Beyond Balm:

3 Tips For Chapped, Dry Lips

itation. One reason for this is that the skin on our lips is different than that on our face and body.  Their membrane is much thinner, made up of three to five cellular layers as opposed to our 16-layer facial skin.  Also, they are highly vascularized, hairless and have no sweat or oil glands.


This means they are in need of extra TLC!  But unlike the skin on our face, lip care is often limited to a single lip balm.  If you’re battling chronically inflamed, chapped lips, lip balm is not effective enough as it does not address all the factors that block lip hydration.  Instead, try these three tips beyond balm that will help you get soft, moist, kissable lips this February.


Hydrate with Serum

Serum for your lips?  Yes, just like your facial skin, your lips need hydration in the form of water-rich ingredients.  Lip balm provides emollient protection but not water infusion. A good, petroleum-free serum easily penetrates the lips’ delicate tissue, nourishing deeply. This is important for eczema on the lips, which usually cannot be alleviated by balms alone.  You can use your face serum as long as it is formulated for sensitive skin. Remember, the lips are highly vascularized so if your serum encourages circulation, this can lead to redness or reaction. Luckily, there are also specific lip serums available.  Those made with collagen, elastin or hyaluronic acid pump up the rejuvenating factor. Use your lip serum under your lip balm or oil; while your serum boosts water, an oil-rich barrier helps seal in hydration.


Exfoliate with a Lip Scrub

A buildup of dead skin cells makes the lips scale, flake and roughen in texture.  This can lead to uneven lipstick application and impede the absorption of your lip moisturizing products! To combat this, use a lip scrub.  While it may be tempting to use your face scrub or peel, only use one that’s safe for lips. Some face exfoliants are overly abrasive for this delicate skin.  Important tip: never use chemical peels here! Stick to a scrub that uses wax beads or is designed specifically for the lips. In a pinch, you can also use a damp cloth on wet lips (after the shower is best).   Once exfoliated, you will be left with a smooth base to apply moisturizing lip care.


Nourish with Oil

Since the lips do not have oil glands, applying an oil is a fantastic supplement. Oils provide protection and nourishment when you are finding balms ineffective.  Lip oils can add immediate relief to tight-feeling lips that need pliability. Like balms, they create a barrier to prevent moisture from leaving the skin tissue but have a texture that is higher in viscosity. This is because balms contain waxes and vegetable butters. Oils such as avocado, coconut, and pomegranate make excellent lip oils as they are richer and heavier, staying on the lip for longer.  Want a natural lip-plumper? Look for a lip oil that contains small amounts of peppermint oil. This gently encourages blood flow without causing irritation, giving lips a subtle fullness. Perfect prep for Valentine’s season!


Kristen Ma  is an Ayurvedic skincare specialist and the co-founder of Pure+Simple, a Canadian spa chain and retailer of natural beauty products.

Categories: Natural Beauty