The countdown to party season has begun so time to get your lips mistletoe ready.
Most women want a sexy pout but sadly as we get older our lips lose their pillowy plumpness and the tissue around them loses their volume, too. Then there is the problem we hear most at the clinic – barcode lips – the 21st century expression for smoker’s lines, the wiggly grooves which run from the top lip right up to the nose. The good news is that there is loads you can do to turn back the clock on your smile in time for kissmas. Here’s how to get luscious looking lips – fast. Now where’s that mistletoe…
Problem Dry, Chapped Lips
Your lips are like a sponge. When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up, but when dehydrated they dry out and shrink, especially during cold, windy winter month. The lips have no oil glands (oil is like a barrier for skin, helping to protect it) so they can easily become cracked and chapped – here’s how to soften them up.
*Stop licking lips as this damages the protective barrier, which can dry out the lips, (saliva contains digestive enzymes that can break down this barrier). Keep a tube of lip balm handy at all times – try Lanolips 101 which contains pure lanolin (£10.99 from Waitrose). Need an emergency treatment then try a slick of honey or olive oil, great for lip hydration. For special night out try one of the new lip treatments like Bardou Booster Lip (£15 www.thebardou.com) packed with hyaluronic acid and honey to deliver an instant shot of nourishment and increase moisture levels. Slick it on, leave for two minutes before applying lipstick and lips will look glossy, hydrated and fuller.
*Exfoliate lips at least once or twice a week which will boost blood circulation, remove dead skin and aid cell renewal. If lips are very sensitive and flaky, smooth on some Vaseline first and use a dry toothbrush to gently brush back and forth Matte lipsticks can be extremely drying so use them sparingly when your lips are extremely chapped. Use a lipstick which doubles as a balm instead– try Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm which delivers a hint of colour and 8 hours of moisture (£5.99 burtsbees.co.uk)
* The lack of iron, Vitamin B and fatty acids in your body can play a role in lip cracking and scaling. Vitamin A is also necessary for skin repair and is specially recommended to protect against chapped lips. Be sure to take a multivitamin/mineral supplement every day to protect against deficiencies that may be causing your chapped lips.
Also, drink more water to keep the body, skin and lips hydrated.
*Peeling lips could be a sign of an allergic reaction to a lipstick, toothpaste, food, beverage, or medication. Related symptoms include itching and a persistent rash. A mild over the counter topical hydrocortisone cream can help decrease the irritation and can also help very chapped lips.