Every year the seasons come and go, sometimes gliding by smoothly so that we don’t even see the transition, and other times it’s warm and sunny one day and cold and wintery the next. Whether you’re a summer or a winter person, one thing we all have in common is that our lips feel the change in seasons and don’t take too well to those overnight changes in weather.
Of course, it isn’t just weather that has a negative effect on our lips, there are too many factors to count that cause lips to dry out, chap or feel sore. But the important thing is seeing the signs, knowing what to avoid and what to do to prepare your lips for all situations so that they will always look and feel amazing.
So, think about a time when your lips felt really bad. Were they sore? Did they look like they were peeling or have dead skin? Or perhaps they were off colour? There is more than one way the lips can look and feel bad and each problem has a cause and a solution. Let’s delve into the world of lips and guide you through the problems and solutions and the all-important transformation to amazing lips.
Sore Lips: The Problem
Lips generally go through a lot each day. From talking to eating, makeup applications and cleansing as well as exposure to the elements outside and dry air inside. It is no surprise that they will feel sore from time to time, but when it becomes a recurring issue it can mean there may be underlying health issues or simply a lack of proper lip health care.
Other problems that cause dry and sore lips is licking them. We have all done it, and we all wish we hadn’t! But when they are already feeling a little on the dry side from lack of hydration, the most tempting thing to do can be to lick them. It’s almost a subconscious reaction and our brain tells us that it will provide instant relief, so when we do this we rarely think about how it will actually make them feel later. All this actually does is make them drier and feel much sorer especially if we haven’t got any balm or water to hand.
Dry and sore lips can be very painful and unfortunately quite noticeable. In yourself, you won’t be able to do normal things like eat, drink or talk without feeling uncomfortable, and in others, they may be able to see how chapped or inflamed your lips are. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do anything about it…
Sore Lips: The Solution
Just like the rest of our bodies when we have had a little too much over exposure to those bad things in life, our lips sometimes need a little TLC to get them feeling like their normal selves again. So, if you have dry and sore lips, don’t worry too much, there is always something you can do.
If your lips are sore from being outside in the cold so much, say during those long winter months where going outside is unavoidable the best cure is really prevention. So, preparing your lips will be the easy way to avoid the discomfort later. Moisturising lip balms are the way to go and they can do a lot more than just make your lips look shiny. But of course, they have to be applied regularly for lips to feel the benefit and not go through periods of inconsistent care.
Another popular choice for lips especially in winter is petroleum jelly or Vaseline as one of the more popular brands. The reason this stuff is so good is that it adds layers of protection while locking moisture in so it can penetrate deep into the skin providing hydration for longer periods of time. This is always a good choice for those who need convenience and great looking lips in one handy little pot.
In summer, exposure to the sun can cause more than just sore lips, did you know they can get sun burn even more easier than the skin on the rest of your body? And the damage can be lasting rather than fleeting unfortunately. Many of us are guilty of neglecting our lips when it comes to sun protection as it seems a weird place to go slapping on sun cream. But the option here is to buy a UV protection balm formulated especially for lips and to keep reapplying it while out on a hot sunny day. Especially after swimming, eating or drinking! This is important to prevent sun burnt lips and the agony that comes along with it later.
But if you do find yourself battling sunburned lips then you need to know what to do to heal them properly or you could end up making the problem worse. When lips have sun damage, they are likely to be swollen and inflamed as well as sore, so the priority is to reduce the swelling and stop them from burning. A cold compress such as a soft flannel and cool water will help immediate sun burn. But just lay it on the lips lightly and change the water as needed. Don’t try to rub the cloth into the skin as this will only irritate them more. Aloe Vera is also another great problems solver when it comes to inflammation. Along with its antioxidant properties it is a great way to soothe sore and sunburned lips. Having a plant or a little pot handy is the best option or go for a lip balm with natural Aloe Vera in it.
Hydration is always the key to repairing dry lips, whether it is from the sun or the cold, wintery winds, water is really one of the best medicines out there. And this doesn’t just mean applying a rich, hydrating balm, this means drinking plenty of the good stuff throughout the day. Not only a thirst quencher, water is the one thing that should pass the lips regularly when they are sore and dry. Avoid caffeine and alcohol and salty foods when you are trying to repair those lovely smackers, as it will just prolong the dryness and make them feel worse for a lot longer before they start to get better.
