5 Things to Consider When Choosing Lipstick
With so many different options, choosing the right lipstick can be a bit of a daunting task, especially if you’re looking to minimize breakouts, dryness, chapping and other unwanted effects. If you’re having trouble answering the all too common question, “Which lipstick is right for me?” read up on these five things to consider when choosing a new product.
1. What Lipstick Color Is Right for You?
Getting your lipstick color just right for your skin tone and personal preferences can be a tall order. The first step is to figure out whether your skin undertones are warm, cool, or neutral. One trick you can try is to look at the veins on the underside of your arms or wrists. If they appear to be blue, you probably have cool undertones. If they look green, you have warm undertones. If you can’t tell whether they’re blue or green, you have a neutral skin tone.
As a general rule of thumb, bluish or purplish reds typically look best against cooler skin tones, whereas orangey or true reds are better suited for warmer skin tones. If you have a neutral skin tone, you can choose either one.
2. Does Your Lipstick Contain Acne-Causing Ingredients?
Some lipsticks contain acne-causing ingredients such as isopropyl myristate, synthetic dyes, and silicones. Try to avoid choosing lipsticks and other cosmetic products that contain these ingredients, especially if your skin tends to break out easily. Remember that acne occurs in an eight-week cycle, so the makeup you wear today could potentially affect your skin for weeks down the road.
3. Does It Include Sunscreen?
Many people don’t realize that they can protect their lips from the sun’s UV rays while wearing their favorite lipstick. The key is to choose a product that contains SPF. Ideally, you want to look for a lipstick that uses zinc oxide as a physical sunscreen, rather than chemical ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone. This is because you tend to eat about 70% of the products that you put on your lips, so it’s better to stick with natural ingredients whenever possible. Some chemical sunscreens can also lead to breakouts for some people.
On its own, zinc can turn your lips and skin white, but when used in a lipstick or tinted lip balm, it can look great while delivering excellent sun protection! Some of my favorite brands of tinted lip balm with SPF are Coola and Fresh, both of which use mineral sunscreens instead of chemical ingredients. If you’re going to be out in the sun all day, you should also avoid shiny lip glosses, as these can actually attract UV rays directly to your lips. Since your lips don’t have built-in defenses against sun damage like the skin on other areas of your face and body does, it is especially important to do everything you can do protect your lips from sun exposure.
4. Does It Contain Lip Plumping Ingredients?
While it might seem like a good idea to combine a topical lip plumper with your lipstick, bear in mind that many lip plumping ingredients can cause allergic reactions or signs of irritation. In fact, these types of ingredients work by causing your lips to become inflamed, which gives them a temporary flush of color and a fuller, more voluminous appearance. The two most common ingredients used for this purpose are cinnamon oil or capsaicin, which can cause excessive swelling, dryness, and irritation. Look for these ingredients in your lipstick or balm before use.
Some other common makeup ingredients that can cause allergic reactions or sensitivity include red and yellow dyes, lanolin, methylchloroisothiazolinone, and fragrance. If you know your skin is easily irritated or if you have had allergic reactions to cosmetic ingredients in the past, make sure you check the labels before trying new products, including your lipstick.
5. Do You Want a Vegan Lipstick?
Not all lipsticks or makeup products are vegan. Some red dyes contain carmine or cochineal, which are made from ground up beetles. Many people are allergic to these dyes, and some red and yellow dyes can also cause acne. If you’re concerned about using only plant-based lipsticks or if you have an allergy to carmine or carminic acid, you might have to do a little digging to find the right red or pink lipstick for you.
Keeping these five tips in mind when selecting a new lipstick can help to make the process much smoother and simpler. Be on the lookout for many of the same potentially irritating or acne-causing ingredients mentioned here in other types of cosmetic products as well to help keep your skin and lips smooth, soft, and healthy-looking.
In the comments: What are your favorite lipstick brands that use natural ingredients?
Meta title: 5 Things to Consider When Choosing Lipstick
Desc: Have questions about how to choose a lipstick? Miami board-certified dermatologist Dr. Leslie Baumann shares five important factors to consider.
Kw: how to choose a lipstick