The skin on our lips is very delicate. Not only is it five times thinner than our facial skin, it doesn’t contain any protective fats or pigments. It can get dry and chapped from unconscious habits (like licking or biting our lips) and constant application of lipstick. When that happens, our lips look rough—and feel very painful! Here are some ways to take care of our lips and keep them at their healthiest, smoothest and pinkest.
Don’t lick your lips
It’s a vicious cycle: our lips feel dry, so we lick them—but that makes them drier! That’s because our saliva contains salt, which can really damage the thin and sensitive lip tissue.
Apply lip balm regularly
The best defense and cure for dry lips is a moisturizing lip balm, preferably one that provides sun protection. Ultraviolet rays can really dry the lips. And since lips don’t contain melanin, they are at high risk for developing cancerous cells. So, use a lip balm that has at least SPF 15. Keep an extra one in your bag, and reapply regularly, especially if you work in an air conditioned office (the ‘dry air’ can dehydrate lips really, really fast!).
And contrary to popular opinion, you should apply an SPF-fortified lip balm even when it’s not ‘sunny.’ Even in winter you’re exposed to intense ultraviolet rays, which can be 60% stronger because of the snow reflection.
For extra moisturization, choose a lip balm that is enriched with vitamin A and D, chamomile, avocado or jojoba oil, or shea butter.
Clean and exfoliate lips
Clean your lips every night, when you know you can keep them bare for at least an hour. Start by gently rubbing your lips with an old, worn-down toothbrush. You can use eye cleanser to wash off lipstick residue, and sugar as a natural exfoliating scrub. Wash off the sugar, gently pat your lips dry, and then apply lip balm. You can also make a homemade lip moisturizer from honey and olive oil; apply and leave on the lips for 15 minutes.
Once a week, treat your lips to a deep exfoliation. You can make your own homemade lip scrub from brown sugar and honey. Then, put moisturizer on an old, soft and worn-out toothbrush and gently scrub into the lips.
Vitamins for pink lips
To prevent dry, dull lips, drink plenty of water and take a vitamin B complex. Also eat food that is rich in Vitamin B, like spinach, bananas and eggs. (Read our article on the best vitamins for skin.)
Photo from cultbeauty.co.uk