Why do lips feel more chapped in the summer? It is simple: According to Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, “it’s easier for people to become dehydrated in the summer.”
Whether you live in sticky, humid conditions or dry desert heat, choosing a lipstick with nourishing and protecting ingredients that lock in moisture can make or break your lipstick of the day — especially if you are going for soft, supple, kissable lips. And because of this, Jaliman says that while you can grab your favorite hue, matte and long-lasting lipsticks should be off your radar during the hot summer months as they can both be very drying.
According to Jaliman, matte lipsticks typically hold the sheen and appear flat upon application. Plus, they do not have any moisturizing properties, which is the opposite of what you want for a summer look. If you experience dry lips often, matte lipsticks might not seem like the best option for your pout. But, if you must apply one of these formulas to your lips, she cautions to apply a lip scrub and then a lip balm to exfoliate and moisturize your lips. “I apply a lip balm and rub it in with my finger, making sure not to have too much on or the matte lipstick won’t apply as well or look as good,” she says.
Below, find the best hydrating ingredients to look for when shopping for lipstick this summer.
Aloe: Here is one ingredient that screams summer. And while you might be relying on the soothing ingredient to help with sunburn, try it on your dry, chapped lips. Thanks to aloe’s enzymes, Jaliman says the ingredient can actually help target inflammation and soothe and heal chapped lips.
Calendula Oil: If you experience extreme dryness in the summer, move calendula oil to the top of your list of must-have lipstick ingredients. Thanks to its natural ability to draw in moisture from the air,“calendula oil is an excellent humectant for dry skin and severely chapped skin,” says Jaliman. “It also has calming and anti-inflammatory properties,” she adds.
Coconut Oil: Thanks to its makeup of mostly saturated fats, “coconut oil is extremely hydrating and helps to retain the moisture content of the skin [as it creates a barrier between the skin and the environment],” says Jaliman.
Glycerin: Glycerin — one of the more common hydrating ingredients found in lipstick formulas — works hard for your pout. “Glycerin is a humectant that’s super hydrating,” notes Jaliman. Because of its ability to draw moisture from the air to the surface of the skin, it can provide deep nourishment, as well as create a barrier against moisture loss.
Hyaluronic Acid: This popular skincare ingredient does not just belong in your facial serums or fillers — look for it in your lipstick ingredients, too. “It improves skin hydration and elasticity and is a natural humectant,” says Jaliman. And since it attracts water, hyaluronic acid will keep your lips plump and refreshed throughout the day.
Jojoba Oil: You might love jojoba oil in your nourishing skin creams, but we love it in lipstick formulas. According to Jaliman, it is one of the best ingredients for chapped lips. According to Jaliman, jojoba oil “seals in moisture” to help shield from skin aggressors and other elements like cold weather and summer heat. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory properties, which Jaliman says works to alleviate irritated lips, leaving a lasting calming effect.
Shea Butter: When shopping for a hydrating lipstick, a tried and true lip balm ingredient such as shea butter is a great place to start. Thanks to its impressive makeup of natural vitamins and fatty acids, shea butter is deeply nourishing. According to Jaliman, it consists of cinnamic acid — a white crystalline compound — which can target irritated and inflamed chapped lips.
Squalane: According to Jaliman, this natural lipid is “extremely moisturizing.” (Not to be confused with squalene, which is a naturally occurring lipid in the skin barrier.) Squalane is made from hydrogenated squalene. Traditionally sourced from sharks, much of the squalane today is plant-based. And since it is a derivative of the naturally-occurring squalene, once it is applied to the skin, it sinks in quickly.
Keep your eyes peeled for lipsticks with beeswax as it is not hydrating.
In addition to these must-try lipstick ingredients for summer, Jaliman says to keep your eyes peeled for lipsticks with beeswax, as the seemingly nourishing component — and common lip balm ingredient — can cause more harm than good. Jaliman says it is not hydrating — it just sits on the surface of the lips, creating a film that does not penetrate. “Camphor, phenol and menthol should also be avoided as they just dry the lips out,” she adds.
On top of these ingredients to avoid, Jaliman says to be careful in your skincare regimen, especially if you use products and ingredients for oily, acne-prone skin. “If you use salicylic acid on your face, avoid getting it on your lips — it will dry [them] out.”
Jaliman also recommends reducing caffeine and alcohol intake during the summer months as “they can dry out your skin.” Instead, she says to hydrate from the inside out by drinking more water and “eating plenty of fruits and vegetables which are high in water content,” such as cucumbers, watermelon, celery and tomatoes.
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