The Importance of Caring for Your Lips Properly
It is very important to take good care of your lips. Despite this, many people do not take the time to care for their lips properly, or ignore them completely. The skin on our lips is thinner and more easily irritated than the skin on other parts of our bodies. Because of this, our lips need more protection and gentler care to keep it healthy.
Most women remove their eye makeup with great care, because we know that the skin around our eyes is delicate and easily damaged. However, we are often rough with our lips, some of us even wipe and scrub our lip cosmetics off with tissues, or napkins. Many of us don’t realize just how delicate our lips are, or that this rough treatment will lead to pigmentation and fine lines over time. Taking good care of your lips, should be as much of a priority as taking good care of the skin around your eyes.
The skin on our lips is very different from the skin on our face and their care is very different as well. But, how are they different? Let’s take a look.
The Skin on Our Faces:
- Sebaceous Glands: yes
- Stratum Corneum: thicker, keratinization
- Rate of Moisture Evaporation: slow, slow, 11-19g/m2/Hr
- NMF: rich, 0.76-1.27 μ mol/mg
- Moisture Content: high, 30-39 μ
The Skin on Our Lips:
- Sebaceous Glands: no
- Stratum Corneum: thinner, no keratinization
- Rate of Moisture Evaporation: fast, 40-78g/m2/Hr
- NMF: less, 0.12 μ mol/mg
- Moisture Content: low, 15-25 μ
As you can see displayed in the comparison above, the skin on our lips varies greatly from the skin on our faces. Our lips have no sebaceous glands and the rate at which they lose moisture is more intense. Common lip problems revolve around the lack of oil glands and moisture loss. Some symptoms of common lip problems are dryness, roughness, skin darkening, fine lines and pigmentation.
Common Lip Problems and Treatment
Our lips will always have lines, or creases to an extent. In most cases these lines are shallow, barely visible and do not interfere with our cosmetics. For some people though, this isn’t this case. Some of us have deep lines and noticeable creases that are not visually appealing and also affect the appearance of our makeup. If you have deep lines in your lips, don’t worry. They can be treated, but for every solution, there is a cause.
Causes of Lines in Our Lips:
- Lack of moisture
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Lip fatigue and flabby muscles
- Irritating food, smoking and drinking
- Removing makeup too roughly
- Congenital reasons
Treatment of Lines in Our Lips:
- Drink plenty of water. If you feel that your lips are dry, apply chapstick, or lip balm and don’t lick your lips. Honey has a strong moisturizing and softening effect, which makes it suitable for lip moisturizing and protection. Besides balms, you can apply honey to the lips and keep it on for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement vitamins for healthier skin overall.
- Massage your lips properly for 2 minutes every day to promote blood circulation.
- Gently remove your lip makeup. Hold a cotton pad with lip color remover to your lips for 10 seconds, then gently wipe your lips from top to bottom, inside to outside. Do not wipe lipstick directly with tissues, doing so will strongly stimulate lip capillaries, deepen lip color and cause fine lines.
- The most effective treatment for congenital deep lines is to inject HA. This is not a long-term solution, so it is vital to pay more attention to daily care.
Dark lips can be an inconvenience, because of the dark color. The biggest problem that people experience with dark lips is that the colors of their lipsticks are impaired. Some people are born with dark lips, but in other cases the darkening of their lips color is caused by age and bad habits.
Causes of Darkened Lip Color:
- Lip makeup residue
- UV radiation
- Poor blood circulation
- Congenital reasons
Treatment of Darkened Lip Color:
- Choose suitable lip color remover and wipe your lips softly and slowly.
- Choose a lip balm with broad-spectrum sun protection, to protect the lips from the drying effects of the sun during the daytime. At night, lip balm containing vitamin C can be used to lighten your lips and moisturize them through the night.
- Applying a hot towel to your lips for 10-20 minutes will make your lips more ruddy. You can also gently massage your lips with your fingers after brushing your teeth at night to promote blood circulation.
