Skincare 101: Lip Care
I haven’t done a thorough ‘Skincare 101’ post in agggges, so I thought I better get back to work 😉
I always assumed that the skin around the eyes was the thinest on your body, but it turns out that the skin on your lips is even thinner! As a result, it can give away your age easily, as damaged (from sunburn, smoking) or dry lips start to crack and wrinkle. Yes wrinkle. Wrinkles make your lipstick bleed and aren’t easy to treat. I never gave my lips much thought besides slapping on some lip balm every now or then, or using a lip scrub before using a very matte lipstick (which tends to stick to dry flaky bits – erm, not ideal…). I guess because it doesn’t look like the rest of our skin, it’s easy to forget about – like seriously neglect. With this in mind, what is the best way to prevent damage and to also boost the hydration of lips (which instantly effects their appearance) of your lips?
It’s no surprise that the thin skin on your lips can become sun burnt. It’s also a prime location for skin cancer – boo! Should you ever develop a new freckle on sun mark on your lips, be sure to get it checked out by a doctor. In regards to prevention, the first key is to wear sunscreen. Now lip balms containing sunscreen usually suck. I find them to be hard, thick and very often they leave a white cast the higher the sun protection. Ideally, using a 30+ lip balm in summer is recommended if you will be doing any activities outside (especially in Aus) but if you live a colder climate or stay in doors a lot, SPF 15+ is ok. Here are two that I like!
Aesop Protective Lip Balm 30+, $19.00
This Aesop lip balm contains UVA and UVB filters, so it’s broad spectrum. It is in a stick format so it’s not super creamy, but it isn’t to dry to apply and it makes your lips feel comfortable. It’s a lip balm made with only plant extracts and utilises jojoba oil, lavender and tangerine. I have yet to find a lip balm which contains an SPF of 30+ and is as comfortable to use as this one.
Another good and another all natural option is Hurraw! Tangerine and Camomile Lip Balm 15+, $6.45.
It feels nice on the lips, although on first application is does leave a little bit of a white cast. This fades however. It’s zesty and gives a nice summer feeling to your lips! It also has UVA and UVB protection. It is important to check that it contains protection from both types of rays (broad spectrum) as some lip products do cheat a lil….
*Tip* If you are planning a day out in the outdoors and it’s summer time, skip the super reflective lip gloss. Lip gloss can attract more UV rays to your lips and strengthens their damaging effects. Go the lip balm and if you want to wear colour on your lips, wear the lip balm as a lip base product.
Just like the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands, your lips don’t produce any sebum. You may not experience acne on your lips, but as a result, they are more prone to dehydration. Environmental elements and constant expressive movements, mean that they dry out easily and can experience irritation. For that reason, always have a rich, emollient lip balm by your side! Look for ingredients like shea, waxes and oils, which will form a layer over your lips, protecting them from the elements whilst providing comfort and repairing your lips. My three top picks are Nuxe’s Reve De Miel Lip Balm, Clarins Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm and Tatcha’s Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm.
Nuxe’s lip balm contains honey (the star ingredient!) and vitamin E. While it feels whipped, it is also a little waxy (beeswax – so it is thick). It feels very protective and nourishing. It’s nice and sweet to! The pot has lasted me forever, so it’s price point isn’t to bad ($20).
Clarins lip balm feels soooo soothing and nourishing. It spreads super easily onto the lips and contains rose wax (but it doesn’t feel waxy at all, it’s much thinner in consistency), shea butter and castor seed oil. It isn’t sticky and provides shine to the lips. It’s more pricey at $30.00 a pop, but again my tube has lasted me a long time (only a little product is needed). But take note, when you think your tube has run out, cut it in half because there will be loads of product still stuck to the packaging!
Tatcha’s Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm is pretty special! On top of the potted lip balm, lays a sheet of 24 karat gold! It adds a little glamour to every day 🙂 Sure, it will wear away eventually, but the balm which is underneath is pretty great to! It contains camellia oil (camellia japonica seed oil – also known as tsubaki oil) which is rich in oleic acid and vitamins A, B, D and Omega 3, 6 and 9. It’s readily absorbed by the skin because it’s molecular weight is identical to our skins. The lip balm also contains squalene (olive derived), green tea extract, rice extract, algae oil and rice bran oil. You get anti-oxidant protection from this lip balm, making it ideal for everyday use, but yet, it’s pretty special! It comes in at $36 US.
The lines on our lips are individual to each one of us (kinda like fingerprints!). Unique but also never changing. They can look deeper than what they are thanks to very flaky and dry skin, which is probably dehydrated. If this is you, you can give your lips some serious DIY treatment. For 8 days (morning and night) give your lips a good scrub (using either sugar and honey or a bought lip scrub) and then coat them thickly with a repairing lip balm. Your lips will love you for it and the lines on your lips will almost look invisible! My favourite combo is Lush’s Popcorn Lip Scrub ($10) and the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask ($21 US, full review here).
The lip scrub contains coconut and jojoba oils, so it doesn’t leave your lips feeling even more parched and dry. It just leaves the lips suuuper smooth and it’s amazing how much more comfortable the lips are once all that dry skin has been removed! A combination of sugar and sea salt do the trick 😉 The Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask can be used before bed or also in the mornings. It’s surprisingly not very thick at all, but it’s very emollient. It has a lovely bubblegum scent and feels so hydrating. It combines shea butter, glycerin, murumuru butter (a plant butter from the Amazon) and candelilla wax (a shrub native to the US and Mexico). Wild raspberry also acts as a gentles exfoliant but also protects and repairs thanks to it’s antioxidant capabilities. The other berries in the ingredients (blueberry, cranberry and strawberry) are also antioxidants, fight damage. The other interesting ingredient is arabica coffee extract, which is probably an anti-inflammatory whilst also boosting circulation to the lips.
Before a party or a special event where you know you plan to be wearing a strong lip colour (especially a drying matte lippy) a good lip scrub plus a lip mask may be in order! In Asia and Korea specifically, lip masks in the shape of lips have become super popular! They usually also cover some of the skin around your lips, so the whole area is treated.
Both lip masks above are available from w2beauty (the best shop for Korean beauty purchases!) and you can find a tonne of similar products on the site. They generally contain
C7 Collagen & 24k Gold Lip Mask ($34 for a 6 pack). It contains allantoin (super soothing), 24 karat gold which stimulates circulation, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, E and B3, just to name a few!
Skin around the Lips
If you are over the age of 30, you may have noticed that the skin around your lips is getting a little thinner or that your lipstick bleeds more easily. You may want to invest in a product which treats the skin around your lips specifically, as well as the lips. These products are used after your daily moisturiser (so on top of) but before makeup. You pat it on around the lips and then whatever product is leftover, you dab a little onto the lips themselves. It primes the area keeping your makeup in place, while hydrating and keeping the skin firm. They usually use heavy duty moisturisers as well as firming peptides and antioxidants. Clinique do a wonderful product of this sort, called All About Lips ($40).
The SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair ($59) is even more heavy duty, using antioxidants like silymarin and vitamin E to treat damage and smooth the surface of the lip area. AHAs in the formula, also help prevent the lips from getting flaky and overly dry.
I bet you never knew that there were sooo many products dedicated to lip care huh?! I think it’s an area which deserves some extra love and attention, so I hope you found something in this post useful!
What are you favourite lip care products to use?
Until next time beauties!
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