Lip Care 101
With the changing of seasons and cold weather rapidly approaching for many of us, it’s time to talk about our lips! They’re so easy to forget about, yet once they start showing signs of dryness, it’s pretty much all you can think about because it’s so uncomfortable. This is a time of year where lips everywhere start chapping, peeling, and even cracking. I’m hoping this crash course in lip care will help you prevent it and keep your lips looking smooth and plump all year long.
Lip care is actually very simple. Lips require two things: exfoliation and moisturizing. It just takes a little diligence to get into the habit of caring for them.
Just like your skin, your lips build up dead skin cells. Once a week, you should gently exfoliate your lips to keep them smooth and prepare them for a moisturizing treatment. You can use a botanical product made especially for lips, or you can quickly whip up your own. Making your own lip exfoliant is as simple as choosing a hydrating oil or raw honey with a grainy powder, such as coffee grinds, sugar, or almond flour. If you opt for oil, some great ones to choose would be olive oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, or avocado oil.
If you’re in a pinch—like when you’re traveling—you can even lightly sweep over your lips with a toothbrush or washcloth. Just be careful to be extra gentle! Always follow with a great emollient lip balm or nourishing oil.
Since lips do not have any sebaceous glands, they do not secrete any natural oils, which is what makes them so susceptible to dryness. With nothing to hydrate them naturally and no lipid barrier to the elements, lips need extra care, especially during the colder and/or dryer months of the year.
Your lips need to be moisturized frequently. The easiest way to make lip care a habit is to build moisturizing into your daily routine. Before bed is a must, and another ideal time to apply is after your morning skincare routine. Always have a second balm in your purse to re-apply throughout the day. If your climate is very cold or windy, you should reapply every time you go outside. So again, build it into your routine—coat, hat, scarf, lip balm!
Choosing the right ingredients for your lips is important, too. Look for a lip balm that contains oils that are high in oleic acid, such as coconut oil, macadamia oil, or avocado oil. Shea or cocoa butter-based balms are also excellent choices. Once you find the perfect balm for you, make it your new best friend and buy multiples to leave around the house and maybe even one for your car (if melting isn’t going to be a problem). The more diligent you are about applying lip balm, the better you can prevent them from chapping or cracking.
You also want to check your lipsticks and lip glosses to not only make sure they’re full of hydrating ingredients, but also that they don’t contain any irritating ingredients that are triggering the dryness. With so many amazing small cosmetics companies coming out with gorgeous, highly pigmented, plant-based lip colors, you don’t have to choose between beauty and comfort. There’s really no reason to keep lipsticks or lip glosses that don’t agree with your skin. Toss them and have fun replacing them!
And a final word of advice: never bite that tempting, lingering dead skin off your lip. I know it’s so hard to resist. I’m guilty of doing so at times myself! If you have peeling lips, just moisturize, moisturize, moisturize, and wait with patience for exfoliation day in hopes that by that time it’s ready to come off.
I hope that helps you get through the winter with gorgeous lips! For more tips and updates, please subscribe to this blog. The best is yet to come!