Wexler, who performed my lip injections the second time I got them done, came up with similar reasoning. After telling her the center of my lips tends to be the driest part, she concluded plumping this area took it from being an interior, wet part of my lip to an exterior, dry area that’s exposed to air. “It’s used to being moist,” Wexler continues. “Now that we’re lifting it outside of the mouth, maybe it’s not used to the dry environment.”
This part of the plumping process changes the barrier function of the wet part of the lip, so you have to restore it with a lip balm to compensate for the lack of moisture, she adds. After about 28 days, which is the amount of time skin cells take to turnover, that exposed wet part of the lip should re-accommodate.
Wexler came to this conclusion after I negated two of her other theories. Her initial one was lip licking, which causes dryness. “Sometimes, the bruising can be uncomfortable and cause you to lick them,” she explains. I’m not a lip licker, though, so that possibility was eliminated.
Her follow-up theory was increased usage of matte lipstick. “When people get their lips done, they tend to play with them more,” she says. Because my lips become so painfully chapped, I tend to avoid lipstick at all costs, even though I really do want to play with fun shades. “Even lip glosses can be drying if they’re not made with a very emollient formula,” Wexler adds. “Lip gloss is obviously different from a lip-moisturizing formula.” So if you’re experiencing dryness, too, you might want to consider what lip products you’re using.
Explanations for the dryness aside, I also inquired about the best ways to soothe it. Marchbein recommends frequently smearing on a “thick, bland ointment,” like Aquaphor or Vaseline, to not only keep lips hydrated but also prevent lip licking.
Wexler suggests coating lips with a balm infused with moisturizing ingredients, like vitamin E or shea butter, before locking it in with one of the aforementioned ointments. Her favorites include Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm and Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1.
I also love the Innisfree My Lip Balm because the tinted formula not only quenches my lips’ thirst but also gives them a subtle tint that makes them look extra supple. A good nighttime option is the Sweet Chef Sugarcane + Vitamin E Lip Sleeping Mask. I’m also a fan of lip oils for post-lip injection dryness because the nourishing oils plus glossy finish on newly plumped is an amazing combination. And just know you’re not the only one in the struggle.
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