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.
Not only do Clinique's Sweet Pots™ tout a light sugar scrub, but their flipside comes complete with a tinted (and sheer!) lip balm. It's a one-stop shop for lip exfoliating and moisturizing. Plus, they look like macarons. How sweet is that?
Clinique, Clinique Sweet Pots™ Sugar Scrub & Lip Balm, $19.50, available at Clinique.
Though this lightweight formula keeps your lips from feeling too made-up, it still packs a powerfully soft punch of color. More importantly, however, it doesn't dry or chap your lips. Even after removal, your lips feel soft and kissable.
Clinique, Clinique Pop™ Lacquer Lip Colour + Primer, $18, available at Clinique.
After a little shake and quick swipe across the lips, you'll be ready for whatever kiss may come your way. The oils within Clinique's Pop™ Oil Lip & Cheek Glow (jojoba, sunflower seed, and safflower oils) work in harmony to ensure soft, moist but never sticky lips. What's more, the product works on your cheeks to add some color—you know, just a little more oomph to your already glowing, natural blush.
Clinique, Clinique Pop™ Oil Lip & Cheek Glow, $18, available at Clinique.