How to Moisturize Your Lips

Tips for Moisturizing Your Lips

Matte lipstick has many convenient qualities. After putting it on, your lips will look the same for longer periods of time, and you probably won't have to break out a compact mirror to constantly reapply. The problem with matte lipstick, however, is that the ingredients that are helping your lips stay colorful and fresh can also dry them out. To avoid having your lips look like they're too dried out, look for lipsticks with hydrating formulas that contain glycerin or vitamin E. When you do use a matte lipstick, you also can dab on a bit of moisturizing balm to keep your lips moisture-packed [source: Latona].

If you use lip gloss, your lips are also at risk -- not for dryness, however, but for sun damage. Lip gloss provides your lips with a little extra shine. Although it may make your lips sparkle and draw attention to them, it may also attract the sun more than you need. Sunlight can increase signs of aging around your lips, and lip gloss may absorb harmful rays from the sun. In a worst-case scenario, this might mean an increased risk of skin cancer. Skin cancer of the lips is almost always squamous cell carcinoma, which is rarely fatal, but it can sometimes be difficult to treat. Other less serious concerns are noncancerous skin conditions and premature aging. A good precautionary measure is to make sure that your lip gloss contains an SPF of at least 15. And make sure to apply it generously and often [source: Dahl].

Hydration, a good lip balm, sunscreen and protection from the elements are the basics to keeping your lips moisturized. See the links below to learn more about taking care of your lips, along with the rest of your skin.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Dermatologists' Top 10 Tips for Relieving Dry Skin." 2008. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • American Academy of Dermatology. "How to Select Sunscreen." 2009. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Brown, Bobbi. "Chapped Lips Solution." Prevention Sept. 20, 2008. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Dahl, Melissa. "Not Just Lip Service: Gloss Can Invite Skin Cancer." MSNBC. May 30, 2008. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • George, Rebekah. "The Beauty of Honey." Prevention. May 1, 2007. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Gibson, Lawrence E., M.D. "Chapped Lips: What's the Best Remedy?" Mayo Clinic. Oct. 4, 2008. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Indiana Public Media. "Why Lips Go Dry." (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Janes, Beth. "Beauty Q & A." Shape. March 2003. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Latona, Valerie. "7 Tips for Beautiful Lips." Shape Magazine. March 2002. (Sept. 8, 2009)
  • Prevention. "The Smartest Tip for Beautiful Lips." March 26, 2008. (Sept. 8, 2009)