From chapstick to lip fillers and everything in between: What you need to know to achieve the perfect pout
Maybe you’ve noticed the increasing focus on lucious lips in the beauty industry. These days, a pretty pout is trending more than ever before! Whether you’re after a method au naturel or open to injectable lip enhancements, read on to learn the best practices, plus what to avoid, to keep your pucker looking perfect!
It’s all about the pout!
In recent years, you may have noticed your favourite celeb highlighting their lips in a new way, or how the lip section at the beauty counter seems to be taking over! There have been countless different lip trends over the years, but one thing is for sure: we’ve come a long way since blue raspberry or Coca-Cola flavoured lip balms of our youth! Whether it’s over-lining lips to make them appear fuller, using plumping products or simply highlighting the cupid’s bow, lips are all the rage in the beauty world.
One of the major movements we’ve seen in the past 5 years is lip plumping. There are so many methods for this, from stinging glosses to nifty little gadgets, that it can be hard to discern the winners from the gimmicks. Sales of these products have skyrocketed in recent years, which can be attributed to the clear market trends towards voluptuous lips, along with social media influencers taking the beauty world by storm.
Plumping products can vary in efficacy and staying power, though there are a few important factors to look out for when you’re torn between brands. Many brands include vitamins B, C and E, as well as niacin (vitamin B3) which can all help to improve the natural state of your lips; hydration and pre-care are important steps for a kissable lips. Additionally, many brands formulate their products with hyaluronic acid, the same ingredient in many face serums and injectable treatments. This helps to lock in moisture and volumize lips in a way that improves their overall health.
What to avoid? Some brands, especially the more old-school formulas, include mild irritants such as mint, cinnamon, capsicum extract or even bee venom! While these are effective plumpers, they can be irritating, drying, and in rare cases, can cause allergic reactions. If you’re unsure, always test a small patch of skin before applying these products to your face.
Eat more water
Speaking of hydration, a great gloss can’t do the job alone–it has to start from within! Dermatologists recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water daily for glowing skin. It’s not only the skin on your face that needs this type of moisture: lips are actually more susceptible to drying out than the rest of your skin! So how can you ensure that your lips are adequately moisturized?
The first step is, of course, to drink more water. This can come in the form of straight-up H2O, but can also be ingested in natural teas, fresh juices, and many different types of fruits and veggies. Melon, grapes, bell peppers and other juicy fruits are chocked full of water, making them great choices if you really want your pout to stand out.
Sunkissed: the importance of SPF for lips
Sure, you’ve probably seen our advice by now about the importance of SPF. But are you considering your lips as part of your healthy skin routine? Most of us already know that upping your SPF is a generally good idea for youthful, glowing skin. Lips, however, are an often-overlooked part of the face that’s actually more at risk for sun damage than the rest of your face! Try opting for a lip balm with sunscreen, or look for your favourite shade of lippie from a sun-safe brand. Heaps of beauty companies are hopping on the SPF wagon and ensuring that your lips stay hydrated, moisturized and protected, no matter the season!
Why do lips get chapped?
Chapped lips are one of the worst parts of winter! But some people experience chapped lips year round, for a variety of reasons. Sure, chapped lips can be caused by a lack of hydration, but there are many other factors you may not have considered. Think about this: how many different things touch your lips on a daily basis? Whether it be food, drinking straws, fingers, teeth, lip products, pens, or any other objects, lips actually take quite a beating throughout the day. If we aren’t careful, this very sensitive organ can easily become damaged. The best way to avoid this? STOP touching your lips! It can be a reflex for some people, a fidget or tic for others, but touching or licking our lips is a leading contributor to chappage.
Finally, outside sources like dry weather, super salty foods, or overconsumption of booze can lead to chapped lips. In order to avoid such lip discomfort, keep hydration to a maximum, and always have your best balm on hand. As an extra bonus, try sleeping with a humidifier overnight and see if you notice softer, less chapped lips.
