Published on February 11, 2020

01_photo_by_Oladimeji Odunsi Pin It
Photography by Oladimeji Odunsi

Sometimes a beauty hack or solution is so obvious and simple, you think: Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before? That epiphany occurred as we watched Dr. Shereene Idriss slather a thick, opaque layer of ointment onto her lips in a post to her Instagram Stories. She called it “lip hydration aka basting”: an immediate and effective solution to dry lips.

Idriss, a cosmetic dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, said she “literally made it up one day when my lips were dry.” She has quickly picked up followers and acclaim for her charming, no-nonsense nightly Q&A Instagram Stories, titled #PillowTalkDerm—where any and all beauty questions get her concise and knowledgeable expertise in the 15-second allotment. But her new technique is still under the radar: When you Google “lip basting,” the only thing that shows up is basting brushes for baking and cooking—not a single lip-related solution.

Lip basting is a simple way to deeply and quickly hydrate dry and chapped lips. Simply apply in a thick layer onto lips and let the ointment sit while you prepare for your day or a night out. “It will seep through the mucus membrane while you’re getting ready,” she says. It will look a bit odd for the time being, but you’ll appreciate the method once you see the results. “Once it turns translucent, you can wipe off.” That should take about 10 minutes, and the results are impressive. It works more effectively and deeper than any lip treatment I seem to splurge on every winter to save my chapped lips.

Mucus membranes are so much thinner in the winter and require that extra dose of hydration,” says Idriss. Her method of achieving that extra moisture couldn’t be simpler—and these are the products she recommends having around your home to put it to the test.

The All-Around Champion

Is there anything this product cannot do? It appears to be able to soothe dry facial skin better than its $300 counterparts, heal dry cuticles and hands, and now you can use it to lip baste with the best. This thick cream is the one Idriss uses.

The Classic Healer

This ointment is ideal for dry spots and feet, and is also great for dry lips. Layer it really thick on lips and let it get to hydrating. When taking it off, use it as an opportunity to exfoliate by gently massaging lips with a tissue to remove any excess dry skin.

The Affordable Buy

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The ointment your parents and grandparents relied on is still great for all forms of hydration, especially lips. Can’t beat that price point, too.

The Natural One

This ultra-healing balm is packed full of honey, which acts as a naturally soothing antiseptic. It also contains both amino acid–rich royal jelly and propolis, which purifies as it calms and hydrates. It goes on a bit oilier, but throw it on thick and it will work like a dream.

The Simple Saver

Leave it to the Aussies to create a thick ointment packed with miraculously healing qualities, all from papaya. It is multipurpose, so you can use it to treat diaper rash, irritation from bug bites and rashes, and, of course, dry lips. 

See more beauty treatments:
What a Beauty Editor Picks Up in the Trader Joe’s Skin-Care Aisle
What Happens to Your Body When You Use Gua Sha
Do Skin Supplements Really Work?

 

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