Fix your dry and chapped lips with lip basting!

It’s the latest beauty trend, also called “lip slugging” because it’s similar to face slugging (which we talked about in a previous post).

But what is lip basting and should you be doing it to get soft, beautiful lips?

What is Lip Basting?

Some call it the “ultimate hydration for your lips,” while others claim it’s the “ultimate hack for dry lips.”

With the weather getting colder, dryer, and harsher in many areas of the country, a lot of us are looking for help with dry, chapped lips. Cold air saps moisture from the lips, causing dryness, flakiness, cracks, and sometimes, bleeding. The natural tendency to lick the lips can also exacerbate dryness and flaking.

The skin on the lips is very thin and delicate. It dries out much faster than the skin on the rest of the face and requires extra TLC to say soft and smooth in the winter.

Even if you’re regularly applying lip balm, though, you may still struggle with chapped lips at this time of year. So it’s no surprise that lip-basting became popular almost overnight.

At its simplest, lip basting is a process where you apply a thick layer of moisturizer (types vary) to the lips and then let it sit for an extended amount of time before wiping it off, often about 10 minutes.

The idea is that allowing the hydrating agent to sit on the lips for a longer period helps improve hydration and repair. But if we go back to how lip basting started, we can see that the original process involved more than this.

Calming Moisture Basting

How Lip Basting Got Started

Lip basting got its start with Dr. Shereene Idriss, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. She shared a process she uses on her own lips on Instagram, and lip basting was born.

Idriss recommended two steps for the process:

  1. Exfoliate: Start with a chemical exfoliant like glycolic acid. Spread a thin layer across the lips.
  2. Moisturize: After it dries, apply a thick layer of moisturizer. Continue with your makeup or morning routine.

When Idriss was done getting ready for her day, she wiped off the moisturizer, and voila, enjoyed softer, smoother lips.

You may have done something similar in the past with a lip scrub followed by a lip ointment or a lip mask. What’s interesting is that, unlike face slugging, lip basting involves an exfoliating step.

It makes sense because chapped lips naturally have dead skin on the surface. We need to get rid of that dead skin before we can expect that our lips will look better. Simply putting moisturizer on top of dry, flaky patches will help some, but won’t produce the results we want.

As to how Idriss came up with this idea, she told PopSugar that she was in Jackson, Wyoming where the air was dry, and her lips felt like “shriveled up prunes…” Vaseline alone wasn’t helping, so she decided that she should exfoliate her lips like she exfoliates her face.

4 Steps to the Perfect Lip Basting Routine

If you’re curious about how lip basting may benefit your lips this winter, try the following steps for the best results.

1. Start with Clean Lips

Use a soft cloth or makeup-removing cloth to remove all lipstick, lip gloss, lip balm, and other products from the lips. You’ll want to start with clean lips.

2. Use a Scrub if You Like

If your lips are flaky and dry, it may help to begin with a gentle lip scrub. There are many available on the market or you can make your own with a little sugar and olive or jojoba oil. Apply some to your lips and gently scrub with a washcloth or soft toothbrush to help loosen up some of that dead skin. Rinse.

Keep in mind that a physical scrub isn’t the right solution for everyone. If you have super sensitive skin or if your lips are already bleeding, wait until they’re in better repair.

3. Chemically Exfoliate

Next, use a chemical exfoliating agent to further slough off the dead skin on the surface of your lips. Idriss uses a toner that contains glycolic acid. You could also use one that contains lactic acid. A serum with one of these acids will also work.

Let the exfoliant sit on your lips. If you’re using a toner, let it sit until it dries. If you’re using a serum, let it sit until it sinks into the lips. Then go on to the next step.

4. Baste the Lips!

Finally, spread a generous layer of your chosen moisturizer on your lips. Apply enough that your lips look buttery and wet, then let it sit. Don’t lick your lips!

We recommend our Restorative Skin Balm. This 100 percent natural, non-petroleum healing balm softens severely dry and chapped skin. It’s won several awards, including the “Best All-Around Healing Balm” from Healing Lifestyles & Spas. In addition to moisturizing your skin, it also protects it with powerful antioxidants and vitamin E.

Whatever you decide to use, stay away from petroleum-based products. They can coat the skin and prevent water loss, but they don’t add any moisture back into your skin, so your lips will feel dry again a short time later.

Our balm contains natural moisturizers like calendula and bee’s wax along with natural oils and other moisturizers that will benefit the tender skin on your lips.

Once you’ve slathered the moisturizer on, go about your morning (or evening). The key is to allow the moisturizer to sit on your lips for at least 10 minutes.

When you’re ready, gently dab or wipe off any remaining moisturizer and apply your regular lip balm (you can use our Restorative Skin Balm as a lip balm too!). Then go about your day with newly restored, soft and supple lips.

Feel free to repeat the lip-basting process once a day or until your lips start looking and feeling better.

Restorative Lip Basting

What Are the Benefits of Lip Basting?

When you follow the steps outlined above, you will enjoy the following benefits:

  • Intensely hydrated lips
  • Diminished dryness, chapping, and flaking
  • More resilient lips that resist future chapping
  • Smoother lipstick and lip gloss application

Have you tried lip-basting?

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