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Updated November 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Buying guide for Best lip sleeping masks

Dry, chapped lips aren’t just a cold-weather problem. You can experience cracked, peeling lips any time the air is too dry or you use a drying lip product like liquid lipstick. The only way to soothe dehydrated lips is with a major dose of moisture, and a lip sleeping mask can deliver that hydration better than any lip balm.

A lip sleeping mask is loaded with ingredients that help moisturize and soothe the skin on your lips. Because it tends to have a fairly thick consistency, it’s usually best used at night when the hydrating ingredients have time to absorb into the skin. If you regularly suffer from dry, chapped lips, adding a lip sleeping mask to your skincare routine in addition to your usual lip balm is the best way to soothe and heal your lips.

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A lip sleeping mask can be an excellent addition to your skincare routine year-round, but it’s particularly important during the winter months when the weather is cold and dry.

Key considerations

Lip masks vs. lip balms

Lip sleeping masks are similar to lip balms because both products help hydrate and soften the skin on your lips, but they differ in some important ways. Keep in mind that a lip sleeping mask doesn’t necessarily replace your regular lip balm. Instead, you should use the two at different points throughout the day to keep your lips smooth and soft. 

Thicker formula: Lip sleeping masks are thicker and heavier than regular lip balms because they contain a wide array of butters and oils for more intense hydration. 

Nighttime use: And because they’re heavier than lip balms, lip masks are typically worn at night, so the hydrating, skin-softening ingredients have time to penetrate the skin. The skin repairs itself at night, so it’s the perfect time to use a product designed to help heal dry, cracked lips. 

Plumping effect: The intense moisture that a lip sleeping mask provides can also help plump the look of your lips. As a result, some people like to use a lip mask as a base in the morning before applying lipstick or lip gloss. It’s essential that you give the mask time to absorb into your skin. And be sure to blot away any excess before applying your lip color.

Ingredients

To make sure that your lip sleeping mask will effectively treat your dry lips, it’s essential to check the ingredients list. A mask should contain moisturizing ingredients that help hydrate, soothe, and soften your lips. Some ingredients to look for in a lip sleeping mask include the following:

Hyaluronic acid is a humectant that helps draw and bind water to the skin for effective hydration. 

Glycerin is another humectant that helps the skin retain moisture and boosts hydration.

Honey also works as a humectant that pulls moisture into the skin and is especially effective for peeling, cracked lips. 

Shea butter contains fatty acids like linoleic and oleic acid that help hydrate the skin and create a barrier that holds in moisture. 

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect the skin against environmental damage.

Vitamin E is another antioxidant that guards against free radical damage and can help soften the skin. 

Sunflower oil is a rich source of vitamin E and has emollient properties that allow the skin to retain moisture.

Sesame oil is another excellent source of vitamin E that helps protect against environmental damage and moisturize the skin. 

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For Your Safety
Always wash your hands before dipping a finger into a pot of lip sleeping mask to apply the product. That reduces the chances of bacteria finding their way inside. 
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Features

Scent/flavor

Like lip balms, many lip sleeping masks come in various scents or flavors. For example, many brands offer fruit-inspired options, such as berry, grapefruit, peach, lemon, or apple. Other masks are available in peppermint or other mint scents, vanilla, ginger, rose, bubblegum, and more.

While many people enjoy these scents and flavors, it’s usually a good idea to opt for a fragrance-free formula if you have sensitive skin. Artificial fragrances can irritate the lips and cause dryness and peeling rather than hydrate the sensitive skin.

Versatility

Lip sleeping masks are usually fairly thick, so they’re best used at night. However, some formulas have an eye-catching shine that looks attractive on the lips so that you can wear them during the day instead of your usual lip balm or gloss

Some formulas even work well over lipstick. You can layer a small amount over your lip color to help provide shine and hydration throughout the day. 

Packaging

Jar: Because lip sleeping masks are generally pretty thick, most formulas come in a small pot or jar with a screw top. You open the pot, dab your finger in to remove a small amount of the product, and then smooth it over your lips. This type of packaging effectively keeps the lip sleeping masks fresh, but it can be messy to apply because you have to dip your finger into the jar.

