The lip enhancement market has seen an incredible boom in the past year or two, with an ever-increasing number of products that promise to improve the size, look and feel of your lips. Granted, next to the eye area, the lip area is actually the most vulnerable area in your face. The skin on your lips is extremely thin and has virtually no oil glands to self-moisturize, making it susceptible for damage and premature aging. With time, our lips loose volume and start showing lines and wrinkles.
Fortunately, people of Asian heritage are often blessed with naturally full lips
Countless “lip-plumpers” have popped up, designed to increase the size of your lips in a matter of minutes. Being the lip-fanatic that I am, I have tried pretty much every type of lip balm, gloss, stick, mask and, yes, plumpers, and I can honestly say that they have only irritated my skin and made me look like I had just smeared chili-paste around my mouth. Fortunately, people of Asian heritage are often blessed with naturally full lips, and the high content of melanin in their skin makes them less susceptible to premature aging. There may be no need for painful and irritating lip plumpers, but it is still important to maintain and protect the beauty and health of your lips. My recommendation for beautiful, healthy lips? Moisturize, restore, protect & glow. Moisturize The moisturize part is easy and most people know how to do. Lip balms come in all shapes, sizes and price levels, and I’m sure everybody has at least one favorite. The key really is to apply regularly and therefore to have them at your finger tips when you need them. I have a big glass bowl full of lip balms at home and you will pretty much find a lip balm in every coat pocket, clutch or briefcase of mine, just in case. I usually stay away from medicated lip balms because they tend to irritate my lips with repeated application. Restore The restore part is a little trickier than the moisturizing part. Our lips, the vermillion border which gives lips definition and especially the area around the lips are very vulnerable to sun damage and pre-mature aging which results in vertical wrinkles, an uneven lip-border, and ultimately, thinning of the lips. A regular lip balm is not quite enough to restore what’s lost over time. Here are my favorite options for a nightly lip treatment that helps restore not only the lips but also the vermillion border and the skin around the lips: Eau Thermale Avene’s Retrinal H.A.F. is available through dermatologists and also on select specialized e-tailers. This product combines the Retinaldehyde and fragmented Hyaluronic Acid. Simply put, Retinaldehyde is a form of Vitamin A, similar to Retinol, but significantly more effective and not irritating. It helps boost collagen production and also increase the skin’s ability to retain Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is found naturally in our skin and is responsible amongst others for its plump appearance, but it gets depleted with age. In combination, Retinaldehyde and Hyaluronic Acid fragments can significantly diminish the look of lines and wrinkles. You can apply Retrinal H.A.F. to the lips and around the mouth as a nightly treatment. (For more information, visit www.aveneusa.com or www.beautysurg.com) Another interesting treatment option is Elizabeth Arden’s Ceramide Plump Perfect Lip Moisture Cream SPF 30. Ceramides are found naturally in the skin and are one of its “brick &mortar” components that are responsible for proper moisture retention and suppleness. Because this cream provides broad-spectrum UV-protection, you can also use it during the day. (For more information, visit www.elizabetharden.com or www.skinstore.com) A natural alternative is JUARA’s Sweet Black Tea Lip Treatment. The “active” ingredient in this product is Fermented Sweet Black Tea which has been shown to promote skin smoothness and diminish the look of lines. As the name says, Fermented Sweet Black Tea is produced from the fermentation of sweet black tea by two symbiotic organisms and has been a potent longevity beverage all over Asia for centuries. (For more information, visit www.juaraskincare.com or www.skinstore.com) Protect & Glow During the day, you need to protect your lips from the harmful UV-rays and you might also add some color ad glow to your lips. And if you suffer from chronically dry lips like me, you also need to moisturize. The solution is a good tinted lip balm with broad-spectrum sun protection that is really moisturizing, adds a hint of fool-proof color that’s easy to apply and doesn’t cost too much so that you can re-apply liberally. After years of searching, I found the perfect solution: Neutrogena’s Tinted Lip Balm SPF 20. These genius $7.00-sticks have helped me get through dry winter weather, scorching summer days and even nights on the town. Can’t live without them anymore! They come in 8 sheer and universally flattering colors for every skin tone, they are deeply moisturizing, do not flake, are easy to apply without a mirror, and best of all: They provide broad-spectrum UV-protection with Titanium Dioxide (shield from the harmful and aging UVA-rays!). (For more information, visit www.neutrogena.com or www.drugstore.com). Enjoy luscious lips!