Even though they’re hidden beneath our face masks
, our lips and lip health
are still an essential part of our overall wellness. Whether you’re keeping them smooth for late-night smooches, or just looking to get rid of an unpleasant dry feeling, taking care of your lips is spilling with benefits.
Just like the rest of our skin, our lips need some TLC to keep them soft, supple and healthy. But unlike the rest of our skin, our lips are a little more exposed and a little less equipped to protect themselves – and so, they need a little extra help.
What makes lips so different?
The skin covering our lips is much thinner than the rest of our bodies, and though that means your wonderfully soft, sensitive lips can feel the warmth of your toddler’s temperature, or the heat from a lover’s kiss, it also means our lips are much more susceptible to the drying, damaging effect of the elements. This, combined with the fact that lips have no oil glands to keep them moist, is a recipe for dry, cracked and bleeding lips (yikes). And that
creates a gateway for bacteria and other illnesses if not properly dealt with.
The keys to happy, healthy lips
Because our lips are usually over-exposed and under-protected, they need their own lip care regime.
To keep our lips soft, supple and healthy, we need to:
Though it might be tough to achieve an ageless Marilyn Monroe pout, we can work with what we’ve got to get healthier, happier
It’s time for a little ‘lip service’!
Everyday tips for healthy lips
Lips act much like a sponge – when water is abundant, they absorb moisture and plump up, but if they’re dehydrated, they shrivel and shrink. To combat that shrinkage, be sure to supply your body with enough water to work with by aiming to drink at least 8, 8oz cups of water each day. To hit your hydration goals, remember to carry a water bottle
with you wherever you go.
As much as many of us would like to live in a tropical climate year-round, there are other ways to bring that humidity home. Invest in a good humidifier
to keep those lips hydrated indoors – especially while you sleep. As a bonus, humidifying the air will also replenish the moisture level in your skin and hair!
Keep that tongue in cheek
Saliva’s digestive enzymes are great for breaking down food, but unfortunately, it’s also a recipe for drying out lips – and fast. If lip-licking is a habit, it may take a bit of time to train yourself to stop. Every time you get the urge, replace licking those lips with a swipe of lip balm instead. Which brings us to our next tip...
Balm up to protect
Keep your lip balm at the ready for every environment, from hot and humid days to blustery winter gales – and especially for that notoriously dry air conditioning. Not all lip balms are created equal, however. So, be sure to look for ultra-hydrating ingredients like shea butter, beeswax, vitamin E, or jojoba, almond, and coconut oils, and avoid ingredients like camphor – which can dry out the lips. Also, remember to look for a lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher to protect lips from those damaging U.V. rays.
–> Try Hurraw! Balm Sun Lip Balm SPF 15 Tangerine Chamomile
Exfoliate (when necessary)
Exfoliation might not be your first thought when it comes to healthier lips, but since the exfoliation process
makes room for new, healthy cells to emerge, it essentially gives you a whole new set o’ lips! Start by occasionally using an exfoliating lip balm
, or by gently rubbing away dead skin cells with a warm washcloth when they start to flake. Be sure to moisturize immediately after you exfoliate to both hydrate and protect those new smackers.
Use matte lipstick sparingly
As fun as mattifying effects are, they can dry out your lips faster than a martini in a desert drought. If matte colors are your go-to right now, try to switch things up every other day to give your lips a break. Or, for a hybrid look, swipe on some hydrating lip balm, then layer your matte color over top. You might just love the look!
Lip Care 911
The key for those annoying cuts at the corner of your lip is to always keep them moisturized. A natural, quick-healing trick is to cut open a vitamin E liquid capsule
and continually apply it to the cut. Vitamin E is known to boost blood circulation and to help speed up the healing process.
There’s nothing as irritating (mentally and physically) as a cold sore. To treat it, wash your hands with soap and water, then gently wash the affected area. Pat dry, then apply a cold sore remedy such as Quantum Super Lysine + Cold Sore Treatment
Whatever might be causing peeling lips, remedies can be as simple as exfoliating, to as complicated as a dermatologist’s prescription. When in doubt, speak with your doctor first before you try any at-home remedies.
For those fine lines around the lips (caused by sun exposure, age and/or smoking), you can try an anti-aging regimen with ingredients like vitamin C and retinol
. To renew the cells around the lips, you might also consider a chemical peel for a deeper, chemical exfoliation.
Perhaps your lip irritation is being triggered by “maskne
,” a pandemic-induced skin malady? To prevent maske, be sure to wash both your face and your face masks regularly!