Long before I knew I would be a beauty editor, I remember looking in the mirror as an adolescent, puzzled by my chronically-dry lips. No matter what product I applied, they stayed so dry that they flaked and sometimes became painful. I also began to realize that their uncomfortable dryness corresponded to a reduction in size, with creases and lines that detracted from their plumpness.
Fast forward a few years, and I was dismayed at how lipsticks looked on my lip texture, highlighting every crevice and line. (Don’t get me started on the chic matte lip trend.) I tried lip scrubs, lip peels, and even lip oils, but nothing smoothed and hydrated for long enough to change the surface texture of my lips. Lip plumpers helped with appearance, but what I needed was heavy-duty hydration with an occlusive component to stay put long enough to treat the underlying issue. For years I searched, but nothing actually helped to remedy my lip woes for longer than it took for them to wear off.
Upon my very first application of Lawless Forget the Filler Overnight Lip-Plumping Mask (on January 11, 2022 — I know the date from an Instagram post), I knew I had found my holy grail lippie. I have used it every day since — morning, night, and throughout the day. I have raved about it to friends, estheticians, makeup artists, and even the brand’s founder, Annie Lawless (talk about preaching to the choir!). I knew it was “the one” because while it instantly imparts and seals hydration into the lips using a delectably soothing formula, I eventually noticed that it improved the skin texture of my lips over time — simply put, my lips have been forever transformed.
What does chronic dryness mean for lip aesthetics?
To understand why this product is such a masterpiece, it is helpful to understand what chronic dryness means from an expert standpoint in lip aesthetics. Double board-certified plastic surgeon Ben Talei, MD, who is based in Beverly Hills, California and beloved by celebrities for his deep-plane facelift and world-renowned in lip aesthetics, explains that lip hydration and color are two primary factors in the youthfulness and sensuality of the lips. “Dry lips portray a loss of health, youth, and vitality, whereas moist, hydrated lips do the opposite,” he tells Allure. “The hydration of the lips internally and under the skin directly affects the color of the lips externally, and I love helping patients regain both internal and external moisture and hydration.”
The reason why comes down to the fact that “the [tissue of the] external red lip doesn’t possess much in terms of oil or mucous production,” Dr. Taleil explains. This leaves it susceptible to dryness, while factors like allergies, medications, immune imbalances, and mouth breathing can exacerbate the problem. Transepidermal water loss (TEWL) through the skin barrier also increases with age, making overnight dryness a real phenomenon.