Are your lips dry, flaky and chapped? Try these quick and easy fixes at home.
Our lips are one of the most prominent features on our face, so it only makes sense to give them some extra TLC. To avoid dry, chapped lips, try these tips below – and be on your way to soft, smooth and luscious puckers.
Use a homemade lip scrub
Giving your lips the maximum care it needs doesn’t mean you need to spend a bomb on lip products. It is actually quite easy to conjure up your very own DIY lip scrub with ingredients you can probably already find in your own home.
There are several formulas to use, but the most popular (and possibly easiest) one would be a combination of olive oil and sugar. Just mix a teaspoon of olive oil with half a teaspoon of sugar, and voila. Gently rub this mixture on your lips for one or two minutes, then rinse off with cold water or pat with a wet washcloth.
Some other variations of this simple formula would be to substitute olive oil with coconut or almond oil, and to add a bit of honey if you wish – honey is a humectant i.e. it can help lock in moisture, ensuring your lips stay hydrated.
Exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush
Your toothbrush is about to become multi-functional – apart from just brushing your teeth, a toothbrush is also good for exfoliating your puckers. Just use a soft toothbrush to gently brush your lips about one to two times per day. This helps to increase blood circulation, resulting in plump and smooth lips instantly.
Pro tip: if you’re doing this prior to putting on makeup, take a nude lip liner to outline the plumper shape, so that your puckers remain full-looking even if the plumpness diminishes throughout the day.
Gently massage your lips
You’ve heard of massages for the face and body, but what about for the lips? There are many ways to go about it too. The first one involves ghee or butter – they provide a natural protection for your puckers and give your lips a pretty and healthy pink glow. Simply gently massage your lips with warm ghee or clarified butter for two minutes before bedtime, and leave on overnight.
The next one requires only one simple ingredient – ice cubes. Wrap a couple in a muslin cloth, and gently massage your lips in a circular motion. This helps to revitalise your lips and maintain its moisture level. By now you should also know that honey is another killer ingredient for your lips, and it can be used in a massage too. Take a drop on your fingertips and gently massage on your lips in a circular motion. Do this for five minutes, then rinse off with lukewarm water.
Slather on some lip balm
If you’re lusting after smooth, un-chapped lips, lip balm is your absolute best friend. There are two routes you can take – homemade or store bought.
A simple homemade recipe would need these ingredients: shea butter, honey, almond oil, coconut oil and beeswax. Beeswax is essential, as it creates a layer of protection on your lips to seal in moisture so that you won’t have to reapply the balm frequently. Melt the beeswax in a microwave in short bursts until almost melted, then stir and combine it with the oils and honey. Quickly transfer to a clean container for it to solidify.
If the above sounds too troublesome for you, then there are of course the store bought lip balms. However, try to pay attention to the ingredients list when you’re shopping, and avoid lip balms that have too many ingredients. It is best that the ingredients are natural (shea butter, beeswax, natural oils – just like the homemade version) and stay away from fragrances and dyes.
Try a lip mask
There are face masks, and there are lip masks. Start off with these two homemade versions below that are incredibly easy to whip up.
Soak some rose petals in water for a minute, till it has soaked completely. Make a paste out of the soaked petals, and add one teaspoon of fresh milk to the paste. Stir to combine fully. Apply the paste to your lips and let it sit for 10 minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. This formula exfoliates your lips and gives your lips a nice pinkish hue.
Place some fresh coriander leaves in a bowl, and add a few drops of rose water. Grind until smooth. Apply the paste to your lips and let it sit for five minutes. Rinse off with lukewarm water. This formula helps to lighten dark lips and make your puckers smooth and shiny.
Hydrate, and stop licking your lips
Your lips become cracked, chapped and flaky when your body lacks moisture. Hence, to ensure that your lips stay smooth and healthy, it is important to hydrate your body from the inside. That involves drinking plenty of water, and you can also try to consume more fruits with high water content, such as watermelon.
Also try to cut down on coffee and tea, and piping hot liquids that can burn your lips. Get enough rest, don’t smoke, and most importantly, stop licking your lips. It is tempting to do so whenever it feels dry, but our saliva actually contains acids that break down food, and these acids irritate the lips. Hence, the more you lick, the dryer your puckers will get.
A version of this article first appeared on www.femalemag.com.sg.