Lips: The Unsung Hero of the Face
Your lips are an amazing part of your body. Lips show emotions. Our lips are there to aid in communication - verbally and non-verbally. And lips help us give kisses to those we care about. Since your lips facilitate some of the most important moments in your life, we think it only makes sense to provide them with some much-needed TLC.
Due in part to social media, the world is going through an exciting skincare awakening. With more doctors, dermatologists, and estheticians communicating directly with consumers online, people are getting personalized advice on treating common skin conditions, like acne, rosacea, dryness, aging, etc. But one area that is getting missed is the lips.
Our lips are such a delicate part of the face, prone to aging, dryness, and irritation. So why not give them the same consideration you give to the rest of your face? Today, we will teach you about your lips and the routines you can incorporate to make them look and feel their best.
Learn About Your Lips
Class is in session, babes. So sit up, put your phones away (unless you’re reading this on your phone), and get ready for your new favorite science class because today, we’re talking about your lips.
Why Are Your Lips So Sensitive?
The skin on your lips is one of the most delicate parts of the body. Your face has roughly 16 skin cell layers, but your lips only have 3-5 layers, making your lips more susceptible to damage (it’s why your lip may bleed if it gets dry). So obviously, with your skin being so sensitive in this place (thanks to your lack of skin cell layers), you need to be particularly careful to protect your lips.
Your Lips Are Lacking Something
If you think back to your biology classes, you probably have heard of sebaceous glands. But, if you need a refresher, sebaceous glands are tiny oil glands found in the skin. Now, before we put you to sleep with talk of glands, we’ll get to the good stuff.
Typically sebaceous glands are connected to hair follicles, and since your lips are hairless, it’s one of the few places on your body that do not have them. So, what does that mean for you? Because the lips don’t have sebaceous glands (or sweat glands, for that matter), this is one of the only parts of your body that cannot naturally hydrate itself (since these glands primarily exist to hydrate and lubricate the skin).
In case you missed it, we’ll say it louder for the people in the back - Your lips cannot hydrate themselves without your help!
How Your Environment Affects Your Lips
Your environment plays a crucial role in the health of your skin. When you think of your environment, you probably think of your geographical region (which is part of it), but it also incorporates the products you use and how you interact with your skin.
Having dry lips is uncomfortable. There’s no way around it. When they’re dry, they itch, crack, and eventually bleed. And if you are prone to cold sores, you are more likely to blister if your skin is dry. Side-effects aside, a lack of moisture also contributes to premature aging. So, if you want your lips to be healthy, feel good, and look great, you need to take an active role in your lip care.
Whether you live in the arctic, desert, or tropics, you have to think about how your skin interacts with that particular environment. For example, if you live in a dry or cold climate, you’ll want to be sure to stay hydrated and apply extra lip moisturizers. If possible, you should consider getting a cold-mist humidifier and placing it in your bedroom to use while you sleep. In a humid climate, you’re less at risk of your lips drying out faster than usual, but the increased humidity can cause some skincare products to expire more quickly.
Let’s also consider, for a moment, the impact of some of the products we use. Everything you eat, drink, and put on your body affects you. We all have different needs, and we’re not your doctor, so we aren’t going to give you medical advice. However, we can point out some of the things you use that may inadvertently dry out your skin. For example, mattifying products like matte lipsticks and foundations are designed to absorb excess moisture. So, if you often wear matte liquid lipsticks, you’ll want to spend a little extra time hydrating your lips before and after use.
Another thing that can cause excess dryness is licking your lips. The act of licking your lips is a hard habit to break. Biologically, we all want to lick our lips when they feel dry. Unfortunately, doing so can cause more harm than good. This is because your saliva contains many digestive enzymes, which help break down food into nutrients. It’s a great thing for your intestines, but those same enzymes can dry out the skin on your lips, causing them to crack and bleed.
Your Lip Care Routine
Your lip care routine can be broken down into two primary parts:
How you approach both of these routines can impact your results, so let’s break down the fundamentals.
Exfoliation is one of those topics that has the internet community divided. Whether it’s exfoliation of the face, lips, or body, people can’t decide if it’s a good or bad thing. Overall, most professionals agree that exfoliation is perfectly safe and can benefit the skin when done correctly. The issue lies in improper exfoliation methods.
