Lip balm is a staple, essential item in every handbag, makeup case, coat pocket and everywhere in between. It’s something we use in our daily lives, perhaps sometimes without even thinking about it, but what’s the real way to use a lip balm? Let’s find out.
How does lip balm work?
Our lips are made of skin, just like the rest of our face, and have a similar structure, due to this, with similar needs to the rest of our skin. For example, they must both be nourished and soothed in order to repair themselves and restore the skin in the areas. Another mutual requirement is hydration and moisturisation, which is where a lip balm comes in.
A lip balm is a specific type of ointment, formulated for the lips, which is intended to provide the hydration and nourishment needed for the skin on the lips. While the lips are similar to the rest of the face, they are also much more delicate, being made of much less layers of cells, and being comprised of slightly different structures.
For example, the lips don’t have any sebaceous (oil) gland of their own, like the face does, and so they are much more vulnerable to dryness. This is where a lip balm comes in. similar to a facial moisturiser, the lip balm contains ingredients which are designed to penetrate the skin of the lips and deliver hydration to the cells here.
Once the hydration has been provided, many lip balms also provide a waxy surface on top of your lips, and this is a physical barrier which traps water inside the skin. The waxy texture doesn’t let water out, as it’s not water soluble, and the water is unable to permeate through the layer created by the balm, and therefore it keeps your lips feeling smooth and moisturised.
Is lip balm the same as Chapstick?
You’ve most likely heard of Chapstick before, and it’s one of the most coined terms in the beauty industry. The truth is, Chapstick is really just a certain brand of lip balm and, while they’re lip balms that many people rely on a swear by, they are just that: lip balms.
In other words, there’s no difference between a Chapstick and any other lip balm, except for the small variations in the formula that differentiate between a good and bad product. Chapstick is also now used to reference any kind of lip balm, and there isn’t any difference between the two in this context either.
A Chapstick will create a waxy barrier on the surface of your lips to prevent water loss, just like any other lip balm does (or at least aims to do).
Also read: Best Lip Balm With SPF (Products To Try)
How do you use lip balm?
We’ve already established the basics of how a lip balm actually works, or is designed to work, once it’s been applied to your lips, but that skips out a major part of the process: the application. While applying a lip balm may seem like an easy feat, there are a few factors you should consider in order to achieve the best results and, ultimately, the smoothest lips.
Before you begin with the product itself, you need to ensure your lips are clean and dry. This means, if it’s the morning and you’re applying the product as a part of your skincare routine, it’s after you’ve washed your face. Once the area is clean and dry, you’re ready to go.
Prepare your lip balm by opening the tube or untwisting the cap and start applying it to your lips. Start with the bottom lip and follow with the top, making sure to cover the entire surface, and trace the cupid’s bow to get a clean, precise finish. If you’re using a stick lip balm, the process is simple and, if you’re using a potted product, either use clean hands or a clean brush to spread.
When using a gel-based lip balm, avoid squeezing too much out of the tube at once, as this will feel uncomfortable and slimy on your lips, as well as wasting the product eery time you use it. Start with a little and build it up if you feel you need any more.
When you’ve finished with the application process, rub your lips together and pucker them to get an even spread across the surface, working the product in. Wait for a short while for the lips to dry slightly before adding any lip gloss, lipstick, or other lip product on top.
If you’re looking to add a little extra oomph to your lip balm and allow it to work even ore effectively, the use of a lip scrub is always a handy option. Just start by using the lip scrub before applying the balm. After washing the lips, and scrub to exfoliate, removing all dead cells to reveal softer, smoother lips.
How often should you apply lip balm?
The way you apply your lip balm isn’t the only thing that takes thought when it comes to caring for your lips, and the frequency of applications plays a large role, too. Often, it’s easy to forget to re-apply product throughout the day, especially if you don’t have particularly noticeably dry lips already.
During the day, it’s obviously good to re-apply whenever your lips are feeling dry or chapped and the product has worn off. However, our lips aren’t always dry enough to notice this at times, and here’s where you start to look at times to apply your lip balm.
Throughout the day, you should reapply every few hours, as well as first thin g in the morning and just before you go to sleep. In total, you should have six to eight coats of lip balm by the end of the day, meaning you should reapply four to six times during the day, along with in the morning and evening.
It’s clear to see that, while lip balm isn’t a very difficult product to use and master, it does require some consideration, and you should still pay attention to your lips during the day. Don’t forget to apply regularly to get the best results.