Keep your lips kiss­able

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Leisure -

NOTH­ING is as ir­ri­tat­ing as dry flaky lips that make you look like you haven’t had a de­cent meal in days. It gets even more an­noy­ing when you want to ap­ply lip­stick on them. It just won’t go on right — it’ll be crumbly and def­i­nitely noth­ing close to sexy. Peel­ing lips com­bined with lip gloss or lip­stick ac­tu­ally look like dirt —it doesn’t take a rocket sci­en­tist to see that some­thing is not right. There’s a need to take bet­ter care of your lips if you’re go­ing to get a bet­ter pout out of them. Think of your lips as a sponge — when ex­posed to mois­ture, they ab­sorb water and plump up, but when de­hy­drated, they dry out and shrink. And, be­cause they’re al­ways ex­posed, they’re prone to de­hy­dra­tion. I re­cently read that the skin on the lips is also un­like skin any­where else on the body — its thin­ner and has no oil glands which act as a bar­rier for skin, help­ing to pro­tect it from the el­e­ments. The re­sult can be chapped lips that couldn’t hold lip­stick colour even if you spray-painted it on. With a lit­tle loving care, your lips can be per­fect i n no time. Take a water bot­tle with you wher­ever you go. Drink­ing enough water — the equiv­a­lent of at least eight glasses of flu­ids daily —will keep the body, skin and lips hy­drated. Lick­ing your lips dam­ages the pro­tec­tive bar­rier, which can dry out the lips. Saliva con­tains di­ges­tive enzymes that can break down this bar­rier. In­stead, reg­u­larly ap­ply lip balm. Know thy balms. Look for hy­drat­ing in­gre­di­ents like beeswax, shea but­ter, vi­ta­min E and al­mond, jo­joba or co­conut oils. Good old pe­tro­leum jelly works well too. If you have sen­si­tive skin, use cam­phor-based med­i­cated lip balms spar­ingly — they can be ir­ri­tat­ing on the skin. Ex­fo­li­ate when nec­es­sary. Weird, I know but lip ex­fo­lia­tors slough off dead skin much like the ones you’d use on your face. But if you have sen­si­tive skin or your lips are se­verely chapped or cracked, use these prod­ucts cau­tiously as they con­tain acids that can ir­ri­tate skin.

Lips are sus­cep­ti­ble to sun­burn since they lack melanin, the pig­ment that helps shield skin from the sun. Ap­ply a layer of a sun­pro­tec­tive prod­uct daily with a rea­son­able SPF of about 15. These are found in phar­ma­cies and de­part­men­tal stores with cos­metic sec­tions such as Edgars, Tru­worths and so forth.

Don’t make matte forever. Matte lip­sticks can be ex­tremely dry­ing — which helps these lip­sticks stay put for so long. That’s why you should use them spar­ingly when your lips are ex­tremely chapped.

In­stead, al­ter­nate them with hy­drat­ing lip­sticks as in­di­cated by in­gre­di­ents such as vi­ta­min E and glyc­erin or add a layer of mois­tur­is­ing lip balm un­derneath. Opt for the non-matte, hy­drat­ing lip­stick with prim­rose oil and vi­ta­min E.

To plump up your pout, use lip liner in a shade slightly darker than your lips, ap­ply the lip­stick, and then in the cen­tre of your lips, blend in a drop of foun­da­tion and top it off with a gloss. Al­ways try to treat your lips right. Peel­ing lips could be an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to a lip­stick, tooth­paste, food, beverage, or med­i­ca­tion you are tak­ing. It may be dif­fi­cult to trace the source of the prob­lem, but al­ways try to take note of any new food or prod­ucts you try.

Wrin­kles around the lips are caused by sun ex­po­sure, age, and smok­ing. These wrin­kles should be treated like wrin­kles on the rest of the face, with chem­i­cal peels and creams that con­tain anti-ag­ing in­gre­di­ents such as retinol.

May­belline has good prod­ucts that you can use to help keep your lips plump and healthy. Try avoid­ing, cheap, fake prod­ucts which will cause your lips to peel.

Clin­ique is also a great prod­uct es­pe­cially prod­ucts with green tea ex­tract, vi­ta­min E and sal­i­cylic acid. Revlon, Clar­ins and El­iz­a­beth Ar­den also have good ranges. It may seem odd or un­nec­es­sary but be­fore you buy any prod­uct, al­ways read the pack­ag­ing to see what went into it.

Un­til next week, flaunt your pat­tern and style and don’t for­get to catch up with me on Twit­ter han­dle @Yolis­swa, visit my blog, www.stay­ or like my Face­book page Pat­tern & Style.

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