Pucker Up!

15th June 2018

With National Kissing Day coming up later this month on 22 June, Lisa Botwright investigates the best way to get our lips primed and ready…

Lips often get a rough deal. While the rest of our face is swathed night and morning in soft cleansers and protective moisturisers, our lips – save for a quick swipe of lipstick or lip balm – might be exposed to the elements all day. This results in dry, flaky skin and less than kissable lips… so it’s time to ramp up our oral skincare and pay more than lip service to one of the most important and tactile organs in the body.

Lips, of course, do so much more than just kissing: they’re essential to our overall health. They’re how we ingest our food and drink; they act as a seal against bacteria when we clamp them shut and they’re how we communicate with each other by using them to articulate sound and speech. Densely packed with more nerve endings than the tips of our fingers, they are extremely sensitive to touch, warmth and cold – and they appreciate our full attention.

Often it’s this intense sensitivity that causes a negative cycle of damage. At the first hint of tingling from wind or sun damage, it’s tempting to lick our lips; but once this moisture evaporates, we’re left with even drier and more uncomfortable skin. Instead, we need to think about a double-sided approach to moisture, inside and out. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to keep hydrated and keep moisture levels up in lips as well as skin. Then protect your lips from the outside-in by sealing-in moisture with a thick layer of comforting balm. Burt’s Bees’ ultra conditioning version of their range of paraben-free balms is infused with kokum, shea and cocoa butters to leave lips super soft. Kokum butter, their star ingredient, is an essential fatty acid packed full of vitamin E and traditionally used in India to treat dry, cracked and rough skin. If you’re looking for extra sun protection, American anti-ageing brand Paula’s Choice offer a lovely velvety balm that includes SPF50.

A great way to tackle any lingering dry skin is to use a gentle exfoliator like LUSH’s little pot of goodness that harnesses the natural humectant properties of honey. Stay sweet-lipped by rubbing this sugary scrub over your lips and allow the hint of peppermint oil to cool, freshen and even plump the lips too.

For ultimate indulgence use an overnight hydrating lip mask (and who knew there were such a thing?) and wake up with an even more kissable pout; or smooth the mask on for twenty minutes or so before applying lipstick to take your makeup prep to the next stage.

The finishing touch to your lip-pampering is a splash of colour – and if you’re finding that your lipstick doesn’t stay put, try a primer for a more longlasting effect. As we get older, we have the added annoyance of ‘feathering’ – lipstick bleeding into the fine lines around the mouth. If this is a concern for you, try the Look Fabulous Forever Never Feather lip prime.

When it comes to colour, there are thousands of shades and textures. For the most natural hint of colour, the Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment, a potent concoction packed full of hyaluronic filling spheres and antioxidants, also works with your own natural lip shade to give you a pretty flush of pink.

But whether you’re a sheer-and-natural type, or your preference is for deep or vivid colour, Lancôme Juicy Shaker offers both. The more you shake and apply this latest incarnation of the cult Juicy Tube family, the more the colour builds up for made-to-measure intensity.

National Kissing Day is now in its twelfth year and celebrates the place that this intimate act holds in our culture. But it’s not just about romantic kissing. Whether you’ll be smooching with your partner, pecking your best friend on the cheek, blowing raspberries onto your baby’s belly or cuddling up with your pet pooch – have fun and pucker up with confidence.

nügg Hydrating Lip Mask £9.95 beautybay.com
LUSH Honey Lip Scrub £5.95 uk.lush.com
Lancôme Juicy Shaker £20 lancome.co.uk
Never Feather Lip Prime £17.50 lookfabulousforever.com
Je Ne Sais Quoi Lip Treatment £23 itcosmetics.co.uk
Ultra Conditioning Lip Balm £3.99 burtsbees.co.uk
Lip Balm SPF 50 £12 paulaschoice.co.uk

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