I haven't always considered my lips part of my skincare routine, but I've changed my ways. Our lips need love, too!
They need a little special treatment, though. The skin on our lips is a lot more thin and sensitive, so it's really important to use gentle products. Here are 5 common lip problems and how to address them naturally.
Protect your lips from damage
Preventing damaged lips is ideal – you can do so by staying hydrated and keeping your lips clean and moisturized. A natural balm with shea or cocoa butter is my favorite option. These butters are so thick and rich in nutrients, so they protect your lips while delivering everything your lips need. Protecting your lips is especially important if it's windy, if it's winter, or any other time you're exposed to harsh elements. See also: riding on the back of a motorcycle.
Hydrate dry, chapped lips
If your lips are already dry and chapped, keep the balm slathered on and be sure to drink plenty of water. Avoid salty foods and harsh environments that are going to irritate them further. Avoid licking or touching your lips.
Heal lip cracks and splits
Lip cracks and splits can be caused by injuries or exposure to really cold air. It's hard, but try to avoid any contact with your lips at all other than to keep them clean and apply a balm. Drink with a straw (eco friendly option here), no kissing, etc. A balm with lavender or calendula can speed healing.
Banish cold sores
Viral sores look like open scabs or blisters around the mouth and can be incredibly painful. Aloe and soothing balms won't really help cold sores go away faster, but they will help you feel more comfortable. Avoid reinfection by washing your hands thoroughly before and after applying your products, and use a cotton swab so you don't contaminate them.
Choose clean beauty lip products
Mineral oil, petrolatum, and other petroleum are in many lip products, but are better avoided. Mineral oil can be beneficial, but the problem is that these ingredients are usually not refined with quality in mind; they're simply byproducts that the petroleum industry is able to sell off to personal care companies who want to use cheap ingredients. Often, they are contaminated with carcinogenic compounds.
Food-grade, plant-based oils and butters are a much cleaner option. Keep this in mind when you read the label of any balm you use.
When it comes to lip color, you will also want to be aware of lead contamination. Lip colors at every price range have been found with high levels of lead because of the pigments used. These lipsticks have been tested and appear to be lead free.
DIY lip scrub for smooth lips
Gentle exfoliation a couple times a week can help your lips stay smoother. It feels good and helps any lip I don't recommend scrubbing lips that are irritated in any way. It also helps your color go on more evenly, if you wear it.
Here's a super-simple, gentle lip scrub you can make:
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp sweet almond oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
As part of your skincare routine, gently apply the scrub to your entire lip area. Using small circular motions, exfoliate the area with your fingertips for about a minute. Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water and pat dry. Smooth, right?!
Do your lips get the attention they need? What are your *favorite* green beauty lip care products?