Why Your Favorite Lip Stain Might Be Drying Out Your Lips And What To Do About It

Your lips say a lot — both literally and figuratively. In addition to the actual words you speak, the appearance of your mouth sends a clear message as well. It can be professionally neutral, attention-grabbing in a bold color, or alluringly moist and pouty, depending on the products you use. The power of lip color has been utilized for millennia. According to JSTOR, the ancient civilization of Ur was the first to develop a lipstick-like substance all the way back in 3500 BCE. 

Since then, lipstick has been used both to distinguish the upper classes and to brand women as sex workers or devil-worshippers. Happily, we're at a point where lipstick can be used by anyone of any social status in most societies. We're also fortunate enough to have a wealth of options to choose from. In addition to a rainbow of colors, lip products are also available in different forms that can be used according to personal requirements. 

As opposed to subtler, shiny glosses, lip stains are a bolder option for those who don't like the inconvenience of having to reapply after every meal or sip of water. Lip stains are specially designed to last all day without fading. Unfortunately, using them consistently can leave your lips feeling rough, especially since lipstick removal without staining is tricky in itself. Happily, knowing how to counteract this effect will allow you to have lips that are both colorful and moisturized. 

Lip stain provides color but not moisture

As L'Oréal Paris points out, there are distinct differences between lip-coloring products, and which one you choose depends on the overall effect you're going for. Lip gloss is the best choice for those who want a shiny look that also moisturizes the lips. Gloss isn't very durable, however, so it often has to be reapplied throughout the day. Lip stain, on the other hand, is the marathon runner of lip products. 

It absorbs into the skin, so the color doesn't wipe off easily. In fact, lip stain has to be taken off with a dedicated makeup remover like micellar water. Unlike lip gloss, lip stains don't have the same shine-producing ingredients that also hydrate the delicate skin on the lips. Nor do they add the same layer of protection that the wax in lipstick provides. That's why you may notice your lips beginning to peel or chap after a day or two of using a stain. 

This effect may be worse in the wintertime too when the moisture in the air is naturally lower. The easiest fix, of course, is to switch products and simply use lipstick or lip gloss instead, particularly during the cold-weather months. But if you don't want to give up the staying power of your favorite stain shade, there are ways to keep using the product and save your lips at the same time.

Give your lips some love before adding stain

If you love the enduring look of a lip stain but not the peeling and pain of chapping, it's essential to prep your mouth first. InStyle recommends starting with a lip exfoliator (as demonstrated by TikToker @joooize above) to remove any dead skin flakes. Next, apply a good, creamy lip balm to seal in the moisture before applying your stain of choice. After removing your makeup at night, dab on an overnight lip mask to counteract any drying effects of the stain. 

Likewise, when shopping for a lip stain, always check the ingredients. One to look for is hyaluronic acid; It's a humectant, meaning it helps moisturize the skin from the inside out. If the stain is described as "glossy" or "hydrating," that's also a good sign it will be less drying. Another solution involves a bit of compromise: Instead of using lip stain all over, try the viral peel-off lip stain liner that many social media users swear by. 

The Sacheu Lip Liner STAY-N delivers the long-lasting effects of a stain around the edges of your lips, leaving the delicate fleshy part free for your favorite moisturizing gloss or lipstick. Even as the gloss wears off, the stain will continue defining your mouth. Removing it is also easier than trying to scrub away a whole mouth's worth of stain. Whichever option you choose, though, take the whole-mouth approach and give your lips a daily pampering before applying your favorite color.