One of the less welcome results of Sri Lanka's tropical year-round hot climate is that your lips can become dry and chapped. This is why we have to take extra precautions with our 'smackers', as even the most expensive lipstick will not look beautiful on parched lips.
Here are 4 hush-hush tips to keep lips looking healthy this summer:
To combat the sultry heat and its effects on your lips, you must stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Licking them all the time will only make matters worse even though saliva is made of 99% water. Why? The remaining 1% of your saliva contains digestive enzymes, uric acid, electrolytes, mucus-forming proteins, and cholesterol that will increase the dryness. This means that although you lick your lips thinking that you are causing them to absorb water, you are in fact only reducing the sensation of having dry lips.
A lip balm or lip ointment with SPF 30 or higher can soothe and provide temporary comfort if applied to dry lips several times each day and before bed. However, you should make sure you use organic products rather than those that contain chemicals, fragrances, preservatives or distinctive flavours.
Better still, you could make your own lip mask by slapping natural honey all over your lips and leaving it for 15 minutes before removing it with warm water. Effective emollients, such as shea butter and moringa powder, will build up a skin barrier against environmental damage from UV rays and pollution. They will also make your skin softer and healthier.
Although the skin on your lips is sensitive and delicate, you can still exfoliate them (no more than twice per week) to remove dead skin cells and product accumulation, and to even out lip tone. Here’s how: use a soft toothbrush or a cotton bud with a dab of homemade paste made from ground brown sugar, coconut oil and honey, or chocolate, brown sugar, shea butter and walnut oil. Rub gently over your dry lips in small circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water, then apply a hydrating lip balm.
Pamper your lips at least twice a week to keep them soft and supple. For a smooth kissable pout, use your fingertips to massage them with aloe vera or coconut/almond oil to minimise the appearance of wrinkles and lines. Using peppermint oil on your lips can help to improve circulation too, and it has a cooling effect that will help to relieve dry lips. After massaging, gently pinch your upper lip between your thumb and index finger and go back and forth a few times. Massaging or kneading your lips may also increase the blood flow giving the illusion of a fuller pout!
To prevent damage to the skin on your lips, you might want to use a primer before applying lipstick. This will help prevent your lips becoming dry from the effect of colouring products, whilst also ensuring that the lipstick doesn't smear. Lip primers can serve to increase the intensity of the shade and make your lipstick look better and last longer.
Keeping all of the above in mind, it makes sense to take care of your lips because beneath the makeup and behind the smile, 'the curves of your lips rewrite history'- Oscar Wilde.
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