If you’re like me, your lips aren’t in their best, most pampered state. While maskne and perioral dermatitis have gotten most of my attention for the past two years, my lips were left to crack, flake, and shrivel with dehydration, which might become my villain origin story if the situation isn’t rectified.
According to Dr. Engelman, I’m not the only one with happier lips on the brain. “I think people will definitely want to show off their lips at every opportunity now. Keeping lips healthy and hydrated is an essential starting point,” she says. Thankfully, some of our favorite brands have dropped some major lip care in the past few months — and will continue to do so for the rest of the year.
We’re not just talking balms, though. The first step to more supple lips is sloughing off all those dead, dry flakes. That’s why Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian’s longtime makeup artist, just added the vitamin E and sugar-infused Perfecting Lip Scrub to his own line Makeup by Mario. Another Allure favorite: the sugar-based Milk Makeup Kush Lip Scrub, which comes in a twist-up bullet so you can use it anywhere.
After that, the real intervention begins with a hydration-rich balm or salve, and it’s vital to pick a workhorse. “It’s like drinking a soda to quench thirst,” Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, M.D., has previously told Allure. “You drink something that appeals to senses with no nutritional value, and shortly thereafter, you are still thirsty. Same thing goes for balms loaded with flavor, fragrance, and menthol.”
That’s not to say all the tasty, aesthetically-pleasing options aren’t worthy of your investment. In the case of the Tatcha Limited Edition Kissu Lip Mask, it’s quite the contrary: this thick, glossy formula gets its restorative powers from Japanese peach extract, squalane, and the mega-hydrating Japanese camellia oil. (Its cute hue, inspired by the camellia tree’s red blooms, is just an added perk.) If tinted balm isn’t your thing, try the high-shine LYS Beauty Speak Love Glossy Lip Treatment Oil or splurge on the oh-so-luxe Augustinus Bader The Lip Balm, which contains candelilla wax to prevent moisture loss.
4. (Even More) Celebrity Skin-Care Lines