Exfoliation is a natural part of being human. When you think about it, it's pretty neat knowing our skin is perpetually renewing itself. However, sometimes our skin could use a little help in the shedding process. Thus, we exfoliate.
Whether through a solid, hygienic upbringing, word of mouth, a doctor's visit, or casual ad, we're well aware of the necessity to exfoliate our face and body. Lip exfoliation is also imperative. Like the other parts of your body, your lips shed and renew themselves, and need proper TLC. The difference between chapped lips and soft lips could very well be a sugar scrub. (How easy!) We spoke with Dr. Jessica Weiser of New York Dermatology Group about the benefits of lip exfoliation and how to maintain your lips hydrated and smooth. Plus, check the gallery below for some of our personal favorite kissable tricks.
Why is it important to exfoliate your lips?
Lips, like all other skin surfaces, undergo a process of shedding and renewal. Because the lip surface is considered a mucosal surface, it is thinner and more sensitive than other skin to the effects of dehydration, cold weather, ambient heat, and some medications. As such, it is important to gently exfoliate the lips to keep their surface smooth and encourage turnover to prevent flaking and even fissuring of the lips.
How often should one exfoliate the face, body, and lips?
Exfoliation should be done twice or maximally three times a week.
What are the negative effects of exfoliating?
Overzealous exfoliation can remove cells not ready to be shed which can trigger redness, small superficial wounds, irritation, and inflammation. This can occur as a result of harsh exfoliants (gritty scrubs, mitts, brushes) or with excessively frequent exfoliation.
Sugar scrubs seem to be the on the rise in terms of lip care; what is the benefit of using one on the lips? Should a balm be applied directly after?
Sugar is a mild abrasive and gently pulls away dead skin cells to leave lips smooth and even. Sugar should be mixed into olive oil or honey for best results. Olive oil acts as a moisturizer to protect and soothe lips while honey reduces inflammation and irritation to speed healing. After exfoliation, apply a lip-healing product to maintain a hydrated barrier.