Lip balm is essential for protecting our lips from the atmosphere around us, as well as the sun, sea, wind and more. However, there is a certain level of skill involved when it comes to these seemingly simple products, and the frequency of applications can, in fact, affect its efficacy. So, how often should you be applying your lip balm?
Why do you need to wear lip balm?
Lip balm has become a staple product found everywhere, in our handbags, coat pockets and car doors, as well as everywhere in between, but it’s become such a habit, many of us don’t even think about why we’re wearing it anymore. While this doesn’t necessarily affect how well the product will work, it’s always good to get a reminder of why you’re doing something, so why do you need to wear lip balm?
In the morning, you probably apply some sort of moisturiser to your face, as this keeps your hydrated, and locks in the moisture so your skin stays soft and comfortable all day. The skin on your face naturally produces oil, so it could, theoretically, survive without a moisturiser, and some people do, especially if they’ve got oily skin.
This is because sebaceous glands are found in your skin, which are oil-producing glands that are designed for that exact purpose. However, when we take a look at the lips, there aren’t any sebaceous glands present, and naturally your lips rely on saliva as their only source of moisturisation, and it’s not the most effective solution.
When we bring a lip balm onto the scene, it works to hydrate and moisturise the skin on the lips, compensating for the lack of natural capabilities the lips have in this sense. As you apply a lip balm, a new substance is introduced to the lips, and it works to make up for the oils that our lips are missing.
How does lip balm work?
Now that it’s clear why we rely on a lip balm to provide nourishment, care and moisturisation to the lips, it’s about time we find out how it works. Of course, some products work in slightly different ways to others, especially when products are formulated differently to compete with each other. Regardless, most balms work in the same way, as we’re about to discover.
Usually, a lip balm will contain some humectants, which are a category of moisturising agents that hydrate your skin by sitting in the epidermis (the upper layer of skin) and attracting water from around other parts of the skin to the cells in the epidermis. Often, humectants are effective at attracting water, and they work in a somewhat similar way to a magnet.
Along with the humectants, a good lip balm always contains emollient ingredients, which are another category of moisturising agents, and work in a slightly different way to humectants. Instead of sitting inside the skin and attracting water, they sit on top of the skin, creating a thin waxy layer above the surface. This layer isn’t water-permeable, so it traps in the moisture and prevents water loss from the skin once the humectants have provided hydration.
Often, lip balms also contain different nutrients and additional ingredients to add extra protection to the lips or provide even more benefits. For example, they may contain extracts high in antioxidants to provide an array of advantages or contain an integrated SPF to offer sun protection.
Also read: Does Lip Balm Expire? (Tips To Preserve It)
How often should you apply lip balm?
Now that we’ve established a clear understanding of how a lip balm works, and the importance of it, it’s time to get into something you can get involved with. Knowing how frequently you should apply a lip balm is useful information, and it can help you to better take care of your lips and nourish them even more appropriately.
During the day, we drink, we eat, we talk and ultimately, we use our lips a lot. They’re a method of communication, as well as nourishment, and they’re important to us, as humans. Whenever we take a bite of food, a sip of water, or start to talk about the weather, our lips are transferring any product that’s been applied to them.
The problem with this transfer of product is, not only can it get annoying when you have to keep topping up your lipstick, but it can also leave our lips vulnerable. If the lip balms has rubbed of your lips and it’s especially cold outside, you may just find yourself is some discomfort as they chap throughout the day.
This is where re-applications come in, but how often. It’s recommended by experts that you have a total of six to eight layers of balm on your lips by the end of the day, and two of these are applied in the morning and evening. This leave four to six layers to be applied throughout the day, every few hours.
Of course, it’s also a good idea to re-apply as soon as your lips start to feel dry, but every few hours, spread over four to six applications, should be plenty.
Now that you’re an expert on the topic of lip balms, from how they work to how often you should re-apply. You can be confident that there’ll be no chapped, dry lips for you. Remember, it’s important that you re-apply as soon as your lips start to feel dried out, and prevent them from damage and dryness.