lip mask
Lip care extends beyond the usual stick of balm - get softer, hydrated lips all day long with masks that make lipstick application a breeze. Image Credit: Pexels/Mike Murray

Sometimes, chapped lips need more than just a buttery lip balm. If the weather has dried out your skin, including your pout, then it's time for some extra TLC (tender loving care). During this period, you might notice how your favourite lip balms are not as effective as they used to be, under layers of lipstick. A surefire way of reintroducing intense hydration to the lips, is by pampering them with a special mask.

Much like face masks that instantly boost the skin whenever needed, lip masks are yet another K-beauty gift. Apply a thick coating for overnight hydration, like the TikTok-famous Laneige sleeping mask, or stick on a lip-shaped gel sheet for 10 to 15 minutes. In either form, it's a must-have addition to your lip care routine.

"Lip masks are an extremely hydrating treatment, especially if you suffer from cracked, dry lips. These are creamier than lip balms, and deliver a more plumping effect, too," said Dr Mayur Bhobe, a dermatologist specialising in aesthetics at the CosmeSurge Hospital in Dubai. "The formula should include a good moisturising agent. Some masks contain hyaluronic acid, shea butter and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, which delay ageing in the lips."

Between sheet mask and jar application, what do experts recommend? Dr Bhobe prefers the overnight treatment because of "the slow release of moisturising agents" as you sleep, meaning better, longer-lasting hydration during the day. Sheet masks for the lips can be a hit or a miss, when it comes to the fit. Plus, they're single-use and come off only after a few minutes.

No matter the method of treatment, Dr Bhobe advises cleaning the lips before application: "Gently exfoliate the lips with a muslin cloth, and make sure the lips are completely dry for the sheet mask to stick."

Try out a Korean lip mask from our list of best-reviewed products below, including our expert's top recommendation. Order with Prime and get free, same- or next-day delivery.

1. Best Overall: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, Sweet Candy

Laneige's viral lip sleeping mask is an essential in many a TikToker's skincare routine. The PM mask, meant for overnight use, doubles excellently as a glossy lip on its own or over lipstick, too. Dr Bhobe picks this rich formula for the ingredient mix, which boasts antioxidants, coconut oil, shea butter and murumuru seed butter. Apply a generous amount before bed using the included applicator and wake up to a nourished, baby-soft pout in the morning. Pick from a variety of flavours, ranging from Berry to Sweet Candy, all featuring the same hydrating formula. Those with peeling lips highly recommend the mask, adding that their lipsticks finally glide on smoothly.

2. Best Sheet Mask: Kocostar Pink Lip Mask Jar, 20 Count

For a sheet form factor, check out Kocostar's hydrogel masks. Available as 20 pieces in a jar, these lip patches are meant to be worn for 10 minutes, during which botanical extracts and moisturising agents work their magic. The Pink variant carries peach and cherry blossom extracts - you can expect them to improve skin elasticity, brighten the lips and suppress collagen decomposition.

3. Best Budget: Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Lip Sleeping Mask, 20g

Fans of Cosrx might be inclined to try its Propolis Lip Sleeping Mask, infused with six kinds of honey extracts. The viscous texture feels rich on the lips, and it also delivers the hydrating benefits of sunflower oil and shea butter. It's free of silicone, parabens and any artificial scents. You can use the mask during the day as a lip balm, too! Reviewers say the product definitely works, but does leave the pout a bit sticky in the mornings. However, the mask is meant to be cleansed with lukewarm water after waking up, when used as an overnight treatment.

4. Best Value: CARE:NEL Korean Cosmetics Lip Sleeping Mask, 5g (Set of 3)

If you're looking for a value bundle, this CARE:NEL lip mask comes in a set of three. Reviews say it's a budget-friendly alternative to the Laneige product, though, do note that the jars come without a spatula. Not only does this mask hydrate the pout, but it also exfoliates by melting dead skin cells in your sleep. It contains antioxidants, thanks to the berry complex of strawberries and raspberries, and hydrating oils, like macadamia seed oil and olive oil. Buyers who experience harsh winters swear by this mask, and attest to the gentle exfoliation.

5. Best Overnight Lip Mask: Etude Ginger Sugar Overnight Lip Mask Treatment, 25g

Another popular lip mask worth considering is Etude's Ginger Sugar treatment. Closer in resemblance to a dish of lip balm, the mask has an exfoliating effect and nourishes the pout using shea butter, beeswax and murumuru butter. There are no artificial fragrances or colours in the formula, either. Reviewers note that it's thicker in consistency than other masks, which helps the product stay put throughout the night.

6. Best for Exfoliation: Nooni Apple Butter Lip Mask, 0.42oz

Nooni's Apple Butter lip mask is an all-rounder product - use it as an overnight treatment, a daytime lip balm or a quick mask before makeup application. The velvety lip mask contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs), extracted from apple water to exfoliate and revive chapped lips. It uses nine nourishing oils, from jojoba to sunflower, all rich in vitamins A, C and E. The best part is that the mask is petroleum-free and vegan. Rave reviews pour in from those who suffer from severely cracked lips, to the point of bleeding. They say that the dead skin sloughs off by morning.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.