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NOW READING Yes, Our Lips Deserve a Skincare Routine, Too — Here’s How to Do It in 3 Steps
April 19, 2019

Yes, Our Lips Deserve a Skincare Routine, Too — Here’s How to Do It in 3 Steps

News flash: Lips are skin! And because they’re skin, they too need a skincare regimen. So just follow this 3-step lip skincare routine for the plushest lips ever — and then reward yourself with the chicest K-beauty lip colors to dress them up. 😉


It seems like the past decade has been all about lips, and it doesn’t seem to show any signs of stopping. Frankly I am here for it. From the sultry French girl messy matte lip to the glossy polished K-pop gradient, what’s sexier than a perfect pout? It’s a rhetorical question because in my opinion, nothing is 😉 — or maybe 😢 is a better emoticon choice.


So keep your lips their plushest and poutiest with this 3-step lip skincare routine.



Lip skincare


With all eyes on lips, taking care of them is of the utmost importance. I think a lot of people tend to forget that lips are skin too, and as such, they need care. If you’re looking for a pillow-soft pout, I have three major steps for lip skincare: internal, external, and nighttime.


Step 1. Hydrate from the inside out


One of the first places to show visible signs of dehydration is the lips. If you’re not drinking enough fluids, your little mummy lips are going to tell on you. It’s important to drink enough water during the day, not just for your lips but for your overall health, too! Staying hydrated helps you to feel full, focused, and just plain fabulous.



Keep something cute nearby to sip throughout the day, and don’t forget to use it. Whether it’s a couple of chilled cans of your favorite LaCroix, a glass full of some cucumber lemon water, a SodaStream bottle of the bubbly stuff, or just some good old-fashioned tap water in your most adorable mug. Whatever your choice is, it’s an important companion and it should become your trusty, constant sidekick. Your lips and your body will thank you for it, and the visible results will speak for themselves.


Step 2. Smooth the surface


The second step, our external step, actually has two parts — the first one is protection. You shouldn’t be without is a lip balm of some sort. Everyone should have a favorite signature balm just like one might have a signature red lipstick. I’m a big fan of Lanolips lately, but in the past I’ve also been a devoted fan of Sheepish lip balm and 3CE Nursing Lip Balm. If you’re super fancy and want to make a statement with your trusty balm, pick up something like The History of Whoo Royal Lip Balm for a touch of elegance. Having a stick of something soothing, especially in dry recycled office air is a must for a healthy kisser.



The second step to my second step (does that sound as weird as it felt to write?) is  setting the canvas. Lip scrubs are some of the most satisfying products in skincare. You can be a bit more heavy-handed pressure-wise in comparison to a facial scrub, and the results are instant and as dramatic as they are rewarding. Take a swipe of Skinfood Avocado & Sugar Lip Scrub (which is as adorable as it is effective) and give your lips a good massage in tiny circular motions. It’ll help you remove all the crusty bits, encourage blood flow, and give you a baby soft pout. Do this once a week or anytime you feel your lips could use a good reset. It’s especially good on days when you plan to wear a matte textured liquid lip because they tend to pick up and exaggerate any dead dry bits.


at-home skincare hacks


What I like about the Skinfood scrub is it also has shea butter to condition, but you should still follow-up immediately with a good lip balm application, even if you’re about to put on lipstick. It’s like the lip care circle of life, death, and rebirth: Your lips are the most vulnerable to dryness right after a scrub and should be treated to a big warm kiss of moisture as they make their debut from under all that dead skin we just removed. I mean that figuratively unless you do have someone to make out with, but even then, circle back to the first second step (omg what) and balm up first!


Step 3. Soften as you sleep


Lastly we have the overnight step. As I said before, we need to think of lip care in terms of skincare, and my own personal skincare routine wouldn’t be complete without an overnight treatment, and yours shouldn’t either. Even if you have oily skin that doesn’t enjoy a good skincare overnight mask, your lips don’t have oil glands and they need all the help they can get.


Laneige is famous for their overnight treatments and that includes their wildly popular cult classic Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. Now you even have four different kinds to choose from: There’s Berry, Grapefruit, Apple Lime, and my favorite, Vanilla.




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If you’re thinking “Well, I have a balm so I really don’t need a lip mask; that’s a little excessive,” you’re dead wrong. We’re talking as dead as the skin on a pair of dehydrated, unexfoliated lips, that level of wrong. These overnight treatments make all the difference in the world! As important as the previous steps are, I don’t think you’re truly operating at peak lip softness until you introduce an overnight lip mask into the mix! They are truly transformative, especially in the wintertime when the air is drier than a bad cook’s chicken. Trust me, add one of these to your nighttime routine and you’ll see what I mean.


I also like that the Laneige ones tend to last forever since you need so little product. I like to smooth on a generous layer on and around my lips every night. I can always tell if I’ve accidentally skipped that step when I wake up in the morning — it makes that much of a difference for me!