A little spa for your lips: exfoliation
No, it’s not just lip service; your kisser needs some love, too! Think about it: lips are exposed to the same factors as the rest of your skin, but too often, we overlook the importance of maintaining their health. A gentle exfoliant can be the perfect way to pamper your lips while indulging in a little self-care.
A variety of factors (diet, hydration, and the products you use) can cause a build-up of dead skin cells on your lips. The skin here is already pretty thin, so it’s not able to handle a heavy load. Sometimes, the build-up of debris can prevent your lip balm from doing its job. Other than that, flaky, dry lips are not the ideal canvas for lovely lipsticks and gorgeous glosses. After all, you wouldn’t want to apply the dreamiest shade of lipstick to a rough, uneven lip!
So what’s the best way to exfoliate? One way is to buy an exfoliant specifically designed for lips. There are also many different DIY formulas; most exfoliants include an abrasive factor (usually sugar or coffee) and an oil (olive, avocado, jojoba, the list goes on!) to ensure that lips are exfoliated gently, and hydration is immediately available. The oil helps the abrasive material glide over your sensitive skin without tearing or damaging the lips, allowing it to scrub away any dead skin and impurities. Though this at-home spa treatment can be so rejuvenating that it’s hard to resist doing it all the time! But experts agree that lip exfoliation should be kept to once, maximum twice, per week.
Kick vices to the curb: smoking and alcohol are your lips’ worst enemies!
As tempting as it is to slap on a bold lip for a wild night out on the town, realize that those nights of partying can have a huge impact on the health of your lips. Habits like smoking, drinking alcohol and even consuming too much sugar are all recipes for faded, dry and discoloured lips, and they can even cause more wrinkles!
The first culprit: smoking. Smoking is a huge no-no for another who wants to keep their skin hydrated and supple. Not only does smoking dry the skin out like no other, it also causes uneven skin tone, making the user more likely to try to conceal discoloration with an endless stream of lipsticks. As you now know, certain lip products can cause more harm than good, especially if the lips never have a moment to breathe.
Additionally, smoking creates its own unique brand of wrinkles around the mouth. The constant pucker that comes from sucking on ciggies is a leading cause of fine lines and wrinkles around the mouth. In fact, these signs of aging are so common for smokers that they’ve been given the nickname “Smokers’ lines.” Even worse, smokers’ lines are quite difficult to get rid of naturally; they can easily become static wrinkles which are difficult to combat once they’ve settled into the skin.
Drinking alcohol is another habit to curb if you want to live your best lip-life. Alcohol dehydrates our entire body, but most of us probably don’t consider the implications on our lips! As previously mentioned, the skin on our lips is extremely thin compared to the skin that covers the rest of our bodies–therefore, it’s even more prone to dryness. When we consume alcohol, it basically dries us from the inside-out. If you’re going for a night out on the town, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the evening to keep your entire body hydrated. Finally, drinking often causes us to get less (or less restful) sleep. The implication here is that without proper rest, skin can’t regenerate as well, causing side effects like uneven skin tone and hypersensitivity.
Lovely lip enhancements
Want to love your lips even more? Lip enhancements are a growing trend that can help you achieve the lip-look of your dreams. Dermatologists and healthcare clinics, such as CHIC Laser Centre, are experts in administering these particular products. But what exactly is a lip filler and how does it work?
Lip fillers are injectable treatments, usually made from hyaluronic acid or collagen, (both of which are naturally present in your body) that can restore fullness and moisture to the lips. As we age, the production of these substances slows, which can leave lips looking a bit limp. Additionally, fillers can be used to reshape or modify the look of your lips. Those with naturally thinner lips might want to give their pout a little extra plumping–lip fillers could be the perfect solution!
Want to know more? Check out our 10 Tips for Luscious Lips. If you’re interested in learning more about lip fillers, a qualified doctor or healthcare practitioner is a must for any injectable treatment. The team at CHIC Laser Centre in Downtown Montreal is a wealth of information for all you need to know about lip fillers in Montreal. Book an appointment for a consultation to speak to one of our upstanding medical professionals!