Compared with the rest of our body, our lips have much thinner skin, making them prone to dryness and cracking. That’s why our lips need a bit more attention to keep them healthy — and to make those lipsticks look even better! Here are a few tips for healthier, plumper lips.
Don’t Lick Your Lips
You might think and feel that your lips are a bit more moisturized after licking them, but this habit actually leaves the lips drier. Our lips have a thin protective layer, which quickly break down through the enzymes in the saliva. And once this protective layer gets stripped, these enzymes can directly damage the delicate skin of our lips. Additionally, saliva evaporates quickly and as it dries, so does any amount of moisture that’s left on your lips.
Get in the habit of wearing lip balm instead of licking your lips. Hydrating ingredients like beeswax, vitamin E, shea butter, coconut oils, and even petroleum jelly can help replenish and lock in the moisture that our lips need.
Protect Them From Harsh Weather
Speaking of lip balms, not only do these products provide extra moisture for your lips, they also provide a layer of protection from the wind and cold. The lips can also suffer from sun burns, so it’s wise to invest in lip balms and lipsticks that have an SPF of at least 30.
Switch Lipsticks Everyday
You might love matte lipsticks and their long-lasting colors, but they can be extremely drying (that’s the reason why the color sticks on longer). It’s a good idea to switch lipsticks everyday to give your lips a rest, especially if they’re starting to chap or already chapped. Moisturizing lipsticks that contain vitamin E and glycerin are good options. Laneige also has a line of moisturizing lipsticks that contain peptides, amino acids that help lock in moisture and keep the lips soft and supple. You may have to do a few touch ups throughout the day, but there is wide range of options when it comes to color so you don’t have to worry in that regard.
If you really love using matte lipsticks, make sure to use a moisturizing lip primer or lip balm before applying the lipstick.
Scrubbing off dead skin cells from your lips make them look younger and more vibrant. Exfoliating your lips also helps prevent mouth sores and other infections. And, for makeup enthusiasts, exfoliation results into smoother lips that make lipsticks easier to apply and last longer.
Most lip scrubs contain alpha or beta hydroxy acids (which are derived from fruits), which safely slough off the dead skin cells. If you have chapped or cracked lips, you may have to lessen the frequency of usage to just once a week so your lips don’t get too irritated from the acid. Alternatively, you can also make some DIY lip scrub using sugar, honey, and your choice of essential oils. Remember to apply a gentle balm after scrubbing to soothe your lips.
Did you know that your lips can develop fine lines and wrinkles, too? It’s still made of skin, after all. The toxins in cigarettes make our lips age faster. Cigarettes may also darken your lips and the skin around your mouth. What’s more, smokers also have a higher tendency to develop lines around the mouth, since they regularly use muscles in this part of the face to hold the cigarette.
If you need any more reasons to stay hydrated, keeping your lips healthy is one of them. Water helps keep our bodies hydrated from the inside, and that includes our lips. The old rule says you should drink six to eight glasses (8 oz) of water everyday, but here’s an easier tip: drink when you’re thirsty. You should also drink more in hot weather and after you’ve sweated a lot, say after exercising.
More often than not, we focus too much on our face and body that we forget that our lips need some TLC, too. Remember: taking care of ourselves means taking care of every single part — even the smallest ones like our lips!