Lip Exfoliation Considerations
A few of the big things skincare professionals worry about are post-exfoliation skincare, over-exfoliation, and using the wrong kinds of products to exfoliate the skin.
- Not everyone needs to exfoliate
- It can be good for those with dry skin
- You shouldn’t exfoliate irritated skin
- Don’t exfoliate too frequently
- Use SPF after exfoliating
- Use the right kinds of products to exfoliate
If your skin is prone to dryness or flaking, exfoliating can be beneficial to remove dead skin and reveal fresh skin. On the other hand, if your skin gravitates toward being more oily, you likely won’t need to exfoliate (or won’t need to exfoliate as often). However, even those who need a lip scrub need to be careful not to exfoliate too aggressively or frequently. Regardless of your skin type, you shouldn’t exfoliate your lips more than twice a week (unless otherwise directed by your doctor).
How to Exfoliate
Typically, a gentle lip scrub will be your best bet when exfoliating your lips. There are many great pre-made lip scrub products (which Babe Lash might release in the future), and there are lots of tried and true DIY lip scrub recipes online (usually consisting of ingredients like sugar and coconut oil or something similar).
If you do go the DIY route, be sure you use products that are safe and gentle. Remember, your lips only have a few layers of skin - you don’t want to hurt yourself. We’ve seen too many stories online of people trying to exfoliate their bodies with steel wool pads, dish scrubbers, or harsh bathroom cleaning chemicals. DO NOT DO THAT. EVER!
Here’s what lip exfoliation should look like. First, make sure your lips are clean and dry before applying the lip scrub (again, use something gentle and safe), and then gently massage the lip scrub onto your lips for a minute or two. Then rinse off the lip scrub.
After exfoliating, your skin will be in a sensitive state. After you are freshly exfoliated, you need to moisturize and apply SPF. If you don’t rehydrate your skin and put on SPF, you can leave your skin prone to damage after you have sloughed off the dead skin layers.
If you’re not sure if you should exfoliate your skin or not, speak with your doctor, dermatologist, or a licensed esthetician.
Now, for the part that everyone needs to do! Like we mentioned before - because lips don’t have sebaceous glands, your lips cannot self-moisturize. So, we all need to be diligent about applying some kind of lip balm or moisturizer several times a day.
At a minimum, put on a lip moisturizer once per day. Ideally, you should be putting on some kind of lip balm 2-5 times per day (or more). When it comes to hydrating your lips, you really can’t overdo it. Doctors agree - if your lips feel dry, put on moisturizer. When reaching for a lip moisturizer, look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, shea butter, cocoa butter, honey, coconut oil, and lanolin. Try to steer clear of menthol, salicylic acid, and alcohol, which can dry out your lips.
Your AM Lip Care Routine
If you want to give your lips some TLC, you’ll want to have lip care routines for daytime and evening. In the morning, apply a hydrating lip balm. If you’re going outside, you’ll want to be sure to use a lip moisturizer with SPF 30 or more to avoid sun damage.
Over the course of the day, keep a lip hydrator (chapstick, lip balm, Plumping Lip Jelly, etc.) with you. Your lip care will be as essential to take with you as your phone! Doing this will help make sure you don’t find yourself licking or biting your lip as it gets dry.
Your PM Lip Care Routine
After removing your makeup and applying your nightly skincare products, you’ll want to put on a deep-moisturizing lip product.
While sleeping, you breathe more heavily, and if you snore, you likely breathe through your mouth, which can cause the lips to dry out even faster.
For that reason, we recommend using a heavy moisturizer, like an overnight lip mask! These nighttime lip treatments help to lock in moisture and reduce dryness for lips that look and feel amazing. Also, a certain brand you know and love *wink wink* may be coming out with a lip mask in the near future, so keep an eye out for that!
Want to Add Some Shine to Your Daytime Lip Routine?
If you’re looking to add a bit of plumpness to your pout, we recommend checking out the Babe Lash Plumping Lip Jelly. It’s full of super-hydrating ingredients that perfectly complement your daytime lip care routine. Plus, it makes your lips look fuller within minutes! Learn more about the Plumping Lip Jelly here!
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