With the start of summer quickly approaching, it’s a great time to review some tips on keeping your lips hydrated, soft and protected. When the temperature climbs, your lips become exposed to damaging ultraviolet (UV) rays as well as the change in temperature going inside into air conditioning and back out into the elements. These changes can leave your lips feeling both dry and chapped.
In addition, your lips are not like the rest of the skin on your body. Your lips contain no melanin. Melanin helps protect your skin from UV rays. Since your lips are melanin free, they run a much higher risk of getting burnt. Your lips also do not have any sebaceous or oil glands like the rest of your body. These glands help keep your skin moisturized, but your lips are literally left high and dry. Here are a few ways to ensure your lips stay kissable all summer long.
Dry, cracked lips are not limited to the winter season. Whatever the cause, it’s important to exfoliate the dull, dry skin cells off your lips. They will not only look healthier, but your lipstick or gloss will go on much easier. Look for a gentle exfoliant that is free of chemical preservatives or synthetic dyes especially since it is going by your mouth.
Sugar & Butter by jane iredale is a great lip exfoliator. Organic brown sugar gently removes dull, dry skin. With no chemical preservatives or synthetic dyes to worry about, eat the sugar crystals right off your lips! As an added bonus, the other end is a hydrating lip plumper!
Don’t neglect your lips when applying sunscreen this summer. Look for a lip balm free of petroleum-based ingredients with an SPF of 15 or higher. Many common lip balms that include petroleum come from the same oil used to make grease and gasoline. Why would you want to put that on your lips? Do you know someone who is addicted to their lip balm? People who are regular users of petroleum-based lip balms are on a continual drying cycle — the more they use it the drier their lips become. This makes it essential to choose a lip balm that will actually hydrate your lips. According to the Mayo Clinic, lip cancer is the most common form of oral cancer, occurring most often in men. Ladies, if your husband loves to golf or fish during the summer, be sure to help him keep his lips protected too with the proper SPF-containing lip balm.
My favorite lip SPF is jane iredale’s Lip Drink. In a base of macadamia nut oil, they’ve added the active sunscreen ingredient of edible zinc oxide for an SPF 15 and broad-spectrum sun protection. Plus it has a velvety feel and tastes like a mix of lemons and oranges. The packaging is great for men as well.
Summer is a great time to lighten up your lip color with a soft sheer lip plumper. Some lip plumpers even have peptides in them which increase hydration and stimulate collagen. Look for a plumper containing such ingredients as shea butter, sunflower oil and aloe vera to help soften and hydrate your lips.
jane iredale’s line of lip plumpers called Just Kissed offer a sheer natural color, temporarily plump your lips and hydrate them all at the same time!
With these simple suggestions your lips will be protected and pretty all summer long. Be sure to talk to a medical skin care specialist if you have any questions about keeping your lips soft and safe all year long.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com.