When it comes to skincare, our face usually gets a lot of attention, but too often, our lips get overlooked. Since lips don’t contain oil glands or lipid barriers, they’re not able to nourish themselves like the rest of our skin. And because they’re constantly exposed to the elements – the harsh winter winds or the sizzling summer rays – it’s our job to ensure our pout gets the extra TLC and hydration they crave!
Here are a few easy tips & tricks to get rid of the flakiness and restore hydration for a silky-smooth kisser!
Stop licking your lips – So much easier said than done, right? When lips are feeling dry, licking is often our first instinct but it actually makes them drier; saliva evaporates and leaves your lips worse off than they were before. Plus, it contains acids that help break down food – bad news for the already-sensitive skin on your lips. So, ditch this habit asap!
Always apply sunscreen : You might have heard this advice a thousand times before for your skin and the same applies for your lips. Sun damage is a major culprit of chapped lips. Wear a lip product with SPF every day, especially when outdoors, rain or shine. These days there are loads of great lip balms, glosses and lipsticks with SPF, so no excuses!
My favorite? Fresh Sugar Rose Lip Treatment SPF 15 – the perfect blend of color and hydration, this natual rose-tinted lip conditioner soothes and conditions while providing a romantic flush of color so you won’t ever have to sacrifice glamor for moisture!
Exfoliation – This is another lip must, especially if drying long-wear lipsticks are part of your beauty routine. Use an exfoliating lip treatment at least once a week or mix olive oil and brown sugar to make a gentle DIY scrub of your own! Just make sure to rub the mixture over your lips gently and follow up with a balm immediately afterwards to avoid stripping your lips of natural lipids. In a pinch, you can also gently rub a dry toothbrush or a damp washcloth to smooth a flaky pout.
Amp up your hydration – Hydration is the key to fighting parched lips and we can hydrate in two ways. First and foremost, drink more water to prevent dryness from the inside out! Secondly, apply an ultra-nourishing balm before bed like Soothing Skin and Lip Care that heals and soothes chapped lips by sealing in long lasting moisture. As they say, prevention is the best cure. Get in the habit of moisturizing daily to keep your lips in the best condition.
Get your ZZZs with vitamin E – At bedtime, split open a gel cap of Vitamin E (which you can find at the drugstore) and spread the oil on your parched pucker as an intense overnight treatment. Also, use a humidifier at night to ensure that you are sleeping in moisture-rich air.
Skip the lip plumpers The short-term fullness that they might provide is not worth the moisture-depletion and skin irritation they can lead to. If you want a fuller pout, add a light-colored gloss with a hint of shimmer to just the center of your top and bottom lips…and there you have it!
Check the ingredient list – Every lip balm out there promises to hydrate and protect – but some of the ingredients added to your favorite products actually do more harm than good. Avoid any lip balms with camphor, menthol and phenol. These ingredients are added to produce a cooling/tingling feeling that makes you think it’s really working. However, what you’re feeling is actually the natural protective layers of your skin peeling off – not good. They can also cause a constant cycle of irritation and dryness, often known as lip balm addiction.
Also, steer clear of lip products with drying ingredients, like alcohol or Cinnamates (commonly used in lip plumpers). They may feel moisturizing at first, but will only dehydrate lips with time. Look for products that contain soothing ingredients such as shea butter, lanolin, hyaluronic acid, pure vegetable oils or beeswax for a mega dose of moisture.
Layer it up – Just the way you bundle up in winter, amp up the TLC by layering your lips with moisturizing lips products. Use a lightweight serum like Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion for Lips every morning under your lipstick, gloss or balm. Not only does it revitalize lips and combat signs of aging with collagen amino acids but also doubles as a smoothing primer for your lipstick or gloss!
Protecting the lips as you do your face is essential to maintaining a healthy pout. Give them some Tender Lip Care and you will be well on your way to smooth & supple lips!
Do you have any other tips to pamper your pucker? Share with us in the comments below!