Want to keep your lips smooth, moist and plump? Here are five facts about lip products you need to know.
Addicted to lip balm
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly reaching for your lip balm? That’s because your lips can actually become addicted to it. These products contain moisturizing ingredients called occlusives, which seal in moisture to your lips.
When you apply lip balm regularly, however, your lips can become accustomed to this extra skin barrier and will slow down the production of new, fresh cells. As soon as you stop using lip balm, your lips may feel overly dry because they’ve already adapted to the added protection. To break this cycle, stop using lip balm until your lips have returned to their natural balance.
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If stopping lip balm is not an option, look for lip balms that contain both humectant and occlusive ingredients. I like the ones by Burt’s Bees, Fresh, Fix My Skin and Coola, the last two sold by dermatologists.
Lip plumpers cause inflammation
No, your lip plumper isn’t magic. It works by causing the lips to temporarily swell, giving you a plumped look with a flush of color. Products like these contain ingredients like cinnamon oil or capsaicin, the component of chili peppers that gives them their spicy kick. .
While many people love the results of these temporary, hassle-free plumpers, watch that your lips don’t overreact to these ingredients and become severely swollen, dry or irritated.
Lip gloss can attract UV rays
If you’re used to topping your look off with a little lip gloss, consider switching to a more opaque lipstick or a balm with SPF. The shininess of lip gloss actually directs UV rays right to your lips, which don’t contain melanin or vitamin E to defend against sun damage. Not only can this cause dry, chapped lips, but it can increase your risk for skin cancer.
Your lipstick might not be vegan
Studies show that we ingest 70 percent of the gloss that we put on our lips. If you’re concerned about using animal ingredients in lip products, double-check the ingredients in your lipstick and lip products. For example, carmine or carminic acid, which is derived from a species of red beetle, is commonly found in lipsticks to give them their red or pink colors. Many people are allergic to carmine.
Lip injections are on the rise
Pick up any magazine or scroll through social media and you’ll quickly see that the plumped, pouty lip look is in. Celebrities like Kylie Jenner have made lip injections more popular than ever. In fact, 2015 alone saw a 21 percent jump in the number of injectable treatments as a whole, according to an annual report recently published by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
One of the great things about lip fillers is that their results are temporary, so you have the freedom to modify your look when you schedule your next injection. Lip fillers are also great for women looking to restore a more youthful shape and fullness to thinning lips.
Dr. Leslie Baumann is a board-certified dermatologist and CEO of Baumann Cosmetic & Research Institute in Miami.