Here’s your mission: name an actor or actress whose lips you find attractive. How many immediately come to mind? Three, four … ten? It’s pretty easy, right? Now try to name just one Hollywood star who has attractive teeth. Not nice teeth. Attractive teeth. Not so easy! The reason for that is because while we all like straight, white teeth, they’re really somewhat of a facial commodity. Everyone has them, and they pretty much all look the same. Lips, on the other hand are unique. So unique, in fact, that they’re a one of a kind – just like your fingerprints! So, take care of them you must. Here’s how to avoid dry, wrinkled, cold sore ridden lips all year long.
- Exfoliate! Once a week before bed, use your toothbrush to gently exfoliate your lips. This’ll work wonders if your lips are already chapped, but it can help minimize the occurrence of dry lips as well. Just hold the brush vertically, and brush gently across your lips in circles, much in the way you would brush your teeth. Once done, moisten ‘em up with a slightly damp warm towel, and apply a moisturizer like Vaseline®. Oh, and the best time to refresh your lips is overnight when they’re doing nothing but keeping the drool in your mouth! Which, by the way, is a good reason to keep them moisturized in the first place, because saliva drying on your lips all night is certainly not good for smooth lips in the morning.
- Kick the habit: If you want to avoid those vertical lines around the lips that can easily add 10-15 years to your face, you would do well to quit smoking as soon as possible. Why? Because smoking slows the rate of collagen renewal in the body –a side effect you might otherwise never notice – except that the space between your upper lip and your nose contains very little collagen to begin with. Due to this, long-term smokers experience a visual “thinning out” of the plumpness above the upper lip. If you’re a woman smoker, please know that women are a lot more susceptible to developing even deeper wrinkles as they have closer attachment of muscle fibers surrounding the lips – causing deeper creases in skin when you’re inhaling.
- Cold Sores: Research suggests 40% of Americans live with cold sores. And, if you’re in that group, avoiding them is a lifelong battle. Believe it or not, you can get a leg up on this viral nuisance by taking care of your lips and your body. Manage stress with plenty of sleep and good food that can thwart cold sore outbreaks, and protect your lips at all times – in all seasons – with a moisturizer containing sunscreen. It bears mentioning that using a sunscreen infused moisturizer is also a great way to protect your lips from cancer, which is far more common than you may realize.