A reader writes in:
Dear Jen, It seems when I put on my lipstick, it never fails that a few hours later, I'm chewing on dry, flaky skin on my lips. It's not the look I'm going for, for sure. Is it my lipstick causing it? (I use lip stain, if it matters.) Maybe I need a more moisturizing lipstick? What can I do to stop it from happening?
Nothing ruins your look faster than dry, chapped lips. Especially when you have lipstick on. Let's go through this together.
The Cause of Dry Skin After Lip Stain
It very well could be your lip stain. Unlike lipsticks or lip balms, lip stains are known for their long-lasting abilities, but also for their tendency to dry out or dehyrdate the lips. There aren't any moisturizing benefits to lip stains, unlike lip balms and lipsticks. And because you need to put them on your already dry lips, it can accentuate the drying affect.
Sometimes lip stains come with a moisturizing sidekick to apply after the lip stain is dry. And example is L'Oreal Infallible Lip Color. This extra step can help, but I haven't found the moisturizing balm to be nearly as long lasting as the lip stain.
How to Eliminate Dry Skin on Your Lips
Just as you exfoliate your body and face, you must exfoliate your lips. There are products that you can use to help you exfoliate, such as Avon's Lip Exfoliator. Avon's Lip Exfoliator is a lipstick-type stick that you smooth on your lips and wipe off with a tissue. There are exfoliating particles in it.
Another product choice would be BeFine's Lip Exfoliator which uses pineapple enzymes to exfoliate your lips.
But you can easily exfoliate your lips without buying a separate product simply by using a soft toothbrush and some vaseline by gently smoothing your vaseline-covered lips with the toothbrush. (read the complete how-to instructions). Another option would be to mix some vaseline with some sugar and rub it on and wipe off.
The thing to remember is to do this as soon as possible before you apply your lip stain because lip stain has to be applied to dry lips. Try to do it before your shower in the morning.
How to Keep Your Dry Lips from Coming Back Throughout the Day
Exfoliating your lips is a great start to getting your lips back on track, but it is very important to hydrate them throughout the day to keep them soft and smooth. Nothing looks worse than wrinkly, dry lips covered in lip stain.
Either buy a lip stain that has a moisturizer included, like the L'Oreal one listed above or simply buy a chapstick/lip balm to use throughout the day. We love eos: lip balm spheres. (read review)
Using a lip balm throughout the day will help make sure your lips stay smooth and plump, but it also may reduce your lip stains all-day color stay which lip stains are known for. You may have to reapply the color once mid-day to afternoon, but personally, I'd rather reapply than have flaky lip stain colored flakes falling off my lips.
Product Picks - Cheap to Steep
Even knowing that using a lip stain will likely cause your lips to get dehydrated, we love wearing them. There is nothing like applying your lip color once and being confident that it's going to last most of the day. Here are a few lip stains at all price points that we have used and loved.