Ever wonder why your lips might be chronically chapped and dry? The reasons below might surprise you.
1. Do you cleanse over the top of your lips?
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Problem: Often times soap bars are “too clean” and facial cleansers can contain sulfates. Soap bars use lye or sodium hydroxide in the mixing process. This allows the bar to remain solid as you use it and is therefore hygienic. This also keeps it dry and can potentially do the same to your skin, especially around sensitive areas like the mouth.
Sodium laureth/lauryl sulfate (SLS) is sometimes used to create lather in foaming cleansers. This harsh ingredient will strip your skin’s ability to retain water and moisture. It’s actually an inexpensive industrial strength chemical that is used to clear grease spills in factories. Both bar soaps and SLS are too harsh for the lips. Avoid getting the lather on your mouth. You may reconsider using them on your face, although some bar soaps are more gentle than others.
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Solution: Valia Cleansing Milk uses enzymes and glucose to gently lift dead skin and stubborn make-up without stripping the skin.
2. Now, what about your toothpaste?
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Problem: A very popular ingredient in toothpaste is SLS the same ingredient we talked about above. It makes your teeth feel squeaky clean, but it is actually damaging to the health of your gums, therefore it is not a necessary ingredient in dental care.
Solution: I’m a big fan of Kiss My Face Triple Action Whitening toothpaste. It is SLS-free and uses natural, plant-based ingredients to clean the teeth all the while maintaining the fun of a foaming formula. It doesn’t feel pasty like some other SLS-free toothpastes.
3. Why can’t I find a good lip balm?
Problem: Consumers, I believe, are in search for all the wrong consistencies. Most, if not all lip balms contain heavy waxes and oils. These feel great for the time being, but once you lick or bite them off that feeling is gone and you are left with the same problem you had before. Why is that?
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Our lips, unlike our facial skin, do not have a way of receiving lipids, but they can benefit from oils as long as they are paired with a water soluble ingredient or emollient. Your best bet is to find an eye cream that you wouldn’t mind ingesting small amounts of. Nipples, lips, and the under eye area are very similar. Being incredibly thin areas of skin, they aren’t capable of retaining as much moisture as the rest of your skin, so they are susceptible to dryness.
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Solution: Eye creams generally have easily absorbed ingredients, so you can stop wasting time with that lip balm if you really want soft hydrated lips. My personal favorite is Juice Beauty’s Smoothing Eye Cream. You just need about half a pump for the lips. I apply it before bed and never feel the need to reapply throughout the day, but you can.
*Avoid eye creams with retinol or high amounts of vitamin A – those ingredients encourage peeling.