Do Matte Lip Products Hurt Your Lips If You Use Them Too Much?

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One '90s trend that isn't making a comeback is matte lipstick, but that's because it never really left. A great matte lip has stood the test of time because it's relatively easy to wear, has extreme staying power, and is super versatile, so you can go glam or keep it natural. However, just as with any beauty product, it can be tricky to find the perfect one.

The recipe for the perfect pout is pretty simple; it's just wax, oil, and pigmentation (or coloring). A higher oil and moisture content adds shine to traditional or glossy formulas. Therefore, matte lipstick is the opposite, containing less oil to prevent any sheen from forming on your lips. But as you may have guessed, less oil is more irritating.

Some matte lipsticks aren't hydrating enough, leading to skin issues. Others might feel too dry, leading you to pick at your lips. Unfortunately, even if you do find the right matte lipstick, wearing it on the regular may not be the best idea. Here's why you might want to use your matte formula with a balm or swap it out for gloss occasionally.

Maybe give your matte lipstick a break

In some ways, the skin on your lips is like the skin on the rest of your body. For example, it can get dry due to the weather, sun exposure, or irritation. However, your lips have much thinner and more delicate skin than is found elsewhere. Also, they don't have any oil glands. These two features can make them incredibly prone to drying out and becoming cracked, leading to the dreaded chapped lips.

Lip balms are great for rehydrating the lips while certain lipstick formulas, like Luxury Lip Cream by Saint Jane Beauty, can also be quite moisturizing. The same can't be said, however, for matte lipsticks. Instead of adding moisture, their lack of oil makes them dehydrating. Not only can they suck moisture from your lips, but matte formulas can also cause chronic lip licking in an effort to rehydrate. 

As board-certified dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein informed, "Licking your lips may result in temporary relief, but as the moisture evaporates from your lips, it actually causes more dryness and capping." Matte lipsticks can also cause irritation thanks to ingredients like menthol and phenol. If you notice redness, itchiness, tingling, or inflammation, stop using the product immediately.

How can you make matte lipstick work for you?

Before you toss out all your matte lipsticks, consider adding a few steps to your lip care routine instead. Preparing your lips before beginning matte lipstick application, and taking good care of them after the lipstick comes off too, are great ways to reduce the chances of dryness and cracking. Prep your lips way ahead of time to help hydrate and give them a smooth texture. 

Celebrity makeup artist Judi Gabbay suggested "sleeping with a lip mask on the night before or hydrating while you do the rest of your glam" by applying a moisturizing balm (via Byrdie). Likewise, a few times a week, gently exfoliate your lips with either a premade product like Tree Hut Sugarlips or make your own scrub with raw sugar and coconut oil. If your lips still look and feel like they need a bit of TLC, apply a lip primer before your matte lipstick too. 

This will help to provide a layer of protection and mask the texture of chapped lips at the same time. Makeup wipes are also excellent for carrying around during the day when your lips need a touch-up. Matte lipstick isn't a formula you want to layer on. It's so drying that one thin layer is all you should apply. When you need a touch-up, wipe all the lipstick off and reapply. Matte lipstick queen Kylie Jenner even suggests only a single layer of her matte lip kit.

Make time for aftercare

When it's time to take off your perfect pout, avoid scrubbing your lips. Use a gentle makeup cleanser like micellar water or another makeup remover instead. Micellar water can be especially beneficial for those with sensitive skin who aren't looking to trigger further irritation. Vaseline or coconut oil can also help take off stubborn matte lipstick. 

"Apply the Vaseline to your lips and let it sit for a few seconds, then wipe off the Vaseline with a warm, wet washcloth and keep repeating till all the lipstick is removed," celebrity makeup artist Beck Wainner told InStyle. Once it's completely off, be sure to apply a moisturizing balm or mask. Making ChapStick a part of your nighttime routine is an ideal way to treat your entire lip area. 

Dermatologist Jessica Wu warned TODAY, "Oftentimes, it's the border of the lips that gets most chapped, so you don't want to ignore that area." And because slathering on balm all around your mouth is messy, leaving this step until bedtime is best. Lip slugging is another way to intensely hydrate your lips while you sleep. With a little bit of TLC, you can keep your lips happy and healthy because that's what matte-ers most.