Being one of the more sensitive parts of your face, which is already made up of sensitive parts, your lips may require special attention to keep them smooth and healthy throughout your life. Whether it’s hydration, damage, or the steady march of time, we have 10 easy tips that’ll help you limit or outright get rid of those pesky lip troubles of yours.
Tip 1: Stay Hydrated
Dry, damaged skin is often due to a below-normal water intake. It’s important to keep your lips wet, mostly on the inside by ensuring you get your daily fill of water. You should know the drill by now, eight glasses of water a day! For reference, one glass or cup is usually agreed upon to be eight ounces.
Do this and your lips should start looking fuller in no time at all, plus there’s a whole host of other benefits to keeping hydrated for your body and mind. Alongside proper hydration, you can also use lip balm to keep your lips moisturized from the outside, which is especially handy if you suffer from chapped lips.
Tip 2: Exfoliate Your Lips
This tip is best done at the end of the day. Take a lip balm and apply it before going to bed and then, when you get up in the morning, use a dampened cloth or a soft enough toothbrush to carefully rub away dead or dry skin. This will not only boost circulation to the area, making your lips appear plumper, but the newer skin beneath will be softer and less worn down.
If you need an all-natural, homemade recipe, you can use raw sugar, almond oil, and honey to make a soft lip scrub without having to use any store-bought product. Just mix two teaspoons of the sugar with a teaspoon each of the other ingredients until they’re a paste and apply with your fingertips. Not only is it easy to make but you can keep any excess in a small container for later.
You can even just use some lemon juice, both on your lips and beneath your eyes, to brighten those areas up and remove dead skin. If you suffer from cracked lips however, you’ll want to stick to a lip scrub since lemon juice can just make that problem worse.
Tip 3: Check Your Lip Balm
Since we’ve mentioned lip balm a lot, you should be wary of the ingredients found in your lip products. First of all, throw out any expired products since they’re no good. Then check your cabinet and make sure that your lip balms contain cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil. These are the holy trinity for lip care since they provide a natural protective barrier that keeps pollutants out and reduces heat damage. Some ingredients, like camphor, can and will dry out your lips so if dry lips are a problem for you, it’s best to avoid these.
Tip 4: Kiss Vitamin E
While we’re talking about what ingredients are good for your lips, you should also try to expose your lips to vitamin E. If you have any capsules, crack them open and put the contents against your lips. Vitamin E is known to promote cell generation and regeneration, keeping your lips new and fresh, and vitamin E also boosts circulation, so they’ll appear thicker but softer.
Tip 5: Shield Your Lips From The Sun
Everyone knows that exposure to the sun isn’t great for skin health, but you’d be surprised at how many people will apply sunscreen to their face but leave their lips bare. Even your lips soak in UV rays, so you should get some protection for that area.
Applying SPF 15 sunscreen on your lips is an option but we’d recommend getting lip balm that has its own SPF ingredients, making it easier to shield against the sun during your day-to-day. If you’re outside a lot, reapply the sunscreen hourly to get the best results.
Tip 6: Keep Toxins Away
Staying healthy is just as much about the things you don’t do as the things that you do, and this especially applies to the lips. Why? Because the lips are the most vulnerable to wrinkling and this only gets worse if you smoke. Avoid cigarettes and try to limit how much secondhand smoke you’re exposed to so that your lips don’t become wrinkled and faded through overexposure. If secondhand smoke is almost unavoidable for whatever reason, you can use a scarf or other similar neck coverings over your lower face to keep your lips safe and soft.
Tip 7: Avoid Licking or Touching Your Lips
Continuing with things you shouldn’t do to promote good lip health, you should try to kick the habit of licking or otherwise touching your lips. While it may seem counterintuitive, licking your lips to dry them actually damages the protective barrier your lips should have, drying them out even more through overexposure. Keep the digestive enzymes in your spit off of your lips and go for lip balm or plain old water instead.
Being as sensitive as they are, you should also limit how often you touch them with your hands. You should definitely kick any habits that involve biting or picking at your lips too, if you’ve picked any of them up throughout the years. Picking and biting usually happens as a means to get rid of particularly dry, uneven parts on your lip from pre-existing lip damage but, just like the spots on your face, it’s better to let them heal naturally and not interfere with the healing process most of the time.
Tip 8: Coat Your Lips Before Applying Lipstick
No matter the product, including the ones that say they’ll minimize lip damage, you should still be coating your lips with a protective layer before applying lipstick. Think of it as a primer that’ll keep your lips safe and hydrated during your busy night out.
Use something small and soft, like cotton or a specially designed lip brush, and apply an oil of your choice. We’d recommend coconut or almond oil since they’re nicer to taste and very skin-friendly.
Tip 9: Avoid Matte Lipstick
Try to avoid matte lipsticks, or at least use them sparingly, since they’re extremely drying on your lips. They’re designed this way, since it enables them to stay in place for longer periods of time, but you don’t want an excessively drying lipstick when trying to achieve healthy lips. Use non-matte, hydrating lipstick when you can, preferably one with vitamin E and glycerin.
Tip 10: Take Lipstick Off Before Bed
After a long day, you should gently use a makeup-removing wipe on your lips before going to bed. You should be doing this if you’re wearing face or eye makeup anyway, so it’s fairly obvious that your lips are no exception. However, even if there’s no visible product on your lips, it’s wise to give them a little cleansing treatment before bed to get rid of any debris or other forms of makeup that could’ve found itself on your lips throughout the day.