Say goodbye to parched lips for good! If you want smooth, hydrated lips all year round, the natural way, follow these handy tips and our special chapped lips DIY lip scrub.
LIP LESSONS 101
The lips have it rough, quite literally. That’s because they’re virtually naked in comparison to other areas of the face and body and are therefore more prone to dryness. While you face features a thick, protective layer of skin, the lips often need an extra helping hand to remain smooth and moist. They have no oil or sweat glands, and they’re constantly exposed to irritants: the saliva, our food and drinks, environmental pollutants, the weather, the list goes on and on!
Our lips need just as much care as the rest of our skin, if not more, so keep reading to find out how to fight off some of the most common lip problems.
Let us explain in a bit more depth…
Lips have a layer of skin (stratum corneum) that is exceptionally thin and transparent, barely covering the vulnerable mucous membrane underneath.
When lips are moist on the surface from your saliva, they attract moisture from deep within the skin which evaporates into the dry air. Adding to this, when you lick your lips, the digestive enzymes in saliva break down the skin, causing the corners to crack, so it is not just the outside elements that cause painful chapping. In fact, water loss on the lips is three to ten times higher than other parts of the face or body!
Lips also have minimal to no sebaceous glands and zero sweat glands. These physiological facts combined with climate changes all contribute to making dry lips a recurring, persistent problem. Have you ever wondered why lips can turn blue in the winter? It’s because in extremely cold weather, blood vessels in the lips become poorly oxygenated, making the lips change colour as a result.
WHAT TO AVOID DOING
Avoid repetitively licking the lips in a futile attempt to restore moisture. Even though it may make them feel better, it is actually making matters worse! Your tongue transfers saliva from your mouth to your lips which actually eats away and destroys the thin layer of skin covering the lips which leads to soreness and chapping. Try drinking water instead or applying a nourishing balm.
Avoid being constantly out in the sun which can also have a really debilitating effect on the pout as the harsh UV rays can be quite ageing and lip-shrinking. Natural sunscreen ingredients or a layer of Lip Nourish will go a long way toward keeping your lips looking and feeling beautiful.
Avoid using matte lipsticks or long-wearing lip stains as these can cause some damage. Try to also avoid using lip plumpers that contain harmful irritants like menthol and mint oils.
Avoid any lip products that contain fragrances and synthetic colours as these can wreak absolute havoc on the sensitive, thin layer of the lips.
Avoid marketing spin! There are some brands out there which are a chemical cocktail for disaster, and despite claiming to soothe the lips, they actually contain ingredients have no benefit for the lips and end up compounding the problem. Most often they are poorly formulated and lack beneficial oils, emollients, and repairing ingredients, therefore your lips will remain dry.
ARE YOU EATING FOR HEALTHY LIPS?
While a good lip balm can help, so can your diet. The key to preventing chapped lips is eating more of the good stuff! Different vitamins and minerals found in food ca be helpful to your skin by rejuvenating and restoring its healthy glow. Some nutrients serve as antioxidants, which reduce the effect of free radicals on your lip cells.
In particular, the Omega-3 fats in walnuts and fish help regulate cell turnover to keep the lips moist and beautiful.
Avocados are also one of the most important moisturising nutrients you can have to improve the appearance of your skin and lips. That’s because avocado lipids are luscious, they contain lots of skin-healthy polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats and because of these luscious lipids, avocados house lots of important beauty-fying nutrients and phytochemicals.
Plenty of water is also important, as the lips are often the first place you’ll see signs of dehydration.
THE CURES FOR CHAPPED LIPS
The very best thing you can do to treat and prevent chapped lips, aside from maintaining a balanced and healthy diet and not licking your lips constantly, is to slather your lips in a hydrating and nourishing lip balm, like Lip Nourish.
When chapping is severe or if you notice flaking along with a dry feeling, using a gently lip scrub (which we’ll get to soon!) prior to applying any other products can work wonders. The scrub quickly removes dead, dry, flaky skin and leaves a smooth surface for lip balm application. If you haven’t done this before, prepared to be surprised at the results!
Right before you go to bed, you might also want to apply a swipe of crème-soft Lip Nourish to your lips. You’ll no doubt awake with the most hydrated set of smackers going around!
KNOW YOUR INGREDIENTS
Use products that contain healthy ingredients which will keep your lips moist and reinforce their delicate protective barrier.
Just like the skin on the rest of your face, the lips benefit from cell-communicating and skin-identical ingredients, and antioxidants. That’s why it’s important to ensure your lip products are 100% all-natural and include nutrient-rich ingredients like avocado oil, cocoa butter and nourishing citrus and almond oils. What better way to guarantee the purity of what’s going on your skin and into your body than with healthy, natural products that don’t pose any dangers to your health?!
DO IT YOURSELF
Everybody’s lips deserve a spa day — a lip facial, if you will! So to help you ease your poor, peeling, flaking pout, we’ve assembled together this super delicious chapped lips home remedy lip scrub that you can do a few times a week to gently remove dead skin cells and moisturises the lips all at once.
Follow with your favourite lip nourish natural lipstick (we recommend the Pink Juniper for a feminine touch or Chai Shimmer for a nude look) and they will look, and taste, good enough to eat!
The coconut oil in this recipe works to nourish the lips while honey locks in moisture and has anti-inflammatory properties to improve the look and texture of your kissers. Avocado oil contains antioxidants called polyphenols which fight free radicals that cause cell damage. This multi-tasking oil is also a good source of vitamin K and potassium which is essential for fluid balance in the lips.
1. Combine 1 tsp of coconut oil (at room temperature) and 1 tsp of avocado oil with 1 tsp runny honey
2. Stir in approximately 1 or 2 tsps of brown or raw sugar. TIP: If the mixture is too runny, simply add more sugar, or if it is too dry add a little more coconut oil.
4. Gently massage the scrub onto clean lips.
5. Rinse with warm water and pat dry
6. Follow with your favourite lip nourish lipstick & pucker up!
TIPS AND TRICKS
Discard any leftovers as the sugar will soon dissolve and will be ineffective in exfoliating the lips.
Be gentle! Your lips are sensitive.
Do not use if the skin on your lips is broken or scabbed.
Featured image courtesy of dollarphotoclub.com