After the eyes, lips draw the most attention to your face. Learn how to keep them soft, plump, and moisturised.
Dry, chapped and cracked lips are a big beauty no-no! Lips are often not given enough TLC, even though they are one of the most noticed parts of one's face.
The skin on your lips is thin and lacks any melanin, hair or oil glands to keep them lubricated and protected from the elements. Their only natural source of moisture is your saliva - which evaporates quickly and leaves them even drier. Always keep your lips supple, plump, and healthy with these tips.
1. Stay hydrated
Drinking enough water daily cannot be overemphasised. If you are always on the move, carry a water bottle everywhere you go so you can sip from time to time. This will keep all your body cells, including the ones in your lips, plump and healthy. Also eat a healthy, balanced diet to boost your general well-being.
2. Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the biggest culprits of early aging of the lips. Besides the damage caused by toxins from cigarettes, smokers are also more likely to develop fine lines around the mouth because of repeated use of the perioral muscles to hold the cigarette. Quitting smoking will also improve your general health and reduce your risk of premature death.
3. Stop licking
Licking your lips only moisturises them temporarily. Digestive enzymes in your saliva can break down protective barriers in your lips, leaving them dry and chapped. Apply a lip balm instead.
4. Know thy balms
Not all lip balms are created equal -- opt for the ones with ingredients like nut butter, avocado oil, jojoba, vitamin E, almond, Shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. If your lips are sensitive, use camphor-based lip balms sparingly. Good balms should have a sun-protective factor to shield from sun damage.
Just like the rest of your skin, lips need weekly exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells. You can exfoliate with a home-made scrub of sugar and olive oil or go for store-bought solutions. Keep away from scrubs containing salicylic acid as it can damage the lips' thin skin.