Dry, cracked lips driving you crazy? Soften, soothe and protect with these 6 tips:
1. Exfoliate: Give your lips a little help by sloughing off dried, dead skin cells and exposing the soft, new skin underneath.
This will make your lip balm more effective. You can do this using a toothbrush, a gentle washcloth – or, try this d.i.y sugar scrub:
Mix equal parts of coconut or olive oil, sugar + raw honey to form a paste. (Just a tiny bit of each will do). Gently rub onto lips in a circular motion, and then wipe off with a slightly damp cloth (resist the urge to lick it off! See tip 4) Pat dry with towel and immediately follow with your favorite lip balm.
2. Look for some of these ingredients in your lip balm:
I use jojoba oil infused with real, organic vanilla beans, coconut oil infused with calendula & plantain leaf, and beeswax in my Crystalline lip balm.
Prefer a hint of color on your lips? Check out my Red Ruby naturally tinted balm
3. Avoid these ingredients: Mints, camphor, phenol, menthol, eucalyptus, salicylic acid or cinnamon – they may make your lips tingle (and make you feel like they’re working!) – they’re really just irritating your skin. They may cause your lips to peel and dry out so that you need even more balm. Cracked lips may be a sign of an allergic reaction to a lip balm ingredient. Watch out for alcohol, artificial colors and fragrances. Mint, fluoride, guaiazulene and sodium lauryl sulfate in toothpaste can also be the culprit.
Other ingredients that may be harmful: mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin (all made from petroleum), Phthalates and Parabans. Look for products that are made with 100% pure essential oils versus “fragrance”. Also look out for Canola oil, which is GMO if it isn’t organic.
When in doubt – enter the ingredient into the Environmental Working Groups SKINDEEP database.
4. Don’t lick your lips: The digestive enzymes in your saliva that break down food are extremely drying to your lips. Break the habit – reach for a lip balm instead.
5. Nourish Yourself: Your dry lips could be a sign of vitamin deficiency – Make sure to get enough B Vitamins. Lack of niacin (vitamin B3), riboflavin (vitamin B2), Folic acid and B6 can all lead to dry lips.
6. Hydrate: Be sure to drink enough water, reduce things that dehydrate such as smoking & too much caffeine, and consider a humidifier if your skin is especially dry.
Bonus Tip: Oil pulling with coconut oil or sesame oil always keeps my lips nice and soft as well. Let me know if you’d like me to do a post on oil pulling sometime in the future.
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What’s your favorite way to get smooth lips? Share it in the comments below!
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