Our lips are an invaluable resource at conveying emotion and helping us to be our most confident; scientists have even proven that the size and composition of our lips has a direct relationship with how attractive we’re deemed to be. Having a healthy, radiant, powerful pout can mean the difference between feeling on top of the world and feeling like you’d rather stay in bed – that’s why we’re collectively so obsessed with the power of a great red lipstick! However, it’s easy to become complacent when it comes to your lips (and neglect them in favour of anything from your under-eye circles to your cuticles,) as we don’t often notice there’s an issue until it’s too late. Whether that’s dryness, irritation, lack of plumpness (or god forbid a cold sore!) by the time our bodies tell us some things up we’re forced to go into full-on war room mode; so what if there were things you could do to make a long-term difference, ensuring your pout was always preened and perfect? Here are five of my top tips to ensure your lips are healthy and kissable all year long.
TO PREVENT COLD SORES
I’ve experienced my fair share of cold sores over the years and they’re never fun. Once they’ve appeared they leave your lips uncomfortable, sore, crusty and visually a little bit bleugh – and most importantly, they prevent you from applying the products you want to use. Cold sores can zap your confidence and leave you wanting to hide away, but thankfully we can find lip products that can help like carmax or some other medicated lip products. Applying a small amount around the edge of lips both morning and night can help prevent the appearance of cold sores, even up to that first tingle. The HSV1 virus that causes cold sores reactivates by sending signals between particles to ‘wake-up’ and start replicating so they can spread. Clever eh? Put it by your toothbrush so you remember to apply every time you brush your teeth!
USE A SOOTHING LIP BALM
Many of the lipglosses and lipsticks we use are enriched with ingredients that can irritate or dry out the surface of lips; if you’ve ever applied a red lipstick multiple times in one day, you’ll be very familiar with the sensation! Investing in a great lip balm that will help replenish lost moisture and inject goodness into the skin (through ingredients such as Vitamin E, coconut oil, beeswax or shea butter) will ensure you’ve always got a helping hand at your side. Drop one in your bag and on your desk so you can top up throughout the day.
BUFF THOSE LIPS ONCE A WEEK
Exfoliating away a build-up of dry and dead skin cells will help rejuvenate the skin beneath, while encouraging blood to rise to the surface (providing a more youthful and plump appearance.) Whether you want to make your own scrub with a touch of sugar and coconut oil, or opt for a store-bought version, make sure you buff the formula gently over lips once a week (or after you’ve been wearing lipstick) to leave your pout feeling fresh and smooth. Finish off with a bit of balm to soothe.
Just like with our skin, our lips can benefit from a little overnight pampering. While our bodies are in ‘go slow’ mode they can focus more on repair, putting products to work effectively so you awake rejuvenated. Apply either a thick layer of your usual lip balm or moisturiser before bed, so it can work to soothe and hydrate as you sleep; if you’re a regular lipstick wearer then this is also the perfect way to ensure your lips are always the perfect blank canvas ready to be painted.
Rather surprisingly, dry air can also dry out your lips – especially in the winter when the air can be dryer and our lips are exposed to cold winds. Investing in a humidifier to place in rooms where you spend a lot of time (such as your living room or bedroom) will help to infuse more moisture into the air; turning it on while you sleep will boost the performance of your products, while ensuring the delicate top layers are plumped full of moisture. I’ve had one of these in my bedroom for around a year and it’s definitely helped prevent dryness and left my skin feeling so soft and plump.
Although it’s a little late for resolutions, I’m definitely going to try and treat my lips a little kinder throughout 2017. One of my best friends suffers from horrendous cold sores and self confidence issues when they erupt, so I’m passing on my tips (along with a few tubes of my favorite lip balm) to see if it helps. Nobody should have to suffer with dry, irritated or sore lips – but luckily help is at hand, in your bag, in your pocket, and on the night stand, at your desk, ext!