Inspired living

Natural skincare for lips

When most of us think of natural skin care, we often leave our lips out of the equation. However, our lips are biologically significant as a tactile sensory organ and an erogenous zone. The lips do not share the same natural protection as facial or body skin. Therefore it’s important that we consider the lips when it comes to natural skin care.

All about the lips
Before you start a natural skin care routine, an understanding of the lips is needed. The skin of the lip is particularly thin, with only three to five cellular layers, compared to facial skin which boasts up to 16 layers. Light in colour, the skin on the lips lacks melanin, the natural pigmentation in skin that helps screen out UV rays, meaning they can burn.

The lips don’t have sweat glands or sebaceous glands and lack the usual protection of sweat and body oil that keeps the skin hydrated and smooth, inhibits pathogens, provides some UV protection and regulates warmth. As a result, the lips dry out faster, become chapped and cracked more easily and are more prone to infection thus making natural skin care for the lips integral.

Natural skin care: protecting and maintaining the lips
Natural skin care can help keep your lips smooth, soft and healthy. The lips, like the rest of the skin, hair and nails, are the last to receive nutrients that go to more important organs first. Proper hydration, diet and exercise play integral roles in natural skin care.

Dry air, cold temperatures and wind and sun all have a drying effect on skin as they draw moisture away from the body. It is common for lips to become dry, cracked or chapped. Replenishing your lips daily with a good natural lip balm is very important for natural skin care maintenance and protection.

These topical applications are beneficial part of a natural skin care routine as they provide the lips with moisture and fats they naturally lack. Emollients are also helpful for natural skin care. Emollients such as unrefined vegetable and nut oils are replete in nutrients, lipids and ceramides, natural fats and oils, essential fatty acids and protective plant chemicals that nourish and protect the skin on the lips, lock in moisture and prevent surface evaporation. Butters and waxes such as cocoa butter besswax and carnuba wax also are great for natural skin care for their moisturing benefits.

It is best to opt for topical applications that also offer other benefits for natural skin care. Some, including jojoba oil, unrefined sesame oil, rice bran, macadamia nut oil, provide a level of protection from UV rays as well as being rich in antioxidants. Others help reduce free radical damage caused by UV rays with their antioxidant activity. Natural skin care products that contain these ingredients are particularly beneficial for the lips and rest of the skin.

Your lips, natural skin care and sun protection
Sun protection is very important for natural skin care for the lips. Sun damage is a major cause of skin cancers and our lips are no exception.

UV rays are always present. UV ray damage contributes to surface layer damage, breakdown of collagen and DNA damage. Even when lips show no physical sunburn, that doesn’t mean the underlying layers have not been damaged.

When it comes to the lips, natural skin care becomes even more important. As you are bound to consume part of any produce placed on your lips, it is best to look for chemical free products to use in your natural skin care regime.