Tips for Taking Care of Your Lips
Read My Lips: Hacks for Lip Health
Your lips are often the first thing others notice. They are the gateway to your smile as well as the way you communicate. Whether you live in an arid environment with low humidity or in a perpetually hot or cold one, you’ve experienced chapped, dry or flaky lips from time to time.
Sometimes simple hydration is the answer to overcoming dry or chapped lips. If you’re not taking in enough fluids each day, a lack of water could be the culprit. While your skin overall may reflect a level of dryness, the most noticeable skin is that of your mouth.
The lips lack oil glands, so they will show dehydration faster than the rest of your body.
Protect Your Lips
There are small things you can do to protect your lips, such as using a good lip balm throughout the day. Be sure to check the ingredients of your cosmetics and lip products because allergens may also cause changes to your lip health.
Another thing you can do to protect your lips is avoid licking them. Because saliva evaporates quickly, it may dry your lips even more.
Certain medications and supplements may also be a factor in the health of your lips, including an excess of vitamin A. Check with your health provider if you feel your medications might be causing a change in your lip health.
If you are experiencing severely chapped lips, including cracks and even bleeding in the corners of the mouth, this could be a condition called cheilitis, which requires medical attention.
Are Face Masks Affecting Our Lips?
The consistent use of face masks in our daily lives may trap sweat, bacteria and oil, which clog pores, so it is especially important to take precautions to care for your lips. The best ways to assist in keeping your mouth healthy are to wash your masks regularly, apply a natural lip balm before masking up and engage in a regular lip care routine at home.
Exfoliate and Moisturize Your Lips
There are many ways you can care for your lips using ingredients from your own kitchen. There are some foolproof methods of exfoliating to improve the appearance of your smackers—and even make them appear plumper and fuller.
Make Your Own Lip Scrub
The ingredients to healthier lips may already be in your pantry! Gather an exfoliating agent (sugar or sea salt) and an emollient (honey or an oil, like olive oil) and whip up a simple DIY scrub. Apply to your lips with a cotton swab and remove with a damp washcloth. Voila! Your mouth will look and feel smoother and refreshed. Find a simple recipe here.
Once your lips have been exfoliated, you may apply one of the following to help soothe, moisturize and protect your chapped lips: coconut oil, aloe vera, honey, avocado butter or petroleum jelly. In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using white petroleum jelly throughout the day and before bed to moisturize and soothe dry, cracked lips. Petroleum jelly seals in water longer than oils and waxes.
If you find yourself with dry, cracked or chapped lips, remember there are many inexpensive and convenient ways to keep your lips healthy, happy and attractive.