They are the most used yet most ignored part of our bodies, except maybe for the soles of our feet! We are talking lips, those soft fleshy bits in the centre of our faces which take the brunt of environmental conditions and yet rarely see more than a little lip slave or lipstick let alone proper care and attention.Lips are highly sensitive, their blood vessels sitting very near the surface below thin and delicate skin producing their usually pink, plumped appearance. Although, as we all know, lips are quickly transformed from a smooth, even appearance, instead revealing skin which is cracked, tight and sore.
Environmental conditions have the greatest impact on these sensitive spots with changes in temperature and humidity clearly etched on their surface. Lips need moisture inside and out to retain adequate protection, flexibility and smooth appeal. Dehydration, air conditioning, sun damage and frosty weather all take their toll, reducing essential moisture, drying the skin which in turn reduces the ability to actually retain moisture. Once this cycle has been established, it is difficult to get lips back into good shape. So what can you do you to keep your lips in top top condition?
Don’t lick you lips. This is a habit that many of us get into but actually does nothing to support moisture production or retention. Our body naturally produces a lip protecting lubricant, licking your lips wipes away the most natural and effective defenses they have.
- Hydrate your body from the inside and you will see the difference on the outside. Even a mildly dehydrated body will be reflected in dry, lined lips. The thirst mechanism is a poor indicator of adequate hydration, by the time we feel thirsty our body is already dehydrated. Sip little and often to keep your levels topped up and lips plumped.
- We may slather the rest of our bodies in high SPF sunscreen but our lips are often forgotten. Use a daily sunscreen such as Dermalogica Solar Shield SPF 15 to give year round protection to sun sensitive lips.
- An air conditioned office on a hot summer day helps you keep a cool head but skin quickly loses moisture, our highly sensitive lips are first on the list. As well as drinking more water, a desk top humidifier will put essential moisture back into the air without raising the ambient temperature.
- A healthy balanced diet rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals radiates on the outside with skin that is healthy, glowing and hydrated. Vitamins C, E, B6, B12, Calcium and Magnesium are all indicated to support skin health and repair mechanisms. If you are struggling to get in your daily allowance, talk to your pharmacist about a suitable recommended vitamin mineral supplement.
- Use an effective daily lip product such as Dermalogica Climate Control Lip Shield which helps support the bodies own mechanisms, repairing and preventing skin damage.
Lips should invite conversation, smile with confidence, radiate health and be kissably smooth! Keeping them in great condition is easy when taking a preventative approach to maintaining lip health.