The appearance of your lips has a lot to say about your health, both inside and out. Plump, pink lips are signs of youthfulness and vitality. On the other hand, dry, cracked, or dark lips signal that your ailing pout could benefit from a little TLC. With increasing age and dips in estrogen levels, those tell-tale fine lines around the mouth tend to increase and become unflattering traps for your favorite lipstick.
Consistent and dedicated care of our lips allows us to soften and perhaps even avoid the signs of premature aging. To learn more about how to do that, check out my top ten tips for revealing and maintaining healthy, beautiful lips:
- Drink plenty of water. There isn't a product on the planet that can replace this vital step. Hydrated skin looks plump and healthy, and your lips are no exception. When your body is dehydrated, your lips can tend to look dry, dark, and dull. Be sure to take water with you wherever you go and drink at least eight ounces a day. Keep in mind, caffeine is a diuretic that depletes your body of much-needed moisture. Be sure to drink extra water when you indulge in your favorite caffeinated beverages.
- Exfoliate regularly. While we all understand the importance of properly exfoliating our skin, it's easy to forget that our lips also need some love in this department. Before applying your lip products in the morning, gently massage your mouth area with a damp washcloth, a toothbrush, or a moistened gauze pad with light, circular motions. This light exfoliation will free your lips of dry, dead skin cells and also provide a boost in circulation to the area. Manual exfoliants, such as homemade sugar and honey lip scrubs, can offer additional exfoliation when needed. A product like Rhonda Allison's Lip Restore Serum provides both moisturizing and exfoliating benefits when used as an overnight lip mask.
- Moisturize and preserve. A compromised skin barrier will result in unsightly symptoms of unhealthy lips. It's essential to safeguard this barrier by choosing appropriate lip care products for your specific needs. Read product labels and steer clear of ingredients such as petroleum jelly, camphor, and toxic ingredients which, over time, may only irritate and exacerbate dry lips. Look for products that contain moisturizing cocoa and shea butters, aloe vera, beeswax, glycerin, vitamin E, lanolin, jojoba and coconut oils. Resist the temptation to lick your lips as the digestive enzymes in your saliva break down your delicate skin barrier, leaving your mouth area chapped and sore. A studio favorite for plumping and hydrating the lips is Sorella’s Avocado Oil Lip Hydrator.
- Remember the sunscreen. The skin on our lips is thinner and more susceptible to sun damage than any other part of the body. Lips can be easily harmed by overexposure to UV rays from the sun and tanning beds, especially the lower lip area. Our lips don't contain melanin, the pigment in our skin that becomes darker to defend against sunburns. For this reason, it's important to apply a minimum of SPF 15 to our lips daily. If your lipstick or gloss doesn't contain sunscreen, first apply a protective lip balm underneath your lipstick. AOS Base Coat works great for this purpose. (Tip: Light-colored, shimmery lip gloss reflects the light away from fine lines.)
- Tone and firm. If you're particularly concerned with addressing fine lines around your mouth, one of my favorite tools for treating this area is the Clareblend Microcurrent Mini. This cutting edge device utilizes low voltage electrical currents to stimulate the muscles in your face, including your mouth area. The Clareblend Mini also boosts collagen production and circulation, providing you with an age-defying lip plumping treatment as well as a non-surgical facelift!
- Try microneedling. Microneedling at home can provide significant youth-restoring effects for your lip area. When you apply a derma roller to your face, the tiny needles penetrate the top layer of your skin. The resulting micro-injuries then call upon your skin's natural wound healers, collagen and elastin, to repair and strengthen the area. The outcome is a reduction in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and a more plump, youthful-looking kisser.
- Use red LED light. Red LED light airbrushes away the appearance of lines and wrinkles and improves the look of age spots and sun damage. Tools such as Le Mieux's DermaRed and My Skin Buddy both offer red LED options. I regularly use the DermaRed whenever I want my skin to look smooth and glowy. This light treatment also increases the penetration and effectiveness of the serums I apply to my face.
- Apply stem cells and peptides. If you have more mature skin and want to target fine lines and wrinkles, skincare products containing stem cell cytokines and peptides effectively plump, heal, and regenerate your skin. I highly recommend these healthy aging ingredients in every skincare routine for women in their forties and up. You'll see a reduction in the signs of premature aging with continued use of these anti-aging products. For personalized advice and help choosing the right skincare products for you, try our online consultation program.
- Take your vitamins. Maintaining a healthy, vitamin-packed diet plays a key role in the health of your body, both internally and externally. Foods and supplements containing antioxidants also deliver vital defenses to our skin. Skincare products containing vitamin C are especially beneficial due to the brightening and plumping effects they deliver. Many of my clients love to use Le Mieux Vita-C Clear Skin Pads around the mouth area for the refining and plumping effects they provide.
- Choose wisely. The lip products that you choose can make or break the health of your skin. Heavily saturated colors often contain toxic dyes that can irritate your lips and discolor your natural pigmentation over time. Matte and long-wearing lip products deplete your lips of moisture, emphasizing lines and dehydrating your skin. Hydrating lip colors made with natural dyes, such as pomegranate, will nourish your lips and supply a healthy dose of antioxidants. You can also apply vitamin E to your lips before lipstick, which boosts circulation and softens your lips. We carry a variety of lip glosses and stains that are both beautiful and nourishing.
Healthy Aging Lip Care Protocol
For youthful, luscious lips, try the following lip care routine:
- Apply Le Mieux Vita-C Clear Skin Pads around the mouth area 2 nights/week.
- Top with one of the following: Rhonda Allison Eye & Lip Renew Serum, Le Mieux Eye & Lip Cream, Hale & Hush Brilliant Eye & Lip Serum, or Rhonda Allison Lip Restore Serum.
What are your lips trying to tell you?