Now here’s something that I never knew until I started thinking about this post: lips have no sweat glands. Without the protective layer of sweat and oil that the rest of our bodies enjoy, lips dry out and become chapped. Even more surprising, the skin on our lips only have three to five cellular layers; compared to the 16 layers that the skin on our face has. It’s no wonder why lips can become old, thin and pinched. But there’s nothing like a good factoid to herald a call to action. Give your lips the love they badly need with these restoring treatments.
Puckering, pursing and puffing (even for those who did not inhale) have, over the years, contributed to those pesky lip lines. For me, they were recalcitrantly unresponsive to anti-aging treatments until I got to business with a regimen that has been licking my lip lines. Now, most of these products are used “off label,” but they are no less effective. The absolute best thing has been regular use of my ultrasonic device, Ultra Renew ($89 in the shop), or the Ultra Renew Plus ($159 in the shop). I alternate my ultrasonic sessions with Osmotics Micro Peel Skin Resurfacing System ($86), which really helps smooth fine lines by exfoliating and plumping with an effective three-part kit that even my sensitive skin can tolerate. As for a serum, I don’t think you can beat one with growth factors. Even the budget conscious could consider one by AQ Skin Solutions ($149 for 1oz in the shop), E’shee’s KI ($189 in the shop)or ReLuma ($145-$220 in the shop) and economize by targeting the lips lines rather than slathering it everywhere. The one created-for-lips anti-ager that I never tire of (I’ve lost count of how many bottles I have had) is Your Best Face Define ($70 in the shop), which helps keep the lips themselves smooth, while restoring color and volume.
Lip plumpers and volumizers should be my best friend, but all too often they can be as uncomfortable and irritating as a bee sting or so fleeting that they barely last a kiss (the peck variety). The Just Kissed Lip Plumper by jane iredale ($25) is just swell with mint and ginger safely puffing the pout. There’s an anti-aging peptide and antioxidant tea, cranberry and grape. It comes in nine sheer colors (I like NYC).
Although lip cancer is on the rise, there aren’t many sunscreen formulas that I would willingly put on my lips. A few years ago, I found jane iredale Lip Drink SPF15 ($12) and haven’t looked back since. As well as a zinc oxide sunscreen at 8% (a good addition since lip cancer is increasing), there is a base of macadamia oil, bolstered by avocado and aloe. Anti-aging antioxidants come in the form of green tea and vitamin C.
Moisturizer and balm
Now that you know why your sweat-gland deprived lips get perpetually dry, you’ll always have a lip balm in hand. Favorites of the Truth In Aging community include: Juice Beauty Organic Lip Moisturizer ($15), which is natural, organic and is pleasantly flavored with a hint of vanilla and orange. I have at least three sticks of Your Best Face Quench ($15 in the shop) at any one time so that a frantic stab in purse or pocket usually pulls up much-needed relief. Quench is soothing, long lasting and delivers great anti-aging ingredients, such as YBF’s signature spin trap. Mukti Macadamia & Honey Lip Balm ($14.50) is so soothing and healing that it has even been known to repair cuts.
Far be it for me to come between a girl and her favorite Chanel lipstick, but on more casual days think about dabbing some color that does good and no evil. Even a die-hard lip plumper addict fell for Juice Beauty Organic Kisses Reflecting Gloss ($15), which is packed with antioxidant fruit extracts. One of my favorite botanicals, nutrient-rich moringa oil is in RMS Lip Shine ($25), which also does double duty as a blush. For more vibrant color than you would ever expect from a lip balm there’s Alima Pure Nourishing Lip Balm ($7).
Now there’s no excuse not to steal a kiss from your Valentine.