You see someone from afar and you want a closer look. You notice the clouds of billowing hair, the flawless skin, the dreamy eyes, the smattering of sun-kissed freckles across the nose... there is soft music playing in your head as your eyes glide over all the features - but that music comes to a screeching halt as your eyes land on the lips.
This is the image that comes to mind when I see dry, cracked, chapped and flaky lips. Imagine THAT coming in for a kiss, would you lean in or run away screaming?
People spend so much time pampering their skin, cleansing, exfoliating and moisturizing, and yet they completely forget their kisser. It needs some TLC too! So when you prep yourself for you next night time regime, add another 2 minute ritual to your list - Lip Exfoliation.
I remember when exam time would come around, and I'd glance around the library, I'd see more people chewing their lips rather than biting their nail or bouncing their knees. It's a nervous habit, yes, but its also a opening the door to lip sores, swollen sections and, yep, you guessed it, MORE dry and chapped lips. I've also noticed that if dry lips are ever commented upon, the lips are instantly licked. Lets nip this fallacy in the bud right here and now - it does not help! It only makes matters worse as saliva dries off super fast, leaving the lips more chapped than they were before. Bottom line: there are easier ways of ridding yourself of dry, chapped lips.
It's not at all difficult or daunting. There are several ways of exfoliating, below are just three of the most popular ways.
The Petroleum Jelly Way:
- Petroleum jelly
- A soft toothbrush (use a children's toothbrush)
Apply a liberal layer of petroleum jelly on your lips and let it soak in for about 2 to 4 minutes. Then, using the toothbrush, rub in small circle motions while applying the lightest pressure possible. Lips are sensitive and the slightest amount of abuse will cause them to swell. After a minute of brushing, take a tissue and wipe off the excess jelly and wash off your lips and pat dry. Now you may apply your favorite lip balm or chapstick and leave it for the night. In the morning, you will be greeted by a pampered pout.
The Sugar Route:
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
Mix the two into a gritty paste. Pick up the paste and apply it to your lips. Using either your finger or a toothbrush, scrub your lips gently in a circular motion. The olive oil will absorb into your lips, leaving them soft and hydrated while the sugar acts as an exfoliant, scrubbing away the dry stuff. After a minute or two, wash your lips and pat dry and again, apply your favorite lip balm. Recommendation: The Body Shop's Lip Butter. The sugar paste does not keep, so I suggest make enough for each application only.
The Lanolin Method:
Lanolin is a natural product that comes from sheep and is used as the primary moisturizing element in lipsticks. It is also found in creams and gels for very dry skin and can be found in the breastfeeding supply section of supermarkets and drugstores. At night before going to bed, apply a dab of lanolin to your chapped lips. A little tiny dab of Lanolin goes a LONG way, so start small. Place a BB sized dab on your finger tip, and generously coat your chapped lips. You want an extra amount for night time, and the lanolin will soak into your chapped lips pretty quickly the first time around. This will work to soften and loosen the dry skin from your chapped lips.
In the mornings as you wake, and before stepping outside, re-apply a little less Lanolin than you did for night time use, remembering a little tiny bit will be plenty. Lanolin will leave a protective barrier on your chapped lips, and will help your body heal the damage on your chapped lips. Studies show that within a day or two of this treatment, chapped lips are nothing more than a bad memory.
Aside from the last method, pampering your lips is a fairly simple process - all it takes is a little know how to send your lips from
Got it? Now pucker up!