Having sore lips is annoying but keeping them in a state of dryness is going to be even worse in the long run. So always remember to carry a good balm or petroleum jelly out with you, apply a sun screening balm each day, drink plenty of water and never lick your lips. You will be well on your way to having a great set of lips if you can stick to these basic rules.
Cleansing Lips: The Problem
Like the rest of our face, lips need a good clean too on a regular basis. But the problem is improper cleansing routines can lead to lacklustre lips or even flaky and chapped lips. See, cleansing lips doesn’t just stop at them being clean, it should be a whole routine that allows them to look and feel the best they can at all times.
Lip cleansing problems can include using harsh products to remove makeup that can ruin the outer layers of skin, scrubbing to vigorously leading to sore and raw lips, not cleansing at all… well this will never end well, and not adding moisture back into the lips once they have been cleansed.
This problem is easily solved with a few steps in proper lip care that can take seconds or minutes of your time and new cleansing routines that will help to boost the colour and quality of your lips. This doesn’t mean spending a hefty amount of money on products either, just a little time and patience.
Cleansing Lips: The Solution
So, if you’re reading this then you probably want to know where you are going wrong with your cleansing routine and how to do something about it. If you’re a soap and water gal, you probably notice that your lips feel clean but often quite dry and have no sparkle. If you love wearing lip balm or petroleum jelly, but rarely take the time to cleanse your lips you probably find your lips are quite soft, but you can’t skip an application as they seem to just dry out instantly.
Lips balms are great, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the solution to cleansing, and you shouldn’t have to rely on 50 applications each day just to get by. So, let’s start with the cleaning part. Makeup removal is crucial before you get down to business specially to remove those stubborn bits of lipstick and to start with a clean slate. Then you want to make sure the rest of your face is clean and clear with a water-based cleanser that also removes grime and dirt from the skin around your mouth (yes, this sounds gross, but with all the foods and liquids passing by, the skin will happily collect it all!)
The next step is to exfoliate your lips, which may seem contradicting seeing as you are supposed to be kind and gentle to them, but it is really important to do this once or twice a week – any more than this will be damaging to the skin – and to put lip exfoliation high up on your list of priorities for lip care. The way to do this is easy; use a cotton flannel and some warm water and gently rub in circular motions around the top and bottom lips. This helps to remove dead skin as well as stimulating the blood vessels to promote cell growth and an all-round healthy glow.
Making the lips feel soft is a great thing, but knowing they look soft is such an added bonus. Especially as the cold weather hits, so add exfoliation to your cleansing routine and you’ll soon have lips of envy.
Lip Balms: The Problem
Lip balms generally shouldn’t cause any problems, but this doesn’t mean that all lip balms are good for lips unfortunately. We all know our own bodies better than anyone else so when it comes to things like this I always say to buy it yourself or as recommended from a trusted source. I’m sure many of us have been there where you receive a lovely Christmas or birthday gift with flavoured or scented lip balms that have fancy packaging and smell fantastic!
But the problem is that usually these are the ones that are more for show and less about lip care. So, when you feel tempted to use them, you might find that they aren’t really doing anything for your lips, or that they have a very tempting taste causing you to lick your lips. This is where the problems can start.
The other issue with lip balms is that there are so many of them and it can be hard to know which one to use to do the job you want it to. Hydration and moisture are always the key here, but if you have damaged lips then these types of balms may not be strong enough to help repair them with just everyday use. But as with everything in this world, where there is a problem, there is always a solution…
Lip Balms: The Solution
So, enough with the fancy flavoured lips balms for a bit, lets get down to business and find a good solution for lip repair. A great thing to look for in a lip balm is oil from natural sources such as soybean or coconut that do wonders for repairing damage and soothing the lips.
Hyaluronic acid is also a good ingredient for boosting cell growth and repair which can help to fill in those gaps and wrinkles that may have started to appear from long term dryness and damage. A great product for damage control and treatment should be something you don’t have to apply so many times a day to feel the benefits and one of those is Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm. This one works quickly and only requires a daily application after cleansing or before bedtime so that your lips get the benefits of it while you are resting, and your lips are not active.
This intensive care lip balm is great for enhanced lips too as it provides hydration while it repairs and isn’t sticky, so you won’t wake up with it all over your pillow. The key thing is it is free or artificial flavours and scents or additives that become tempting to lick or have dehydrating properties.
Lips are wonderful things, and if we just took a little time out each day to look out for them, they will repay us with their beautifully smooth texture, bright hue and shininess in the long run.