(May 2011) Why not pamper your lips in preparation for that special someone? Discover the best ways to keep your lips natural and kissable.
Moisturize Your Mouth
Cold, dry air sucks the moisture from your lips, so keeping them soft and supple is quite a task in the winter months. Resist the urge to lick your lips; saliva has acidic properties that can increase dryness and produce inflammation. Instead, use moisturizing, protective lip balms if your lips feel dry or chapped.
Select products that contain antioxidants and nutrients, like vitamin E, to nourish the lips and beeswax or shea butter to seal in moisture. You may be able to prevent lip dryness by investing in a home humidifier, drinking plenty of water, and incorporating essential fatty acids into your diet.
Healthy lips make a beautiful, confident smile. To keep your lips in top form, gently exfoliate once or twice per week. After brushing your teeth, lightly pass a soft toothbrush over your lips in a circular motion. Don’t overdo it, and follow with lip balm for best results. Be sure to reapply lip balm during the day, especially after eating or drinking.
A Sore Subject
Canker sores are small ulcers in and around the mouth and should not be confused with cold sores, an outbreak of the herpes simplex virus. Canker sores are often triggered by stress, though hormonal imbalances, food allergies, and nutritional deficiencies may also be to blame. Canker sores are not contagious and can easily be treated with a mouth rinse. Cold sores often appear when the immune system is challenged by a cold or fever, food sensitivities, or stress. Since they are also triggered by sunlight, be sure to use lip products that contain an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 when outdoors to help prevent their appearance. During an outbreak, keep your lips to yourself in order to avoid sharing the highly contagious virus.
Did You Know?
Your lips are structurally different from the skin on other parts of your body. Made up of only three to five skin layers, lip tissue is delicate and susceptible to environmental damage.