In the past, we’ve chatted about so many skin-related topics and skin problems that we can all identify with. From wrinkles to acne to dry skin, you name it, I’ve battled it and shared what I learned.
But today, I want to take time out for some of the unsung heroes of the face: your lips.
Cosmetically, your lips can draw a lot of attention because they tend to have more color to them than the rest of your skin does. They stand out from the crowd, so to speak.
Despite that, lips are disastrously underserved when it comes to skincare. A lot of people will spend hours each week or each month taking care of their skin: cleansers, toners, exfoliants, moisturizers, masks, you name it. But what about their lips? Nothing.
I know that because I’ve been there and I’ve made that mistake, but never again. It’s high time to give your lips the attention they deserve and trust me, you’ll thank yourself when you see the results. Start with these top tips.
If You Exfoliate, Your Lips Will Celebrate
I know that sounds a bit like a campaign slogan, but maybe it should be. Lippitarian party, anyone?
All jokes aside, this is something I stumbled onto a few months ago and I’m ashamed to say I’d never thought about it before. I was exfoliating, massaging the product onto my skin, and when I reached my lips I thought, “Huh…I wonder what would happen if I use this on my lips, too?”
So I did. And it was glorious.
My lips were so incredibly soft. I even did a kiss test and my husband noticed how soft they were (and let’s be honest, husbands aren’t great at noticing things like this, so you know it was a big difference).
Since then, lip exfoliation has become a regular part of my skincare routine. The only difference is that now I use an actual lip exfoliator so it has everything my smackers need.
Fuller Lips Don’t Require Needles
I’ll be honest: I’m naturally blessed with very full lips and it’s one of those gifts I’m thankful for every day because I’ve seen what people go through to make their lips plumper.
Lip injections look rough enough, but they’re a cakewalk compared to the weird “lip challenge” people were trying a few years ago. Serious folks: don’t stick your lips inside a glass to try to make them bigger.
While injections will give you more dramatic and lasting results than products you use at home, you can still get surprisingly full-looking lips while telling the needle to take a hike.
In particular, I have a close friend who swears by the Replenix Plumping Lip Treatment. She uses it on an ongoing basis, so she always has fuller, more hydrated lips instead of paying hundreds of dollars for injections every year.
The Sun is Not Your Lips’ Friend
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that sun protection is one of the best things you can do to keep your skin young. Of course, if you live under a rock, you probably don’t have much sunlight to worry about anyway, so carry on.
For the rest of us, though, sunscreen needs to be a consistent part of your daily routine, and I’m not just talking about your facial skin. Your lips need protection too.
Just like any of the other skin on your face, the skin on your lips can develop wrinkles. Sunlight also has a way of breaking down collagen, and over time that can make your lips smaller and thinner. On top of the cosmetic aspects, your lips are also at risk for skin cancer.
Instead of putting traditional sunscreen on your lips (which sounds grossly unpleasant), invest in a lip balm with broad-spectrum sun protection and SPF 30 or higher, like Elta MD’s lip balm. You get the hydration you want from a lip balm, plus the sun protection you need.
Lips Deserve Masks, Too
There’s something so refreshing about a face mask, isn’t there? You put it on and then lie back with your feet up, watching your favorite drama and sipping some wine until the timer dings. When you take off the mask, your hard work is rewarded with incredibly soft skin.
Why should your lips miss out on all the fun?
Just like the rest of your skin, your lips take a beating on a daily basis. Not only do they come in contact with all kinds of pollutants and particles in the air, but they touch everything you eat, too.
Sometimes you need to give them a little something extra on top of the typical cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, or whatever your routine entails.
My personal favorite is the CosMedix Lip Plumping Mask. While volume isn’t my main concern, dryness is, and this mask tackles both of them. It’s also a great way to keep your lips looking young and smooth.
For Dry Lips, Prevention is Key
I don’t know about you, but in my city, the temperature has dropped in a heartbeat. I think we skipped fall altogether. Any time there’s a sudden drop in temperature, my lips react by turning into a frigid version of the Sahara desert.
I’ve learned a valuable lesson on that front, though: prevention is key.
Moisturizers are designed to lock in the moisture your lips already have. If you don’t have much moisture when you apply it, it won’t exactly be a game-changer.
The trick is to start using a lip moisturizer early, even before you start feeling the effects of dry lips. Add your moisturizer to your regular routine and carry your trusty lip balm with you at all times so you can tackle dryness before it starts.
Keeping Your Lips in Shape
Most of us don’t think about our lips until they’re already aging, dry, or uncomfortable. At that point, you’re behind the eight ball and struggling to do damage control.
This year, you can choose to do things differently. My tips above are all about prevention and maintenance. You’ll thank me when you forget about your lips altogether until you catch a glimpse in the mirror and realize how stunning they are.