It’s always exciting when you find a new lipstick or lip gloss color that you’re dying to try. What’s not so hot is how it’s going to look if your lips are dry and chapped underneath. Lip products always look better when your lips underneath are healthy.
Your lips need just as much attention and care as the rest of your body. And yet, it’s the one area of the face people tend to forget about more and more as they get older. Think about everything your lips go through in a day—environmental pollutants, harsh weather, food and drinks, products, and so on.
Your lips are unique in the sense that, unlike the rest of your skin, they don’t have sebaceous glands, which is what keeps your skin hydrated. That’s why they tend to get drier faster. But you may be contributing to the problem without even knowing it; there are many habits that make lips more dull, dry, and chapped—dry lips are more prone to cracks and wrinkles. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do (or stop doing) to fix the problem.
• Sun damage contributes to the loss of collagen production in your body, and collagen is the protein that keeps lips plump. Sunscreen is just as important for your lips as it is for the rest of your body. There are many lip balms, and even lipsticks and lip glosses, in the market that contain SPF. You should also apply a moisturizing lip balm with SPF when you’re going into cold and dry weather.
• Exfoliate your lips, just like you do your face. You can even use the same product that you use for your face on your lips. Or for a homemade lip scrub alternative, mix brown sugar, honey, and olive oil. Another trick is to use a dry, soft-bristle toothbrush.
• If you have a habit of licking your lips, now’s a good time to stop. Although it might feel like you’re relieving the dryness, licking your lips actually makes it worse because when the saliva evaporates, it takes the moisture from your lips with it. Keep layering on a moisturizing lip balm instead.
• A lot of people tend to nibble on their lips or pick at the dry skin—that’s another bad habit you need to stop.
• Vitamin E oil is great for healing chapped lips. Look for the ingredient when purchasing your next lip product. Also, always make sure that your products are paraben- and alcohol-free.
• Lipsticks with a matte finish might look nice, but they’re also more drying. And if your lips are already chapped underneath, the flaking will show right through.
• Cigarette smoke also takes away your lips’ natural moisture, which is why smokers often struggle more with dry, cracked lips.
• Make sure you have your daily dose of water to not only keep your body hydrated, but those beautiful lips as well. Aim for eight to 10 glasses per day.