How to get your lips in great shape this summer
Whether you’re a ‘less is more’ and gloss-wearing kind of gal or a matte, high octane lipstick lover – think MAC’s Ruby Woo - you’re not going to get the look that you’re going for if your lips aren’t in great shape to begin with. Lip prep is key (and often overlooked) but thinking of it in terms of your base, it’s a no brainer; you wouldn’t throw your foundation on bare skin but would use a moisturiser (and even a primer) beforehand and you need to apply the same philosophy and care when looking after your lips and preparing them for colour.
Think of your lips as a sponge in that when they’re exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up; when dehydrated, they dry out and shrink, and nobody wants that look do they?! And given that they're always exposed, they're prone to dehydration; during the cold, windy winter months as well as in the roasting, dry summer heat that we have here in the Southern hemisphere. The skin on the lips is also unlike anywhere else on the body; it’s thinner and has no oil glands (and as we all know oil acts as a barrier for skin, helping to protect it from the elements) and no ability to create sun-filtering natural melanin. This means that they have virtually no protection of their own and the end result can be that not looked after, your lips will be red, rough, sore and chapped, which is hardly the foundation for that fuchsia lip that you were planning to rock!
But the good news is that even if your lips are in pretty shoddy condition, you can get them ship shape in no time at all; just follow these three simple steps and you’ll be ready to go with a perfectly, plump pout.
Water constitutes about 60% of our body so it kind of goes without saying that maintaining this percentage is essential, and if you don’t keep optimum hydration levels then the effects will show on your skin too; and lips being the least naturally equipped for self-preservation, will be the first to show the effects.
To retain the natural colour and moisture levels of your lips, it’s essential to drink plenty of water throughout the day; it’s also helpful to add high water-content fruit and veggies to your diet such as cucumber, watermelon, orange, grapefruit and lemon to help you hit those water intake goals.
Skin cells undergo a constant process of renewal, replacing the dead layer of cells on the outside with a fresh layer of cells. This is the process that keeps our skin soft and supple and your skin can look dead and dull when this layer isn’t completely shed. The same applies to your lips! To avoid this, make sure that you exfoliate at least once every week; there are lots of options on the market for this, from natural, home-made scrubs that you can prepare with store cupboard ingredients (e.g. olive oil and brown sugar) to chemical lip exfoliators (products that contain fruit- acid-based alpha or beta hydroxy acids) which slough off dead skin and are much like the ones that you'd use on your face.
Use a great lip balm!
Finally, regular use of a good lip balm offers the fastest remedy for chapped, dry lips and helps to get your lips into great shape. And all lip balms are not created equal so make sure you pick an effective one!
Can you recommend one I hear you ask? Well I might be a wee bit biased but I couldn’t recommend our brand spanking new Lips Alive enough as it’s jam packed with active, natural ingredients. It contains hydrating beeswax which doesn’t clog pores, creates a soft, silky texture and helps to create a thin, protective layer over skin to help prevent loss of moisture and to help protect it from environmental assaults; grapeseed oil, a wonderful emollient which moisturises and is rich in vitamins C, D and E, all of which help to reduce wrinkles and scars; and last but not least lycopene – our anti-aging, anti-oxidant and ant-inflammatory hero ingredient - which is extracted from our purpose bred Australian tomatoes and which packs one powerful punch!
This tube of loveliness will essentially relieve sun damage, soothe dryness, ease inflammation and restore natural health to your lips so is definitely one to pick up and try on for size. Head on over to our shop and put a tube or three in your cart; if you’re like me, you’ll want one in your handbag, one in your gym bag and one in the car!