Lip color


Now that we’ve covered the three lip skincare steps for a sexy kisser, let’s dress them up a little! There are several things I’ve had my eye on up at Beautytap that I’ve been dying to get on my lips. K-beauty is so full of wonderful lip formulations, I can think of only a tiny handful of times I’ve ever been disappointed in all my years of obsessive K-cosmetics testing.



One of my favorite lip brands not just for performance but for color selection is 3CE. 3CE has always been the cool artsy girl, and I want to sit at her table. The 3CE Mood Recipe Lip Color Mini Kit embodies everything I love about the brand. The earthy shades in this kit run from nude to vampy and are on the forefront of style right now. We may be rounding a corner with spring in mind here on this hemisphere, but these fall toned colors have been everything all season long for a couple of years now, and I want every single one of them!



Another 3CE product that’s calling my name is the 3CE Glow Jam Stick in Kissy. It’s the polar opposite of the Mood Recipe lippies in both formula and color mood. This is a glossy slick of vibrant color in a cheerful orange that, despite it being the dead of winter, would look amazing with an all-black outfit and little black beret and of course would carry you right into summertime with ease.


If you’re into simplicity and want a liner and stick all-in-one, look no further than A’Pieu Color Lip Pencil Satin in RD03 Simply Wonderful. It’s a sexy darker red crayon that twists up to apply as a satiny, sophisticated red that would be perfect to recreate that messy chic “I’m too cool to look into a mirror and apply this precisely, but it’s gonna look great anyway” French girl lip.



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A product that embodies two of the best things about K-cosmetics — affordability and great formula — is Etude House Mini Two Match Lip Colors. Just because you want to buy budget doesn’t mean you’re in for a bad experience. I’ve tried this line before and was blown away at how great it was for such a tiny price tag. And the choices! You have 20 shades to choose from! You pick two and slap them together on the double-ended wand, and you’ve got one tube that can take you from day to night for way under $20. Give me OR202 Slow Coral for a lunch date, with RD304 Vinegar Red on the other end for a dinner meeting, and I’m set for the whole day, no other makeup change needed. And the best part of it all? I know it’s going to look great thanks to my 3-step lip skincare routine!


Do you have a lip skincare routine? What do you do to keep your lips at its plushest? Let us know in the comments!



Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."




Verified Expert

I think having a good lip mask is key when your lips are feeling a little crusty especially during the colder season. I have the laneige sleeping mask and it works wonder for me. I love being able to put it on at night and when I wake up I have softer lips.

I do all the things you mentioned! I have the Skinfood Lip Scrub~ It works great and smells great too! On top of this,when I do the 7 skin method with my toner, I apply it to my lips. I also put on lip balm/chapstick that has SPF. I've been loving Aquaphor's Lip Protectant with SPF! :)

Hi Coco! I’ve been eyeing the Laneige lip mask, but last year I smelled the berry one in Sephora and found it overwhelming. Nauseatingly sweet. How do the other flavors compare?

I haven't tried the grapefruit one in the lip mask, but I have the Laneige Glowy Lip Balm in grapefruit and it's less sweet. It's my favorite flavor. The berry lip mask really is super sweet, but I don't mind it too much. The pear lip balm is pretty sweet, too, and I don't like vanilla scents in beauty so I haven't tried that one!

I have and love the Laneige mask! I want to try Vanilla, but the Berry is lasting ages!

I also just apply all of my skincare except chemical exfoliants/vitamin C to my lips. It's helped so much to add hydrating layers along with moisturizers followed by a lip mask when I go to sleep. Excessive, I realize, but my lips are chronically dry and flaky and no amount of water I drink changes that.

I really need to do that because my lips are also chronically dry and flaky, but man, I hate accidentally tasting my skincare on my lips 😂

I love using the Fenty Gloss Bomb as an overnight lip mask! It's so occlusive, my lips are chapped so much less after I started using it. And it smells so yummy too!

That's actually a great idea — using a lip gloss I'm like meh about at night as a lip mask. I'm finally almost out of my Laneige lip mask (that thing lasts forever), so I'm gonna try it with one of my super sticky lip glosses. Thanks for the tip!

Agreed with Anna. That's an awesome idea. I have the Fenty Gloss Bomb as well and never wear it-- partly because I never wear makeup, but partly because it doesn't really suit me. Gloss Bomb Night Mask, here I come!

I'm using up a couple non-AB products, but I can't wait to try some of these suggestions. (That Skinfood scrub link is broken, though.) Right now I've got Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask, which I love, and some random exfoliating lip balm with scrubby sugar bits. I also use lip balm with SPF all day.

Just realized I have and use all those products, but not *consistently.* Which is the point of a routine. Well! Next step: new routine creation!