Fabulous Lips, Whatever the Weather
Across the country, women are spending millions of dollars on their skin. We moisturize, peel, protect, exfoliate and massage – all to keep skin looking young and soft.
Our lips, however, are a different matter altogether. Often, the very same woman who just spent a great deal of time and energy cleansing and moisturizing her face will walk out into the elements without so much as giving a second thought to her lips!
With their thin outer layer and lack of oil glands, lips are prone to extreme dryness. They also contain very little melanin and are easily burnt without protection. Along with an increase in skin cancer, due to overexposure to the sun, dermatologists are also seeing an increase in lip cancer.
Tamra Orr, a mother of four from Gresham, Ore., makes sure to moisturize her lips every night with an organic lip balm. She knows she should protect them before going outdoors but finds it difficult to manage. "During the day, it's too easily rubbed off or passed on to someone else's lips," says Orr. "At night, I put it on and go to sleep. By morning, it is gone and my lips are soft and moist."
Dr. Bruce Freund, a cosmetic dentist and founder of the Lip Clinic in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., believes the No. 1 mistake women make is concentrating on their teeth instead of their whole smile. "Many women come into my practice wanting beautiful teeth to give them a perfect smile," says Dr. Freund. "As a dentist, I don't only focus on someone's teeth. It's hard for a patient to get a perfect smile if their lips are consistently neglected. Your teeth and lips go together. Most women use lipstick every day, but the truth is, women are more likely to apply a body cream or get a facial than properly care for their lips, even though they are one of the most exposed areas of the skin."
Just as women often have a weekly care regime for their skin, Dr. Freund believes that women should also have a weekly lip care routine. To keep lips supple, Dr. Freund suggests that women exfoliate their lips gently using a soft toothbrush and a lip exfoliator. "Apply in a circular motion with your fingertips and gently massage your lips with a lip exfoliator," says Dr. Freund. "For an extra boost, use an old soft toothbrush. Brush your lips, wash with a cloth and apply a lip balm with sunscreen for extra moisture and protection."
Get Kissable Lips
Sun, wind and cold can all take their toll on your lips. Moisturizing is key in fighting the dehydrating effects of the elements. Moisturizers can generally be applied before you put on your lipstick. In Dr. Freund's Lip Clinic Lip Kit, you put the Lip Dew (moisturizer) on directly after the Lip Renew exfoliant. The kit also includes a lip filler, lip plumper and lip keep, a product designed to keep your lipstick on all day. Other well-known lip moisturizers include ChapStick and Aquaphor by Eucerin.
The Fun Stuff!
Never in the history of lip fashion have their been so many alternatives for making your lips plump and pouty. Lip plumpers are now commonplace. Some use irritants to plump your lips into kissable shape, while others use a more conventional method of enhancing your own collagen.
City Lips, by City Cosmetics, uses the latter method and Marie Taylor, the co-founder of City Cosmetics, believes her product is the best on the market. "Other lip plumping products don't work," says Taylor. "They burn and irritate lips to plump for only a few minutes. Check the ingredients and avoid cheap lip products that use capsicum, niacin, menthol or peppermint. These ingredients cannot build collagen."
The other products may not build collagen for a longer lasting pout, but they actually do plump your lips for a short amount of time, which is perfect for that big night out! Just make sure you don't give him a smooch right after you apply it or it'll be a kiss he'll never forget, thanks to a stinging sensation. Whoever said that beauty is pain knew what they were talking about, but products like DuWop Bee Venom and Fat Kiss and Lip Injection by Too Faced Cosmetics make your thin lips fashionably plump. Worth a bit of discomfort, don't you think?
The Self Lip Exam
Lip cancer has a good recovery rate if caught early, so monthly lip exams are suggested. A good reminder is to do it around the same time you give yourself your monthly breast exam.
Check your lips closely; lip cancer often begins with a weakening of the line between the red of the lips and the white just below the lip line. It also presents itself as a small scaly-like area that won't disappear in a short time as cold sores do. If you find an area like this, watch it closely and see your dermatologist. If you are going to be in the sun, use a moisturizer that contains a sunscreen such as Sunbrellas by JASON or ChapStick's Ultra.
Lip care doesn't have to be complicated. Just remember to exfoliate, moisturize, plump and protect and you, too, can have gorgeous, healthy, kissable lips!