From your smile, to your pout, to your snarl, and words that come from your mouth… lips are a central piece of your physical and communicative presence. With those smackers being center stage of your face, it’s important to keep them smooth and intact. Like any other parcel of skin on your body, lips need pampering too.
Cleansing and Exfoliating
Proper dental care will support proper lip care. Teeth brushing and the use of toothpaste and mouthwash will help to clear bacteria and germs from the pout. Additionally, a toothbrush or even a wash cloth can help to exfoliate dead skin leaving a smooth lip surface.
Although lip skin is mucosal skin, which makes its surface texture and appearance quite different, it is still skin! Hydrate this surface with gentle yet thick conditioning products. Cetaphil cream is a great product for an over-night lip mask. Items like coconut oil and plain old Vaseline are also great stand-bys for a night mask. For day time, use emollient products that won’t cause skin irritation, by avoiding lip balms/sticks with color or fragrance. Epiceram-L , Aquaphor lip balm, Cerave Healing Ointment, or a coconut balm like Yes To Coconut Lip Balm with Aloe, Coconut and Shea butter.
Although sunshine feels like a great big skin hug, it can actually have deleterious effects to all of your skin, even lips! UV rays can create precancerous lesions called actinic keratosis on lips or even skin cancer like squamous cell carcinoma. By the time such develops, a procedure like liquid nitrogen burning or even surgery may be needed, all of which can leave discoloration or scars. Prevention is key! Although the American Academy of Dermatology recommends an SPF of 30 or higher, it can be difficult to find greater than an SPF of 15 in lip balms. Try Sun Bum Coconut Lip Balm (SPF 30) made with aloe and vitamin E. Another great product set to hit the market this summer is Epiceram Lip Balm with SPF, a medical grade healing balm to sooth and protect.
For lips looking a little lizard like, irritants like excessive lip-licking, irritating chemicals (fragrance, colors, cinnamon toothpaste, and excessive citrus) may be to blame. Sooth and smooth with a store product like Dr. Dan’s Cortibalm with 1% hydrocortisone. For severe lip peeling and irritation, seek help from your Dermatology provider, as stronger steroids or other medications may be necessary.
By following the tips above a perfect healthy pout may be the future of your smackers!
*The information provided above or in any blogs on this site is for educational purposes only. I does not replace advice or necessary examination and diagnosis from your healthcare clinician. Please see your healthcare provider for any and all concerns with changes in your health or treatment of disease.*