When we think of the signs of aging, we often think of wrinkles, sagging skin, dark circles, or a dull complexion. The majority of anti-aging products and treatments are focused on our faces, but often disregard an important area – the lips!
Regardless of age, our lips live a tough life. They have very thin skin, lack oil glands, and are constantly exposed to the elements (often with little to no protection). As we age, lips become drier, less pigmented, smaller, and more susceptible to damage.
Here are a few ways to protect your pout and keep your lips looking youthful and healthy!
Dry, pale lips can be one of the first signs that you aren’t drinking enough water. As with the rest of your body, your lips need to stay hydrated from the inside out to maintain a healthy appearance. Whether you opt for more water, herbal teas, coconut water, or fruits and veggies with a high water content, it is important to stay hydrated at all times.
Many lip balms and chapsticks are waxy, which is great for protecting your lips against moisture loss, but does nothing to add any hydration. Your lips need something that will be absorbed, such as creamy or ointment-like products that contain humectants (which draw water from the atmosphere into your skin) and occlusives (which help seal in hydration, like shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil). Skip products that contain menthol or camphor, which can actually irritate and dry out your lips even more.
To get rid of flaky skin, gently exfoliate your lips once a week (any more and they will turn raw). Start by prepping your lips with a moisturizing balm or oil, and then lightly brush away any scaly patches with a soft toothbrush. Finish with another coat of balm and there you have it – smooth, silky lips!
Since you don’t put sunscreen directly on your lips, you need to protect them from the sun’s harmful rays through your lip products. If your lip cream doesn’t contain a broad-spectrum SPF, look for products that contain an SPF of at least 15-30.