“A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.”
– Marilyn Monroe
Lips can become chapped or dry when they are exposed to the sun, wind, and cold or dry air. A lip balm containing petroleum or beeswax will provide a barrier and help seal in moisture.
More moisture is lost through the lips than through any other part of the face or body.
When the lips lose moisture, the skin covering them can become tight and start to split.
But if you know how to take of them properly, they can be oh so soft.
What not to do
I know it’s very tempting to pick and bite off flakes of dried skin, but this will only make the lips bleed and heal more slowly. Irritating the skin around the mouth may also trigger a cold sore if you’re prone to getting them.
And it’s also tempting to keep licking dry or cracked lips. However, this will only dry your lips more, as the saliva evaporates and the repeated licking or wetting “washes” the natural grease off the skin.
Here’s a list of things you should avoid:
- Smoking can cause lack of circulation and wrinkles.
- No SPF (sun protection factor) can lead to sun burn. A few natural oils that offer sun protection are carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, and sesame seed oil.
- Parabens, which are present in most commercial lipsticks, can damage your skin.
- Fragrance, also in some lipsticks, can dry out your skin.
- Artificial sweeteners could cause health problems.
- Camphor and menthol, while natural, are drying ingredients often found in lip care products.
- Dry air, created when air conditioning is used, can dry out your lips.
But of course there are some ingredients in lipsticks and lip balms that are good for you. Glycerin and aloe vera are humectants. They pull moisture out of the air and attach it to whatever they are on, such as your lips. Water, in any form, is good for your lips, but will evaporate quickly without something to hold it there. Lip balms are made to hold the moisture in. But first, before you apply lip balm, exfoliation is the best thing to do. You can mix a little oil with granulated sugar or salt, and gently rub on lips in a circular motion. Now you’re ready to moisturize! There are plenty of lip balms out there but how about making your own lip balm.
All Natural Homemade Lip Balm
- ¼ cup oil (like sweet almond, coconut or grapeseed)
- ¼ cup butter (like shea, cocoa or mango)
- enough wax to make ¾ cup total (like beeswax or soy wax)
- a few drops essential oil, for flavor
- 1 teaspoon powdered herbs for color, such as beet root powder
- Measure your oil and butter into a heatproof glass measuring cup. Microwave a minute or two until melted. (You can also melt the mixture by setting the glass measuring cup in a pan of gently boiling water – like a makeshift double boiler.)
- Add enough wax to make a total of ¾ cup. Melt this in the microwave or the makeshift double boiler. The glass measuring cup will get very hot, so be extra careful when handing.
- Take a stainless steel spoon and mix everything together. Pull the spoon out and wait a few minutes until what’s left on the spoon hardens. Test this to see if it’s hard or soft enough for your liking. Make your adjustments now (adding more oil if you want it softer, or more wax if you like it harder).
- Optional Step: When the consistency is where you want it, add a few drops of an essential oil like peppermint or grapefruit. You can color your lip balm by adding a small amount of powdered herbs such as beet root powder. Stir it in well so that there are no lumps.
- Carefully pour into clean lip balm tubes or tins. You can clean and reuse old ones or buy new ones.
Note: Don’t forget to visit a specialist, such as a dermatologist.