Yup, you read that right! If you’re confused about the title, believe me, I was too when I first discovered this ingenious hack.

Being a lip-balm lover (and borderline uh, addict), I’m always on the lookout for ways to combat dry lips. Although I always have a lip balm close at hand (on my dressing table and computer desk during WFH days), it can get quite bothersome to always have to reapply every time my lips feel dry.

So one day, while scrolling through my Explore Page on Instagram – cue Bored In The House lyrics, I stumbled upon Dr. Shereene Idriss’s Reel where she applied some glycolic acid and a thick ointment on her lips – and called it ‘lip basting’. I’ve never heard of glycolic acid being used anywhere else except on the face, so this was quite surprising to me!

A few days later, I found another technique by Charlotte Palermino, Co-founder and CEO of Dieux Skin, who used water to dampen her lips before applying a thick moisturiser, then wiping off the excess before putting on Vaseline and calling it slugging.

Totally sure that the universe wanted me to change my lip moisturising habits, I looked into these new ‘hacks’ and here’s what I found:

What is Lip Basting and Slugging?

I’ve only ever heard of basting when it came to roasting meat and sewing, so I was genuinely intrigued at what this meant in beauty. A quick google search revealed that it was a technique for intense and quick lip hydration where you’d apply a very thick layer of rich moisturising cream. This will then melt into the mucous membrane over time and turn translucent, which you can easily wipe off by then.

Slugging, however, is a relatively new K-beauty trend that’s mostly used on your skin. It’s the method of coating your face in Vaseline or petrolatum at night and waking up to soft, glowing skin. While no moisture is added, it acts as an occlusive ingredient to seal in the moisture. Using it on the lips with a cream that includes glycerin, allantoin and colloidal oatmeal would do the same but give them a hydrated and healthy look.

The way I look at it, these techniques have similarities to lip masks that help in softening the skin of the lips and deeply hydrating them. But with glycolic acid thrown into the routine, it should give the lips some sort of a light exfoliating effect that substitutes a physical peel such as a lip scrub. While some sources say it’s safe, I’d recommend consulting with your dermatologist first.

How it went on my lips

Out of curiosity, I decided to give lip basting a try one morning with my Pixi Glow Tonic (with 5% glycolic acid) and my trusty Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Concentrate Cream which I use whenever my skin needs some basic healing. Although I didn’t feel any tingling sensation from the small amount of glycolic acid on my lips, it did make them look brighter and softer. The cream also added a lot of hydration to my lips which I was quite impressed by! However, I did feel the need to apply my lip balm shortly after and about four times throughout the day, which honestly wasn’t that bad.

Charlotte’s slugging method has got to be my favourite! Not only did it give me similar results; soft, hydrated and healthy-looking lips, but I only had to reapply my lip balm twice in a day – once after lunch and another time before bed. Even after my second reapplication was fully absorbed, my lips stayed smooth and velvety throughout the afternoon. I also slugged my lips one night and woke up with supple lips in the morning, much to my delight!

I'd suggest lightly scrubbing off the dead skin before applying moisturiser, then wiping off the remaining cream and applying Vaseline.

While I’m not keen on the idea of using an AHA toner on my lips, I’d definitely slug them with a moisturiser and Vaseline when I need to. I loved the texture my lips had and the fact that I didn’t need to grab my lip balm as much makes it a win-win situation – it could very well be my new favourite hack this year!

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, RM10
Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, RM34.52

If you’re looking to try these hacks, do proceed with caution and always look at the ingredients on your skincare label to make sure that you’re not putting anything that would irritate your lips. Happy slugging!

Featured image: Melissa Di Rocco/Unsplash

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