Be it the summer or winter, our lips deserve attention. But what exactly is it that you should be doing? There are so many formulations available today – balm, butter, oil, serum, and more. Well, let us break it down for you.
Why is lip care important?
You may wonder, can’t you just use your moisturisers and serums on your lips too? Turns out, you cannot. This is because the skin on your lips is a lot more different than that on the rest of your face and body. There are two key differences: firstly, the skin on your lips is much thinner and secondly, it does not have any oil glands.
So if you are someone with oily or combination skin and use a gel-based or lightweight moisturiser, that may be enough for your face but the same cannot be said for your lips. For the lips, you require something that is thicker and more long-lasting.
Common lip problems
Here are a few common lip problems you have probably faced:
Chapped lips are something most of us struggle with and are largely a result of dryness. This dryness can be a result of both internal and external factors. One common reason for chapped lips is that you are not drinking enough water.
The same applies to your skin and even scalp. Hydration is really important and often what happens on the outside is a reflection of what happens on the inside.
Of course, chapped lips become more common as the weather turns cooler. Sun damage or exposure to excessive heat can also dry out your lips.
Splitting is indicative of acute dryness and is more common in cold environments and dry weather. If you are in a cold and dry climate and are experiencing splitting, try using a humidifier.
Pigmented lips are mostly a result of genetics. They could also occur due to sun damage from UV rays.
Types of Lip care Products
As mentioned before, lip care comes in a wide variety of formulations and with a varying mix of ingredients, each serving a different purpose. So how should you know which to use when? Well, it all depends on what your lip concerns are.
If you are struggling with pigmented lips, look for lip balms that contain antioxidants such as vitamin C. Antioxidants are repairing, help fight free radicals, and brighten the skin. Antioxidants also protect the skin from further sun damage.
Lip Balm vs Butter vs Serum: how are they different?
Often you will find different types of lip balms in the form of oils, masks, serums, and butters. These all offer the same thing – moisturisation and nourishment – but have different consistencies. If your lips are not too dry, you can opt for a serum or a lightweight balm.
For drier lips, opt for a lip butter, oil, or mask. These generally contain more occlusive ingredients – ingredients that sit on top of the skin and prevent any moisture from seeping out. Occlusive ingredients also protect the skin from external aggressors such as wind. Given their thick consistency, these formulations also tend to be more long-lasting.
Ideally, your lip balm should contain a mix of hydrating and occlusive ingredients – you want something that adds hydration to your lips and an occlusive lip balm to protect that hydration from escaping. You can also consider layering lip balms too.
Lip Scrubs: what do they do?
Just like the skin on your face, the skin on your lips needs regular exfoliation. Dead cells tend to accumulate and can even result in an uneven texture and pigmentation. This is where lip scrubs come in. They also add more hydration and moisturise your lips.
You should ideally exfoliate your lips 1 to 2 times a week.
Tip: Struggling to get a good texture with your matter lipstick? Take a lip scrub, gently rub it on your lips for a minute or so. Rub off the lip scrub and follow it up with a lip balm. Gently blot off the lip balm and then apply your matte lipstick.
Lip care: Dos and Donts
Don’t lick your lips
A lot of us tend to lick our lips in order to hydrate them but this action does the opposite. Enzymes in our saliva are also not well suited to our lips, making your lips feel drier still.
Drink a minimum of 2-3 litres of water every day. Hydration is important for your skin, lips, hair, and overall well being too!
Don’t skip your lipcare at night
Wake up to chapped lips in the morning? Use a thick occlusive lip balm before you head to sleep. The thick consistency will keep your lips plump and will prevent any moisture from escaping. You can even apply an oil to your lips such as Coconut or Almond oil.
Do protect your lips from UV damage
Our lips need protection from the sun too! You can either use a lip balm that contains SPF or apply your regular sunscreen on top of your lip balm.