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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There are many herbs that are fantastic for healing & soothing dry skin. Making an infused oil is a great way to extract an herbs medicinal properties. In this post I’m going to show you how to make an herbal infused oil using the solar method. Once finished – you can even use this oil to give your “oil cleansing method” routine a botanical boost.
Some wonderful herbs for dry skin are Chamomile ( avoid if you have chamomile or ragweed allergies) Calendula & Comfrey. All three soothe & soften dry + irritated skin, promote skin cell regeneration, and have anti-inflammatory properties. There are many more herbs you can use – be sure to do your research before working with any herb, especially if pregnant or nursing.
Start with a high quality carrier oil such as extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed, sweet almond or jojoba.. Just try to make sure it’s cold pressed / unrefined and/or extra virgin. When starting out, I recommend using dried herbs, since the moisture in fresh herbs can cause your oil to go rancid.
1. Start with a clean and dry glass jar – fill your jar about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way with your herb. (You can always start out with less herbs, if you just want to test a small amount.)
2. Fill your jar with the oil, making sure that the herbs are completely covered. (You generally want to use twice as much oil as the herb).
Cap your jar – label it with the date, and type of herb & oil.
3. Place jar in a sunny spot.
Shake every day for at least the first week. It’s a good idea to open the jar every once in a while, check for mold or to see if it smells rancid, and to check for any condensation inside of the lid (if you find any- wipe the lid with a clean, dry towel). Make sure herbs are under the oil.
4. In about 3-6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil with cheesecloth, muslin, or a nutmilk bag.
Squeeze any remaining oil out of the herbs (that’s the most potent part).
For an even stronger oil – start the process again by topping a new batch of dried herbs with the oil you just made.
5. Bottle the oil and label your jar with the date finished.
Most infused oils are best used within about 6 months (depending on type of carrier oil you use). Olive oil may last about a year (or longer).
Once it’s finished, keep away from heat and direct sunlight. (Store in amber glass and in the fridge for the longest shelf life).
Do not use if the oil starts to smell off, or if you see any mold growing.
You can use the finished product as a soothing massage oil, or you can turn it into a lip balm, salve, cream, or ointment.
Don’t have time to do it yourself? Look out for the ingredients I mentioned in lotions, salves and balms.
What do you use to deal with dry skin? Let me know in the comments below!
photos: © Liz Davison 2013
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For the last year and a half I’ve been working on a line of handcrafted, natural skin care products, which will be in my online shop in a couple of months. Woohoo! I’m so excited to share them with you.
I’m even more excited to start writing more articles, how-to’s, etc. about all of the things that I love – herbalism, self care, ayurveda, supporting small businesses (organic farmers, beekeepers, essential oil producers..etc.), fair trade, aromatherapy, health & wellness, different healing modalities, detoxing, non-gmo ingredients, nutrition, sustainability, d.i.y natural skincare ..etc..etc.. etc.. all things that tie into what I’ve been working on.
I find it appaling that there are so many so called “natural and organic” skincare products out there that are loaded with harmful ingredients. I hate it when people I love are tricked by the marketing buzz words. I know it can be overwhelming navigating through all the info out there, but I love it. I want to make your life easier by breaking it down for you, and sharing what I’ve learned. And by creating products that are truly natural, non-gmo, cruelty-free, organic whenever possible, in recyclable packaging, and made with the highest quality ingredients I can get my hands on.
So head on over there to let me know your number one skincare need/concern – The winner will get the item of their choice from my shop
I’ll still be doing t-shirts from time to time – but all new items will be limited edition, printed in very small runs.
If natural skincare isn’t your thing, sign up here to get updates on new t-shirts and art. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to continuing to share info on health & wellness, natural solutions, and ways to detoxify your life (and not putting toxic /carcinogenic products on your skin is a huge part of that).