Lips are on constant duty. They need just as much attention as we give to the rest of our body but often fall to the bottom of the list when it comes to body care priorities.
Lips are almost always exposed to the environment yet they do not have the same protective features skin has. Lips have no oil or sweat glands. They are constantly exposed to irritants such as food, drink, and environmental pollutants. For this reason they need a little extra special care.
Here are some tips for showing your lips some love and keeping them in top shape.
- Hydrate. Lips need water to look their best. When our bodies are properly hydrated lips will look healthy, plump and pink. When dehydrated they will dry out and actually shrink – much like a sponge. Because lips are always exposed to the elements and are made up of thinner skin than the rest of our body they tend dry out fast, especially during cold winter months. Drink the recommended 8-9 cups of water per day to keep lips (and the rest of you) hydrated.
- Kick the Lip Lick. Saliva contains enzymes that can break down lips protective barrier. When your lips are dry and damaged its tempting to want to lick them constantly. Children in particular often fall into this habit. Use protective Lip Oil or Lip Balm to protect and soothe dry lips.
- Read the Label. Not all lip balms are created equal. Look for lip balms made with natural, heavy, hearty oils that have the “stick to it” power needed to stay put through lip adventures. Oils such as Olive Oil, Castor Oil and hydrogenated (solidified) oils are preferable. Avoid medicated lip balms if you have sensitive skin.
- Try Lip Oil. Wax based lip balms lay on top of the skin. Lip Oils restore and soothe lips while providing a natural, plant based occlusive layer to protect against environmental damage.
- Exfoliate as Needed. Get rid of ugly dead skin using a bit of sugar. Rub it on, wipe it off and follow up with a bit of lip balm. Regular exfoliation will help keep lips gorgeous and prepare them to accept lip tints and lip sticks.
- Opt for Hydrating Lip Tints and Lip Sticks. While matte lip sticks may be your favorite look, they are extremely drying and especially hard on already dry lips. Opt instead for hydrating lip stick or lip tint.
- Fight aging and mouth “wrinkles”. First – quit smoking. Smoking is what brought those wrinkles on and is extremely hard on facial skin. You can use all of the same wrinkle treatments used elsewhere on your face on mouth/lip wrinkles.
Our eyes, skin, hair, hands…all get showered with attention while lips are often taken for granted. Lips are one of the few body parts everyone sees at all times and are also expected to perform duties such as eating, drinking and talking.
Make lip care a part of your daily routine to keep the signs of aging and environmental stress at bay.
Christine Untiedt, Founder, Brown Barn Botanicals