Lip Care Basics

Beautiful and healthy lips can contribute to a beautiful smile, as the lips are one of the central features that people's eyes naturally gravitate towards. While lip shape and structure is determined by genetics, proper lip care can make a huge difference in its overall appearance. Unlike other areas of skin, the lips lack sebaceous glands, which produce oil and helps the skin retain moisture.

The lips also commonly come into contact with irritants when eating or drinking, and are exposed to environmental hazards like cold temperatures and winds. The most common complaint with the lip is that it becomes dry and chapped easily. This can present a cosmetic problem, but is also extremely irritating, and often painful. Fortunately, chapped lips are relatively easy to treat, and small lifestyle adjustments can prevent most cases of chapped lips.

Prevention:

  • Avoid cold weather, dry air, and strong winds as much as possible as they dry out the lips very quickly
  • Wear a scarf over your mouth during cold winter days
  • Avoid bad habits like licking your lips or biting them, as this drains the moisture out of the lips. Enzymes that are in saliva serve to irritate the lips.
  • Avoid acidic drinks and spicy foods as much as possible when the lips are irritated, as these can further dry out and damage the lips
  • Be health conscious-eat well, and exercise regularly and strengthen your immune system. The lips are often the first to show signs that your immune system may be temporarily weakened.
  • Smoking will weaken your immune system, and has short-term and long-term negative effects on your lips.
  • Dehydration can play a role in dried lips. Thirst is not the best indicator of dehydration; you should aim for 8 to 10 glasses of water or similar liquids.
  • A humidifier in the house can help to add moisture to the air, which can be especially dry in the winter, when people tend to rely heavily on indoor heating.
  • In some cases, dried and chapped lips are the result of an allergic reaction.
Lip Care
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