Now, we’ve all seen pictures in magazines and advertisements of plump, smooth, soft pinkish looking lips. We’ve all wondered at one point or the other how to get our lips looking this healthy. Having cracked and chapped lips can make one very uncomfortable. Today we’re going to discuss all basics about lip care.
Why do we need to take care of our lips?
Our lips need the extra care and attention as compared to the rest of the body skin. This is because the skin of the lips is much thinner than body skin. Due to the reduced amount of oil glands and the inability of the lips to create sun filtering melanin the lips are more prone to cracking and chapping as they have no protection of their own. Their increased susceptibility to cuts and cracks leaves them open to a lot of infections which can be very risky.
What causes unhealthy lips?
Chapped lips are generally caused due to a general lack of moisture and dehydration of the lips and it is caused mostly in dry climate generally seen in the seasons of summer and winter. Sunburn, excessive wind exposure, licking your lips and mouth breathing may also cause cracked lips. Chromic chapped or cracked lips that do not heal for long periods of time may be an indicator of a serious underlying, undiagnosed condition.
Darkening of lips or hyperpigmentation is the result of extra levels of melanin which maybe a result of various medical or lifestyle factors such as excess exposure to sun, dehydration, increased consumption of caffeine and smoking cigarettes. Sometimes dark lips can be an indicator of conditions such as anemia, vitamin deficiency etc.
What do your lips say about you?
More often than not chapped lips, etc. are just acute conditions and can be resolved with minor effort but sometimes persistent poor condition of lips can be an indicator of something serious-an underlying disease condition. Let’s take a look at what those are:
- Cracked lips can be an indicator of a yeast or bacterial infection. This can be caused due to the collection of drool at the corners of the mouth while sleeping.
- Discoloration of lips can occur due to smoking, consumption of colored foods but in some cases it may also indicate liver diseases.
- Swelling of lips may be caused due to an allergic reaction due to consumption of certain kinds of foods like peanuts, etc.
- While swelling occurs due to food consumption tenderness of lips occurs due to topical application of certain products such as lipsticks, toothpastes, etc. Tenderness to touch often occurs in case of more serious allergic conditions and is accompanied by redness and inflammation of lips.
- Cold sores maybe the result of herpes simplex virus and it is often announces its arrival by a tingling sensation.
How to take care of your lips?
1. Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
The best, easiest thing to do prevent your lips from being chapped is to hydrate by drinking enough water that keeps the lips moisturized from the inside to give you plump looking healthy lips.
2. Healthy eating
Just like a well-balanced and nutritious diet is required for the functioning and general health of the body similarly a healthy diet is also needed in order to have healthier lips.
Just like the lips need to be hydrated from the inside they can be also moisturized externally by making use of products like lip balms, lip creams. There are products available in the market that can be put overnight on skin keeping them moisturized for longer periods of times.
4. Massaging your lips
Certain oils and creams can be used to massage and rub onto the skin of the lips in order to improve the blood flow and circulation to lips thus making them look fuller, smoother and healthier.
5. Scrubbing your lips
Scrubbing forms an important part of lip care regime as it helps in removal of dead skin cells thus reducing the chances of infection leaving you with healthy lips. There are many lip scrubs available in the market and lip scrubs can also be made at home from simple kitchen ingredients.
6. Always remove makeup before going to bed
It is absolutely essential to remove any and all of the cosmetic products applied thus allowing the lips to breathe fully by increasing their exposure to air. Cotton wipes or balls can be used to remove any makeup products as makeup can leave the lips severely dehydrated.
7. Avoid touching and licking your lips
Touching and licking your lips unnecessarily leaves them susceptible to a varied range of infections as mentioned earlier the lips do not have any protective mechanism or barrier of their own. Habits such as mouth breathing must also be avoided as it leads to an increased loss of saliva leaving the area dehydrated and dry.
It is also important to not share any articles such as toothbrushes, napkins etc. with a person having a lip or mouth infections. Also it is highly inadvisable to kiss any person that has a lip infection as it can cause the spread of many sexually transmitted diseases.
8. No smoking
Habits such as smoking cigarettes or consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can prove to be bad not only for the lips as they cause darkening of the skin but also dangerous for the body as it can cause lung cancer among other diseases.
Now that you know everything there is to know about taking care of your lips keep in mind the above tips to get healthy lips.
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