example, our Huda Beauty Power Bullet Cream Glow Hydrating Lipstick, $25, is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to keep your pout hydrated and plump, even with all-day wear.

2. Gloss: Lip glosses add a shiny, wet look to your pout. They can even add a tint of color and long-lasting hydration when infused with the right ingredients. Our Huda Beauty Silk Balm Hydrating and Nourishing Lip Balm, $21, contains powerful actives that make your lips feel silky smooth with a glossy sheen.

3. Stain: Stains have a watery texture, which can, ironically, end up drying out your lips. Choose stains with hydrating ingredients (we’ve got a couple here) and apply a thin layer of lip balm after application to keep your lips from feeling flakey midday.

4. Matte: While we LUHHHVE matte lipsticks, they can be uncomfortably drying due to a lack of oil inside the formula. That’s why we added our famous Lip L.O.V.E Complex (Lycopene, Olive Oil, Vitamin A&E, and Essential fatty acids) into our Huda Beauty Liquid Matte Ultra-Comfort Transfer-Proof Lipstick, $20. It keeps your lips looking soft and flake-free even after eight-hour wear – #TriedAndTrue.

No matter the lipstick formula you choose, Dr. Idriss recommends packing on the hydration before applying your lip products. “If your lips aren’t hydrated before applying a matte lipstick or lip stain, the product will just sink into the cracks and crevices of your lips.” Fortunately, the skin expert has a simple lip-care routine to keep dryness at bay: lip basting.

How to bast your lips: “I use a light chemical exfoliant, like glycolic acid to first buff my lips. Chemical exfoliants help to evenly exfoliate your lips. Then I seal it in with a thick occlusive that melts into my lips by the end of my makeup routine, just in time to apply your lip product of choice.” She continues, “Lip Basting before you start your makeup routine will give you hydrated, plump lips to then apply a matte lipstick or stain if you wish.” Read all about this fab trick here.

Bad Guy #2: Humectants   

If you’re a skincare lover, you’ve probably heard about hydrating hero hyaluronic acid (HA). However, Dr. Idriss warns that as “Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, it actually draws moisture from the skin and increases transepidermal water loss. Long term, it can actually dry your skin out in the process,” says Dr. Idriss.

She adds, “Science has shown that in spite of the molecular size used, topical hyaluronic acid will always sit on the top layer of the skin.“ In other words, HA can’t get the job done alone. It should be layered underneath a rich occlusive formua like Vaseline, which locks in moisture, for total lip healing.

Bad Guy #3: Dehydration

Many common body issues, including chapped lips, bottle down to a lack of water in your system. Since the skin on your lips is extremely delicate, it’s one of the first places to show signs of dehydration. Drink a minimum of eight glasses of water daily to keep your lips soft and plump. Consider this your reminder to chug a glass of water, STAT!

For a lip revival… Boo, your lips deserve nothing but the best that’s why we’ve rounded up the best affordable lip balms on the market RN; thank us later!

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. Although some brands allow affiliate links, we never take payment to review products, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.