Some thicker lip sleeping masks that come in a small pot include a small spatula. You can scoop out a tiny amount of the mask with one end of the spatula and use the other end to smooth the mask over your lips. That way, your fingers never get messy when using the mask. 

Tube: Lip sleeping masks with a slightly thinner formula come in squeeze tubes like some lip balms and glosses. They usually include a slant-tip applicator at the end, so you can squeeze out a small amount of the mask and then use the applicator to smooth it over your lips without getting it on your fingers. 

Some lip sleeping masks have a waxy consistency, making them a poor option for wearing under lipstick and other lip products. 

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Accessories

Lip exfoliator

In addition to applying a lip sleeping mask to hydrate your lips, using a lip exfoliator to remove dead, flaky skin is also crucial to smooth, soft lips.

Lip sunscreen

Even if you use a lip sleeping mask to keep your lips hydrated, you’ll want a lip sunscreen to protect the sensitive skin of your lips from the damaging rays of the sun.

Pricing

Lip sleeping masks vary in price based on the size of the container, quality of the ingredients, packaging, and included accessories. Most formulas cost between $3 and $28.

Inexpensive

The most affordable lip sleeping masks are usually formulas with lower-quality ingredients that come in midsize containers or those with average-quality ingredients in small containers that hold less than 0.5 ounces. They don’t include a spatula or another tool for application. These lip masks generally cost between $3 and $10.

Mid-range

These lip sleeping masks are usually midsize containers that hold at least 0.5 ounces of formulas with average-quality ingredients. Some masks in this price range also come with a spatula or other applicator tool. These formulas generally cost between $10 and $20. 

Expensive

The most expensive lip sleeping masks are large containers that hold more than 0.5 ounces of formulas with average-quality ingredients or midsize containers of formulas with high-quality ingredients. Most masks in this price range include a spatula or another application tool. These formulas typically cost between $20 and $28.

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Staff Tip
Matte liquid lipsticks can dry your lips, so if you’re a fan of these products, use a lip sleeping mask to help restore the moisture to your lips. 
Staff
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Tips

  • Use a lip scrub first. Before applying a lip sleeping mask, use a lip scrub to remove any dead skin. Exfoliating your lips allows the mask’s hydrating ingredients to penetrate the skin more easily. 
  • Use a generous amount. For the best results, apply a generous amount of the lip sleeping mask. If there’s any excess on your lips in the morning, wipe it off with a tissue. 
  • Use a lip balm during the day. To help maintain the moisturizing effects of a lip sleeping mask, use a high-quality lip balm to provide hydration for your lips all day. 
  • Wait before applying lipstick over a lip sleeping mask. If you plan to use a lip sleeping mask under your lip color during the day, make sure to give it at least 10 or 15 minutes to soak into the skin. Blot away any excess with a tissue before using your lipstick or gloss.
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While lip sleeping masks typically contain gentle ingredients, they can still irritate the skin if you’re sensitive to one of them. Check the ingredients list carefully to avoid a reaction.

FAQ

Q. How often should I use a lip sleeping mask?

A. Because lip masks contain gentle, hydrating ingredients, they’re usually safe to use daily. The skin on your lips is prone to losing moisture fairly easily, so it will soak up the hydration from a mask even if you use it regularly. 

However, to get the best results, it’s a good idea to check the instructions that come with your particular mask to make sure that you’re using it properly. 

Q. Can I only use a lip sleeping mask at night?

A. As the name implies, lip sleeping masks are designed for use primarily at night. However, nothing is stopping you from using a mask during the day, especially if your lips are dry and cracked. If you plan to layer other lip products over the mask or feel like it’s too heavy on your lips, give it some time to absorb into your skin and then blot the excess away. 

Q. Do lip sleeping masks expire?

A. Like most skincare and beauty products, lip sleeping masks do have a shelf life. Check the packaging for a small symbol resembling a jar with a number on it. The number indicates the number of months that the product is good for. For example, if your lip mask has a jar with a 12 on it, that means you should toss it after 12 months.

Even if your mask doesn’t have an expiration symbol, it’s generally best to stop using it after about a year, particularly if you put your fingers into the pot to apply the mask. These masks are more likely to get contaminated with bacteria, so you don’t want to keep them for much longer than a year. However, you should stop using a lip mask immediately if you notice any changes in its odor, color, or consistency.

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