You’ve got your skincare routine nailed, but what about your lip care routine? Did you know that the skin on your lips is different from the skin on the rest of your face and body?
In this article, I’ll be explaining the different ways that the skin on your lips differs from the rest of your skin and how you can keep your lips looking healthy, plump, and youthful with the right lip care routine.
I’ll also be sharing my favorite lip treatment with you – The City Lips Night Oil by City Beauty.
*This post is sponsored by CityBeauty but all opinions expressed are my own*
How Your Lip Skin Differs From The Rest Of Your Skin
The skin on your lips varies from the skin on the rest of your face and body in a number of different ways.
- It’s thinner and has no hair follicles, sweat glands, or sebaceous glands which makes it more prone to dryness/chapping
- It has more nerve endings which can make your lips more sensitive to irritation from skincare products
- It has fewer melanocytes (the cells that create melanin and give your skin its color) which means it’s less protected from UV damage.
- It has a richer supply of blood vessels (why your lips appear red/pink in color and can heal faster than other skin)
One of the most important ways to care for the skin on your lips is to keep it adequately hydrated.
There are three main ways that your skin keeps itself hydrated;
- Your skin barrier (stratum corneum) acts as a physical barrier to prevent water loss (transepidermal water loss/TEWL)
- The natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) in your skin regulate how much water goes in and out of your skin cells
- Your sebum (oil) acts as an occlusive layer on top of your skin to keep water inside your skin
Alterations in any of these three things can reduce skin hydration and leave your skin feeling dry and rough.
This is especially the case for the skin on your lips.
The stratum corneum on your lips is thinner than on the rest of your face and body which means that more water can escape. In addition, the skin on your lips doesn’t contain any oil glands so you don’t have the added benefit of a layer of sebum trapping water in your skin.
Research suggests that TEWL can be up to three times higher from your lips than from your cheeks.
As you can imagine, this makes your lips more susceptible to dryness and chapping than the rest of your face.
A thinner skin barrier also means that your skin is more prone to damage and irritation from UV radiation, pollution, and skincare products which is why you’re often told to avoid using prescription retinoids on your lips.
How To Care For The Skin On Your Lips
Keeping your lips hydrated and nourished not only keeps them healthy but also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles via a ‘plumping’ effect.
One product that is a true game-changer when it comes to lip care, and my personal recommendation, is the City Lips Night Oil by City Beauty which contains 3 key ingredients that can help hydrate and visibly smooth the delicate skin on your lips:
- Portulaca Pilosa Extract
- Plankton & Floral Extract
- Hyaluronic Acid
Portulaca Pilosa Extract
Portulaca Pilosa extract is a potent antioxidant with excellent hydrating properties. It’s also been shown to increase the production of fibroblasts which are cells in your skin that create collagen and help it to heal.
Antioxidants, like Portulaca Pilosa Extract, help protect your skin from the free radical damage caused by UV radiation and environmental pollutants. Free radicals are one of the main causes of premature skin aging as they break down the collagen in your skin (and lips).
It’s particularly important to include antioxidants in your lip care routine as the skin on your lips contains less melanin and, therefore, less natural protection against UV radiation.
So, not only can the Portulaca Pilosa Extract found in City Lips Night Oil improve fine lines and wrinkles by boosting collagen production, it can also help prevent new wrinkles from forming, thus supporting a youthful-looking lip shape and contour.
Fun Fact: Portulaca Pilosa is also referred to as the Kiss-Me-Quick flower because of its lip-plumping effect.
Plankton & Floral Extract
Plankton extract is a microalgae that can boost skin barrier function and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which can help prevent premature skin aging.
It’s also a rich source of photolyase, an enzyme that helps repair DNA damage.
It’s particularly useful to include DNA repair enzymes in your nighttime skincare routine as they can help mop up the damage caused by UV radiation.
The plankton and floral extract in City Lips Night Oil helps to reduce the look of aging lips for a smoother, younger look.
Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) – a type of sugar – that can hold up to 1000x its weight in water. It’s found naturally all throughout your body but over 50% of your body’s HA is found in your skin.
It’s one of the main components of your dermis (the deeper layer of your skin), alongside collagen and elastin. Here, it helps increase the firmness and elasticity of your skin via its hydrating effects.
Hyaluronic acid is also present in your skin’s natural moisturizing factors (NMFs) where it helps regulate water in and out of the skin cells in your epidermis.
As you age, your body produces less hyaluronic acid which can reduce the volume of your dermis and your epidermal skin cells as well as decreasing overall skin hydration.
Visually, this can be seen as dry, cracked, and irritated skin with less bounce and more visible fine lines and wrinkles.
When you apply hyaluronic acid to your skin, it increases your skin’s hydration by drawing water from your dermis into your epidermal skin cells. When your skin cells are well hydrated, they swell and make your skin look ‘plumper’.
This plumping effect also makes hyaluronic acid an essential ingredient for fuller, younger-looking lips.
City Lips Night Oil contains hyaluronic acid spheres which expand after application to deliver deep hydration and a visible plumping effect.
Skin City Lip Oil Review
Now we’ve covered the science behind lip care and the beneficial ingredients in City Lip’s Night Oil, what’s it actually like to use?
Firstly, it smells amazing! It has a lovely, sweet, vanillary scent that’s not overpowering but, along with the attractive packaging, adds a sense of luxury to the product.
Although it’s an oil, it had a glossy feel to it which made my lips look instantly better. The next morning my lips definitely felt smoother and more hydrated. It also didn’t cause any pimples to form around my lipline, which is a problem I’ve encountered a few times with petroleum jelly (Vaseline).
I don’t have any fine lines around my mouth so I can’t comment on that (although it would be too soon to see any improvements unrelated to increased hydration anyway) but I think my lips already look a little bit fuller.
Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well this oil works. I often have dry lips and I didn’t realize how much of a difference a targeted product could make. I don’t think it’s purely down to extra hydration either as petroleum jelly doesn’t have the same effect for me.
I’m excited to see what additional results I might see in 12 weeks’ time, which is roughly how long it takes to visibly see increased collagen.
How To Use
If you’re looking to up your lip care game, the City Lips Night Oil is a must. It’s also easy to add to your existing skincare routine, just apply a generous amount to clean, dry lips before bed as the last step in your PM skincare routine.
To get the most out of the product, be sure to wear sunscreen during the day to protect your lips from premature aging.
I’ve also been using the City Lips Plumping Lip Gloss during the day for extra impact. It contains hyaluronic acid and peptides which are a great combination for increasing skin hydration and plumpness.