The lips, like the eyes, add character to the face. They are the focus of attention when we speak. The lips also add balance to the face, along with other facial features like the eyes and the nose. As far as beauty is concerned, appropriate lip make-up can enhance the beauty of the face. In winter, keeping the skin of the lips soft and smooth can present a problem due to lack of moisture and the effect of lip make-up.
Nutritional deficiencies can also lead to dry, chapped lips. Sometimes, even cracks may develop. Vitamins A, C and B2 are important for the lips. So, foods like citrus fruits, ripe papaya, tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole-grains, oats, and milk products may be included in the diet. Of course, it’s best to take your doctor’s advice before making changes in your diet, especially if you have any medical condition. Use glossy lipsticks and lip balm. Avoid soap and powder on lips. Remove lipstick with a cleansing cream or gel. Apply almond oil or cream at night and leave on.
Taking care of the lips only helps lip make-up. As far as care is concerned, I must mention that the skin of the lips is thin and delicate. It does not contain oil glands. That is why it becomes dry and chaps easily, especially during winter. After washing the face, the lips may be rubbed gently with a soft towel to remove dead skin. Apply cream of milk (malai) daily and leave on for an hour. If the lips become dark, add a few drops of lemon juice to the cream of milk. At night, apply pure almond oil or an almond cream daily on the lips and leave on overnight.
Oils like Argan and Coconut oil also help to nourish the skin on the lips. Argon oil is actually native to Morocco, where it has been traditionally used for food purposes, as well as to treat skin and scalp problems. Today, it is being increasingly used for cosmetic purposes to make cosmetics like moisturisers, creams, lotions, face packs, hair oils, hair conditioners, etc. Argan oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. Since it contains Vitamin E and antioxidants, it helps to delay the visible ageing sign and even rejuvenate the skin. It protects the youthful properties of the skin, like elasticity and resilience. As it is easily absorbed by the skin, it can be ideal for care of the lips. The fatty acids also nourish and soften the skin. The oil was used for medicinal purposes to cure skin problems and also heal and soothe burns. It nourishes the skin and improves skin texture. Argan oil can be used directly on the skin. Use only a few drops directly on the lips.
Coconut oil has also been valued for its nourishing and moisturizing ability. It has a great skin softening ability and helps to make the skin soft and smooth. It may be applied on the lips and is also said to protect the skin from the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is said to protect the skin better than cream. It also helps to heal cracks on the lips. In fact, it can be used to remove make-up from the face, including the lips. Coconut oil may be applied on the lips and left on overnight. Or, it can be left on for 15 minutes and wiped off with moist cotton wool. The advantage is that unlike other preparations that may contain synthetic ingredients, coconut oil can be safely applied on the lips and even ingested. Another advantage is that unlike other oils, coconut oil does not become rancid.
Coconut oil and Argan oil based lip balms and lip creams can also be used for the care of the lips.
(The author is International fame beauty expert and is called herbal queen of India)