Treating our lips with love and care as we get older is just as important as maintaining our skin health to ensure we age gracefully without tell tale signs of stress and internal dysfunction showing up around our mouth.
I’m of the belief that dry, chapped lips, distress lines and wrinkles as well as loss of lip plumpness don’t need to be cured with a needle or concealed with a truck load of makeup. Harnessing the right lifestyle, using beneficial ingredients and practising a few little quick tips with the assistance of a little sheer, natural makeup is the way to go in order to have your most gorgeous set of lips at any age.
Whether your pout is parched, feathering, or features any other particular skin tendencies, here are my top tips for healthy lips - getting them back in shape so they can look as beautiful and age-defying as ever:
1. Stay hydrated
Because the lips do not have an epidermal layer and therefore cannot produce oil (like the skin does), they are more prone to dryness than any other part of the body which can make them appear dull and lacklustre not to mention aged. It is therefore crucial to get on the hydration bandwagon to keep the lips looking smooth, even and full. Bring back moisture to your lips with a replenishing balm like my Luk Beautifood Lip Nourish Lipstick, which is fortified with natural properties like avocado and sesame seed oil as well as cocoa butter to give lips a smooth, silky texture while retaining moisture. Pair this with a ideally two litres of water per day to keep the lips in optimum shape.
2. Protect your pout
Extreme dry patches or pigmentation on the lips can be a sign of over-exposure to UV rays, which is why protecting the pout is a must (natural sunscreens and sheer, nourishing balms are the way to go!). A handy tip I’ve picked up to lessen the signs of ‘freckles’ or severely damaged/pigmented skin, is to actually use lemon juice on your lips once in a while. Because lemons are vitamin C rich and contain flavonoid antioxidants they help with collagen production to keep skin wrinkle free and have fabulous brightening properties. Simply massage in gentle circular motions over the skin – no need to wash away the residue, it will absorb. The sourness might make you cringe but you will notice a nice lightening, anti-ageing effect over time. You can also apply organic honey to the lips overnight which has been known to soften lips and them that gorgeous pink glow.
3. Exfoliate as necessary
Lips that are dry or flaky and lacking moisture automatically look thinner and more wrinkled than they are, so it pays to slough away dry bits of skin with a regular exfoliation routine and work out what is making them dry. (My favourite thing to fix your lips is combine brown sugar with organic honey and olive oil, apply to the lips and scrub in gentle circular motions and then remove with a washcloth dampened with lukewarm water. This has the effect of lifting the lips outer layer to reveal the beautiful new skin underneath. Once this is done, you can apply a layer of my Lip Nourish Lipstick over the top (I am LOVING Vanilla & Cinnamon at the moment and you can wear it to bed!) which adds a hint of sheer, deliciously bare colour while hydrating your delicate skin.
4. Eat for healthy lips
This is a no-brainer! We all know that what you choose to put inside your body will reflect on the outside, so I highly encourage eating raw, nutrient-rich superfoods (goji berries, dark chocolate, chia seeds etc) as regularly as possible to keep the lips well-nourished. It’s also crucial to snack on plenty of leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes and fresh fruit as well as omega rich fats like avocado which all help your skin to glow from the inside out. You might even want to add a fresh green juice to ensure get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
5. Know your ingredient list
Thinning skin is a normal part of the ageing process – it’s a breakdown of collagen and a loss of fat cells. But did you know the right ingredients can actually help slow down this process and rejuvenate your lips? My rule is not to put anything on my lips that I wouldn’t consider eating (hence why I’ve created a whole product line centred around this mantra!). Pure cold pressed organic oils (coconut, olive, jojoba, sweet almond and rosehip oil etc) as well as superfood ingredients, antioxidants and omega 3+6 essential fatty acids help naturally replenish the lips. Their natural properties won’t damage the delicate skin cells and have the ability to penetrate deeper. So know your ingredient list natural beauties – all of mine are easily pronounced, food-grade actives that are basically edible. Translation? Mother Nature’s Collagen Booster!
6. Be a makeup mastermind
A cheeky little trick to making the pout appear youthful, fuller and evidently more healthier is with a bit of makeup magic. To create the illusion of volume, line the outer edges of your mouth with our 100% Pure Brightening Concealer in the same shade as your foundation and blend it into the fine lines around your lips to help fill them in and prevent feathering. You can then add your lipstick over the top – my recommendation? Our 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze which is richly pigmented with fruit and vegetable pigments instead of ageing synthetic dyes. Pop a bit of my sheer Chai Shimmer Lip Nourish over the top in the centre of the pout. The subtle reflection will help the lips appear plumper, a perfect pick-me-up if your have ultra-thin skin around the lips and require a bit of OOMPH.
7. Kick nasty habits to the curb
Excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, even stress – yep, unfortunately they all show up by way of etched lines around the mouth as we get older. Your skin says everything about the kind of lifestyle you lead and most skin problems originate internally so aim to eliminate any bad habits from your lifestyle – everything in moderation my loves!
8. Exercise for circulation
Being active is a one-way ticket to better circulation in the skin especially when it comes to the lips. Whether you exercise a few times a week or do something quick and brisk on a daily basis, it all helps. Deep breathing allows oxygen to move more cohesively throughout your body which has a beautifully anti-ageing effect, and also promotes efficient elimination, which reflects upon your skin health.
Yes, smile lines do develop over time, but they are much nicer looking than frown lines don’t you think?!
So natural beauties, case in point: you CAN let the mouth do the talking without telling your age! Follow my advice and you’re on your way to a soft, sumptuous, kissable lips that exude an age-defying lustre (totally irresistible!).
Image credits (all via Instagram): 1. Vogue Russie 2. @oraclefoxblog 3. @hellonaturalco 4. @lukbeautifood 5. @isabelmattssoncoll