Try This Nightly Lip Care Routine For A Younger-Looking Pout

By Hannah Frye

Given its increased popularity these last few years, you’re likely familiar with the K-beauty technique called slugging—aka applying an occlusive product (traditionally a petrolatum-based product) over another moisturizer. This process encourages moisture barrier healing by locking in hydration and preventing transepidermal water loss. 

But as we’ve mentioned time and again: Your lips are part of your skin, too, and they’re even more delicate and sensitive. That said, can you replicate this same process on your lips as well? Maybe so, but there’s a right way to do it. Here, the ultimate nighttime lip-layering routine for an ultra-hydrated, younger-looking pout. 

How to slug your lips. 

While many people simply lather on a petrolatum-based product and call it a day, your lips need a bit more nourishment to truly optimize the health of the delicate skin that makes up your pout. We should note the lips are much thinner than the rest of your skin, which means they’re even more susceptible to environmental effects (think UV rays, free radicals, etc.).

To complete this step, you’ll want to look for a hydrating lip balm that contains humectants (to pull water into the lips) and emollients (to help soften the skin). Here are a few ingredients to keep look for in the first layer of your lip routine: 

  • Hyaluronic acid (sometimes called sodium hyaluronate)
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Vitamin E
  • Coconut oil 
  • Peptides

One A+ pick: the mbg lip balm. This $12 product will support your skin barrier and soften skin texture. Packed with antioxidants like vitamin E and moringa seed oil, this balm protects the lips from oxidative stress, which can lead to physical skin aging—lip skin included. The formula is free of mineral oil and other drying agents commonly found in lip balms, so you can lather on worry-free. 

After you apply your chosen nourishing balm, you’ll want to apply an occlusive product. While petrolatum-based products are the most popular for slugging, there are tons of other options to try if you’re looking to keep your routine eco-friendly. (Remember: Petroleum-derived ingredients like mineral oil do not biodegrade well, and they can accumulate in waterways.)

Vegetable and fruit oils, however, can serve as an occlusive layer with some added antioxidant benefits as well. You’ll want a thicker product (think ointment-consistency rather than a secondary balm) that will lay on top of the lips, rather than soaking in right away. This will help to lock in the nutrients from your previous balm and maintain adequate hydration for longer.

Our pick for step two: Sahajan’s Lip Karma. This thick lip treatment includes a blend of argan, castor, and rapeseed oil to soften the lips for a much-needed layer of protection for your delicate pout. Better yet, it doesn’t budge.

This method is great for those looking to keep their lips looking youthful (see: plump, hydrated, and smooth lips with minimal fine lines). In addition, if you’re struggling with a minor lip sunburn this two-step process will encourage skin barrier healing.

The takeaway. 

Facial slugging is a popular technique that helps heal the moisture barrier, so why not try it out on your lips as well? Rather than applying only an occlusive ointment on the lips, start out with nourishing ingredients, such as humectants, emollients, and antioxidants. Then layer on a thicker treatment to help lock in all of the goodness all night long.

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