Lip Care for Less: Get Your Plushest Pout on the Cheap (or Even DIY)
Though we may have our skincare routines down to a science, our lips are often given short shrift. This can especially be a problem during the cooler months when the air is dry and chapping is practically a rite of seasonal passage. But no more! You don’t have to spend a lot to get your lips in plush, kissable shape. Just follow this easy 4-step routine for affordable lip care you can buy or DIY.
As a K-beauty fan, you probably have your fair share of skincare goodies and a routine that fits your needs as well as your budget. But what about lip care? With winter setting in, you may be struggling with dry, flaky, chapped lips.
If the thought of spending money on a lip care routine makes you, well, pucker, hang tight. You don’t need to spend a fortune to pamper your pout.
1. Love the lip scrub
In an article I wrote recently, I mentioned products that were worth spending extra money on. Lip scrubs are not among them, but a $10 tube of Swanicoco’s More Than Smooth Lip Scrub is a good buy. Unlike most commercial sugar scrubs, this one contains gluconolactone, which acts as both an exfoliant and a humectant. In the land of acids, it’s a PHA (polyhydroxy acid) and rarely causes irritation even for those with sensitive skin. Couple that ingredient with cellulose (a natural plant fiber), Centella asiatica extract (the universal love of most every K-beauty fan), and fatty acid-rich castor oil, and you’ll get mild exfoliation along with softer, smoother lips in just three minutes. Bonus: The super-fine particles work great on sensitive, damaged lips, plus the applicator tip makes it easy to dispense, eliminating the need to dig into (and potentially contaminate) a tiny jar.
If you’re pinching pennies (and who isn’t?), try making a DIY version with a few pantry items. Mine includes melted unrefined coconut oil, brown sugar, and a few drops of lemon juice. There’s no need for a recipe — just blend these ingredients together until you get a consistency you like. You can also use olive or avocado oil instead of coconut oil. Just don’t make a ginormous batch unless you intend to use it on your body as well. Natural ingredients don’t have a long shelf life, so try to use it up within a week.
2. Plump your pout
You know how lip plumpers sting when applied? Ever wonder why? Most of them include ingredients that irritate the lips, such as cinnamon oil, clove, and peppermint. You may be OK with purposefully irritating your pout, but I’m not. Since I’m already layering hyaluronic acid on my face every morning, I follow my lip scrub with two layers of Hada Labo Gokujyun Premium Lotion. I learned this trick from Jude Chao years ago when she mentioned it in her review of this product, and it never fails me. It’s flavorless and works surprisingly well as a plumper. With all the money you’ve saved, you can treat yourself to a more luxe tinted hydrating lippie, like Sulwhasoo’s Essential Lip Serum or Clio’s Lip Syrup, and you’ll be good to go.
3. Protect throughout the day
Combatting midday dryness doesn’t have to be expensive. Making homemade lip gloss makes good money sense. I buy amber-colored essential oil roller ball bottles from Amazon and fill them with a 60/40 combo of organic castor oil and sweet almond oil. For less than $30, I now have bottles on my desk, nightstand, and end table. My husband even has his own bottle! If you can’t get past the taste, you can always incorporate a food grade flavoring or extract to mask the castor oil. Mine’s unadulterated ’cause I’m lazy.
If you prefer a truly nude lip sans lip stain and gloss, follow the advice of thousands of nursing mothers and pick up a tube of lanolin nipple cream (about $9). Don’t freak out. Lansinoh is completely safe and lip-friendly. It’s intended for breastfeeding moms, so don’t worry about ingesting it.
4. Nighttime repair
When settling into bed for the night, don’t forget that your lips go into recovery mode while you sleep as well. Two of my favorites for repairing daily dryness and damage are Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask and Philosophy’s Lip Shine glosses. I apply a thin layer of the lip mask first and gently rub it into my lips. The lip shine does the heavy work, though, and despite being a non-AB item, it’s the best overnight treatment product I’ve found. I’ve always been prone to cold sores in windy winter weather, but that gloss has kept them at bay for eight years. That’s worth $10 ten times over!
So got any affordable lip care tips to share? I’m all