It’s difficult to take care of your lips without feeling a little effeminate. But just because lip care seems to be a woman’s turf doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need it. The changing weather, pollution, and just being under the sun can be tough on your lips and you just don’t realize it. And FYI, women don't like dry, cracked lips kissing them. So if they're dark, chapped, and have dry skin flakes on them, here are some easy tips for caring for your lips.
1) Drink more water
“Basic tip is to always keep yourself hydrated,” says Dr. Coreen Copuyoc. “More water in your system means healthier skin and plumper lips.” Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water a day will keep your body and your lips hydrated. You can also eat watery fruits throughout the day, such as watermelon, cucumber, and pineapples. These fruits keep the skin (and your lips) naturally moisturized and glossy.
2) Don’t peel off flaking skin
“For chapped lips, please don't tug on flaking skin!” Dr. Copuyoc shares. Rather than peeling the skin off, the expert suggests exfoliation. “You can lightly exfoliate your lips by making a fresh mixture of sugar and olive oil. You can also use commercial lip scrub products. Just scrub the mixture at least once or twice a week. Tip: Flavored ones are good for extra sweetness!”
3) …or you can also exfoliate using a soft toothbrush
If you don’t have time to make your own scrub mixture, you can still exfoliate your lips by using a soft toothbrush. While brushing your teeth, just rub your lips softly with the brush to remove the dry and dark skin.
4) Stop licking you lips
If you think that licking your dry lips adds some moisture, it doesn’t, and it actually dries them out even more. Saliva contains acids that irritate your lips. Plus, continuously licking removes any natural oils you have (and you need) on your lips. So instead of using saliva as moisturizer, just...
5) …apply lip balm regularly
“Don’t be shy to use lip balm with sunscreen daily. For dry lips, it's best to put some after every meal,” Dr. Copuyoc advises. Applying lip balm or even petroleum jelly protects the lips from dryness. And dryness may eventually lead to dark lips. So, the best step to prevent your lips from discoloration is to moisten the lips with a good lip balm.
6) For dark or uneven colored lips, immediately seek help
“For spotty or rough lips and uneven pigmentation, see a dermatologist immediately” Dr. Copuyoc says. Lip discoloration may be the effect of too much smoking, as it dries and burns up the lip skin. Or it might be a sign of a more serious problem. Once you see that your lips are starting to get darker than usual, seek help ASAP.
Dr. Coreen Copuyoc is a board-certified dermatologist and a diplomate of the Philippine Dermatological Society. She presently holds clinic in BGC at Suaviss Lab Whitening and Skin 101, and in Laser 360 Forbes. Follow her on Instagram as @coreenmd or consult online via www.medifi.com.