10 Tips for Healthy Lips
The best way to ensure that your lips are healthy and happy is to take care of them every day. Treat them with the respect they deserve, and you’ll notice a difference in your overall health when you follow these ten tips for healthy lips!
1) Moisturize before bed
Moisturizing your lips before bed is a great way to keep them healthy while you sleep. Many people don’t want to wear lip gloss or lipstick to bed because of texture, but that’s okay—you can still moisturize your lips without making them look glossy. The best products contain shea butter and oils like coconut oil, which penetrate deeply into lips to promote suppleness and elasticity. Remember to remove all traces of makeup first (including lip color); otherwise you might end up rubbing it into your pillow case and accidentally ingesting it!
2) Wear lip balm all day long
When it comes to hydration, nothing beats a stick of lip balm. Not only do they prevent your lips from drying out, but they also help protect against environmental damage. When shopping for a new lip balm, look for one that contains sunscreen and has ingredients like beeswax or shea butter; both are known to hydrate and soften skin. And speaking of ingredients…
3) Exfoliate weekly
Remove dead skin cells that have built up on your lips. Exfoliating helps to boost circulation, which in turn allows new lip cells to grow. To exfoliate, you can either use a sugar scrub or apply plain brown sugar to dry lips, wait a few minutes and then rinse off with warm water. This will slough off dead skin cells without drying out your lips. You should exfoliate once a week at least but do it more often if needed. An alternative method is using a toothbrush, rubbing gently over your lips while they are dry – just remember not to press too hard or you’ll rub off some of your natural color!
4) Use a night mask once in a while
The skin on your lips is especially thin, which makes it particularly prone to dryness. During cold and flu season, you may find that your lips crack. While these cracks can be uncomfortable, they’re a great opportunity to try out an overnight mask. Night masks contain active ingredients designed to repair skin while you sleep—and they’re not just effective at treating chapped lips.
5) Avoid eating and drinking hot things in bed
It’s easy to cozy up in bed with a book or some late-night TV, but what you’re really doing is inviting trouble. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist environments—like your bed, explains Dayna Biesenthal, MD. Drinking hot liquids (especially coffee and tea) or eating spicy foods can cause micro-tears in your lips that bacteria can then sneak into. The result? An infection. If you want to enjoy warm things while you watch TV in bed, stick to cold drinks instead—and wipe down remotes and tabletops beforehand.
6) Wear sunglasses when you go outside
Ultraviolet rays from sunlight can damage your eyes and cause problems like pterygium, or surfer’s eye, a potentially blinding condition that begins with a growth of fibrous tissue over a cornea. Another common UV-related disease is cataracts, which are usually treatable and preventable if caught early. If you’re at high risk, you should get your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist on a regular basis. To decrease your risk, consider wearing sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection anytime you go outside—even if it’s cloudy out. It only takes 10 minutes in intense UV light to damage your corneas.
7) Exfoliate with sugar paste
Before applying your lipstick, brush a little sugar paste over your lips with a makeup sponge. It’ll remove any dead skin and leave your lips with a smooth finish. Use an SPF: An easy way to keep your lips healthy is to use a daily sunscreen that contains broad-spectrum protection of both UVA and UVB rays. Look for one with an SPF of at least 30 and apply it before you go outside. Drinking plenty of water helps too: Even mild dehydration can cause cracked, dry lips; so make sure you drink plenty of water every day (about half your body weight in ounces). Lip balm at bedtime: Keeping your lips moisturized overnight can do wonders for chapped or peeling skin.
8) Don’t lick your lips all the time
If you lick your lips often, you’re constantly depositing bacteria and dead skin on them. This can make your lips crack and then turn into a breeding ground for infection. If you find yourself compelled to lick your lips frequently, try using lip balm with sunscreen and using a lip exfoliator (which will remove some of that dead skin). Avoid chapstick with petroleum in it as it traps dirt and bacteria, which is likely one of things causing your cracked lips. If chapsticks with petroleum aren’t your thing, opt for tinted lip balms instead; these are great because they help even out discoloration while still nourishing dry skin.
9) Have patience with healing time. Healing can take weeks!
Your lips are soft and sensitive, so it’s important to not only keep them moisturized, but also to pay attention to how they feel. If you notice unusual changes, like dryness or cracking, seek out medical advice. You should also talk to your doctor if you notice changes in size or color of your lips. The sooner you catch a health problem, like dehydration or a fungal infection, before it has a chance to spread throughout your body (yes, such things exist), it’ll be easier on both you and your body.
10) Listen to your body, if something feels wrong, talk to someone about it
When your lips feel dry or crack regularly, it might be a sign that something isn’t quite right. If you notice your lips are starting to crack or flake more than normal, talk to your doctor about what could be causing it and whether anything can be done to help prevent it from happening again in the future. Depending on your medical history, changes in lip health could be a sign of an underlying medical condition. In some cases, however, there’s no cause for concern – but if you find yourself concerned about any changes you’re experiencing with your skin, talk to someone about them. You don’t have to suffer through problems with your lips alone!