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Every so often, I notice a sudden sweeping trend make its way through all the bloggers, influencers and beauty experts on my Instagram feed. Every single one of them appears to be discussing the same product, tool or hack at once, making it impossible for me to ignore. Two weeks ago, that trend was lip serums.

On top of the social media, according to global shopping platform ShopStyle, searches for “lip serums” are up 36 percent as of late. But if you’re wondering, what exactly is a lip serum, and what does this mean for my Chapstick hoard?, you’re not alone. Let’s dive in, below.

How does a lip serum differ from lip balm?

Like other serums you might use on the rest of your face, lip serums are formulated to go deeper into the skin to address any concerns before they reach the surface. Lip balms, on the other hand, typically work by creating a barrier to protect your lips from any additional moisture loss—but they don’t replenish that initial loss.

What’s the right way to use lip serum?

Rest assured, you do not need to toss all your lip balms to make way for this trend. In fact, lip serums work best in tandem with your balm. By using a lip serum, you’re hydrating from within using powerful ingredients like hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, sunflower seed oil and a variety of other humectants to bring your pout back to its usual plump, smooth status. Apply it to clean lips, then top with a balm to lock it all in (again, just like the serum and moisturizer part of your skincare routine). Many serums also create barriers to protect the skin on your lips and pull double duty in protecting your delicate skin, just like Chapstick, but we say, it never hurts to layer up. Triple the points if you’re using a balm with SPF protection.

So, if you’re dealing with dry, flaky lips and are in need of a major hydration boost, add any of these hardworking lip serums to your shopping cart (and routine) ASAP.

RELATED: The 12 Best Lip Balms with SPF to Hydrate and Protect Your Pout

1. Blistex Conditioning Lip Serum Moisturizer

Luckily for those struggling with deeply dehydrated lips, this Blistex formula is both inexpensive and effective. All you need is one pump of the vitamin E-packed serum and you’ll see and feel a noticeable difference in the health of your lips. Reviewers note you might need to wait 15 to 20 seconds for the serum to really soak in, but once it does, you’ll most certainly be pleased with the luscious results.

$3 at Amazon

2. Naturally Serious Lip Service 3-in-1 Lip Serum

This clean-beauty option features ingredients like apple extract to provide moisture, colloidal oatmeal and jojoba seed oil to soothe and soften your lips and beeswax and sunflower seed oil to form a protective barrier that prevents further damage. Many reviewers also love the fact that the formula absorbs quickly and doesn’t have any residual shine, which is great if that glossy ‘90s look isn’t really your thing.

Buy it ($16)

3. Philosophy Ultimate Miracle Worker Fix Lip Serum Stick

The name of this serum really doesn’t lie. Philosophy’s formula has a four-in-one approach: First it plumps, then it moisturizes and primes your pout for any additional lip color, all while reducing the look of ay fine lines.

Buy it ($23)

4. BeautyBio The Pout Sparkling Rosé Volumizing Lip Serum

For those who do want to add some shimmer and shine to their lips, this tinted lip serum is one of the best. It has a subtle pink gloss finish which helps amplify the volumizing and hydrating effects of sunflower seed oil and shea butter.

Buy it ($35)

5. Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy

Fresh’s line of lip balms have a pretty devout cult following, so it’s no wonder that its lip serum is equally as impressive. It uses acmella flower and fruit extracts to nourish and hydrate your skin, while sugar helps draw in moisture from the surrounding air.

Buy it ($36)

6. AmorePacific Dual Nourishing Lip Serum

Green tea is the secret behind this natural beauty brand’s serum. Green-tea seed oil and vintage green-tea essence work together to nourish damaged skin from deep within, while cocoa extract helps to soften and detoxify your pout from the outside in. There are also two tinted versions, in addition to the clear original formula, if you want an extra pop of color without applying another product on top.

Buy it ($42)

7. Lancer Skincare Volume Enhancing Lip Serum

This impressive formula targets both dryness and loss of elasticity for an impressive one-two punch (seriously, the brand promises a plumper pout after just one application). Shea butter helps nourish dehydrated skin, while Sichuan pepper extract creates a cooling, tingling sensation to soothe any irritation. It also has a glossy sheen for an additional luxe effect.

Buy it ($42)

8. Verso Skincare Lip Serum

We’ve long loved this chic Swedish skincare line for its powerful yet gentle (if expensive) products. Its lip serum is no different. It uses a combination of peptides and hyaluronic acid to plump up your pout, while also smoothing fine lines and dark spots with the addition of retinol. Because of that, we recommend only using this product at night (retinol and sun exposure don’t play nicely together) so you can wake up with fresh, hydrated lips.

Buy it ($65)

RELATED: Milk Makeup’s Melatonin Lip Mask Makes It Look Like I Had Lip Injections—and I’m Obsessed

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