- If you were born with dark lips and you don’t like them, you can’t change their color overnight. You can add more fruits containing high levels of vitamin C, like strawberries, tomatoes, cherries and watermelons to your diet. You can also apply a lip mask to moisturize your lips and improve their color.
The skin on our lips is thinner than the skin on any other part of our body. If our lips are directly exposed to cold and dry air, they easily accumulate dead skin. Dead skin hinders their ability to absorb moisture and nourishment. To avoid this build up of dead skin cells, it is important to scrub the dead skin away regularly.
Causes of Dry Lips:
- Habitually licking your lips
- Toothpaste residue
- Breathing through your mouth
- Lack of protection from the sun, or cold weather
Treatment of Dry Lips:
- Don’t lick or suck your lips. When our lips are dry and dehydrated, we tend to habitually lick our lips. Our first instinct is to use saliva to relieve the discomfort of dry lips. However, this makes our lips drier. Although your saliva will temporarily moisturize your lips, the digestive enzymes in your saliva will remain on your lips, making your lips harder and drier.
- Many people often neglect to wash their face after brushing their teeth. They just wipe their face with a towel, or even their hands. Ingredients found in toothpaste, like sodium dodecyl sulfate, cinnamic aldehyde and carvone can irritate the delicate skin on our lips causing dryness, redness and itchiness.
- Don’t breathe through your mouth. Frequently breathing through your mouth will take away the moisture of your lips. If you have a cold or it is hard to breathe through your nose, you can apply a moisturizing lip balm before bed to reduce the evaporation of lip moisture.
Cheilitis is inflammation of the lips. This inflammation may include the perioral skin (the skin around the mouth), the vermilion border, or the labial mucosa. Most cheilitis is caused by exogenous factors such as dryness, chapping and acute sun exposure.
Causes of Cheilitis:
- Chronic sun exposure: The more often the lips are exposed to sunlight, the more likely damage is to occur.
- Smoking: Smoking or chewing tobacco can weaken the lip epithelium and make it more vulnerable to sun damage.
- Excessive alcohol use.
- Exposure to cold temperatures
Treatment of Cheilitis:
- Limiting further sun and weather exposure is usually the most important part of treatment. Applying lip balms or moisturizers that contain sunscreen throughout the day, especially when in the sun.
- Stopping smoking, the use of chewing tobacco and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption.
- Changing Your Diet, this illness can be caused by a deficiency in certain minerals. For example, you can start consuming green leafy vegetables such as spinach, soybeans and others that contain iron, zinc in vitamin B2. If you are not able or willing to make major changes to your diet, then you may need to use a vitamin supplement instead. There are a lot of supplements available these days.
Permanent or Semi-Permanent Lip Makeup
Modern women tend to obsess over fashionable makeup styles, including all kinds of lipsticks. However, it takes lots of time to apply the makeup. Recently, permanent or semi-permanent lip makeup has become very popular among young ladies. These forms of lip color have a long-lasting effect, without the need to reapply the lipstick often. However, there are also side effects like viral infection, bacterial infection and herpes simplex caused by inflammation. So, the care routine after getting permanent or semi-permanent lip makeup is very important.
Caring for Your Lips After Getting Semi-Permanent, or Permanent Lip Color:
- Washing, sauna use, swimming and strenuous sports are prohibited. Applying a repairing cream on the wounds under your doctors supervision every day is recommended to prevent scabbing and color fading.
- Pay attention to your oral hygiene. Rinse your mouth with saline, or salt water before and after meals.
- Keep your regular diet while incorporating more fruits and vegetables to improve immunity.Do not eat irritating, or spicy foods such as chilli and seafood.
- If the area is red, painful or oozing pus, please see a doctor.
- Don’t apply any lipsticks, or other chemicals to your lips for 3 months, in order to promote recovery and give your lips time to heal.