What's in Your Lip Gloss?

Tuck (the right) one in every bag.

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It's the best beauty pick-me-up, and the latest glosses feature super moisturizers, plumping ingredients for younger-looking lips, and gorgeous stay-put color. Tuck (the right) one in every bag.

The All-Important Basics

Moisturizers protect and hydrate lips for less chapping. Look for dimethicone, castor oil, lanolin, or petrolatum. (It's the best at trapping moisture.)

Thickeners keep gloss from getting runny and help it stay in place. (After all, it's not called chin gloss.) They include carnauba wax and candelilla wax, plus cetyl and stearyl alcohol. (These alcohols aren't skin drying.)

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Tinted glosses feature colorants from natural sources or cosmetic labs. Either way, they're all safe and on the label with names like beta-carotene, carmine, Red No. 7, and Orange No. 5.

Film formers help your favorite gloss look rich and stay that way, and show up under names such as acrylates copolymer or sodium acrylates copolymer.

To Anti-Age Your Lips, Try...

Glosses with a heavier texture. (They usually come in tubes or pots rather than typical wand-applicator packaging.) They're less likely to feather into tiny lines. Film formers are also crucial in the fight against feathering. Look for hyaluronic acid, too, which helps hydrate your lips' skin and smooth the look of fine lines.

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Are Your Lips Extra Sensitive?

Avoid glosses with cooling and exfoliating ingredients such as menthol, camphor, or salicylic acid. Also, stick to fragrance-free products — you'll have less chance of a bad reaction.

The Science Behind Plumping Glosses

Ingredients such as cinnamon oil mildly irritate skin to make it swell, and others (including caffeine and niacin) stimulate blood flow to make lips look fuller temporarily. These ingredients are typically harmless, but if you're prone to irritation, they could bug your skin. A gentler option? Plumping peptides — tripeptide 29, for instance.

Hot Spring Hues

Peachy Coral: Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Lip Plumping Gloss in Super Peach ($10, ulta.com)

Deep Berry: HydroPeptide Perfecting Gloss in Berry Breeze ($38, hydropeptide.com)

Blush Nude: Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine GlossLip Lacquer Lipgloss in Moonglow ($28, Sephora)

This story originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.

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