Because the skin on your lips is thinner than on your face, the signs of damage and aging can show more prominently. Follow these simple lip care tips for healthy, youthful lips.
Kick bad habits. There are a number of bad habits that can undermine the healthy appearance of your lips:
- Licking your lips causes dryness and can lead to chapped lips, as saliva, when it dries, robs lips of their moisture.
- Biting your lips causes peeling and can lead to sores and bleeding.
- Flavored lip balms contain elements that can serve as irritants for lips.
- Cigarette smoking not only causes wrinkles around the lips due to pursing of the mouth, but it leads to unhealthy lips, as it dehydrates and damages skin cells.
Ingest healthy foods and lots of water. Like your skin, your lips benefit from a diet rich in vitamins C, A, and E, and antioxidants. Proper nutrition helps to combat the development of unhealthy cells and promotes beneficial cell growth and regeneration. Drinking adequate amounts of water helps to keep your lips hydrated and moist, protecting against chapped lips and reducing signs of aging on and around the mouth.
Slough off dead skin. Because your lips are susceptible to dryness and peeling, it is important to remove dead skin cells, exposing healthy skin cells. As part of your skin care regimen, use a mild cleanser with an exfoliating agent, or simply add sugar to your lip balm, petroleum jelly, or even honey. Apply to your lips and massage gently, making sure you are not pulling or rubbing too aggressively. Rinse and follow up with a moisturizing lip balm.
Slather on sunscreen. Your lips are not immune to sun damage, so keeping them protected from the sun’s rays is a key lip care strategy. Use a lip balm that contains an SPF of at least 30 and reapply after you eat or often if you are outdoors in the sun for any length of time.