Try itApr/May 2013 Issue

Pucker Up!

Treat your lips naturally

© stockbyte/Thinkstock 2013

© stockbyte/Thinkstock 2013

Lip care products were some of the first cosmetic items ever created, with a history that’s traced back to ancient times. Today, lip balm, lip gloss and lipstick are the most commonly used and purchased cosmetics in the world.

Lip care is a vital part of any skincare regimen. Protecting our lips and ensuring they’re soft, smooth and healthy keeps us smiling. Fortunately, natural lip products are easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients.

Lip care starts with gentle exfoliation. Just like the skin on the rest of the body, keeping lips clean of flaky surface debris means they look and feel better and helps them retain more moisture. With a soft washcloth or bath brush, gently brush your lips weekly to rid them of any flaky skin. Then apply a coat of natural oil, such as sunflower or coconut oil, to help keep lips healthy and glowing.

To treat painfully chapped lips, mix together equal parts castor oil and lemon juice. Spread this mixture over your lips before you go to bed and leave it on overnight. During the day, apply a rich lip balm to keep lips well moisturized.

Here are some simple recipes that you can make at home to keep your lips healthy and beautiful.


Homemade Lip Balm

MAKES ½ OUNCE

This basic lip balm is super simple to make and fun to wear. Coconut oil is a great lip conditioner. It creates a protective layer on your lips that really locks in moisture. Find it in the grocery store or at Asian markets.

1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon light oil, such as sun-flower, canola or almond oil
½ teaspoon grated beeswax

1. Place all ingredients in a small, microwave-safe container.

2. Melt mixture very gently in the microwave, being careful not to overheat.

3. Pour mixture into a small, clean container and let cool completely.

4. Spread balm on lips with a clean fingertip or lip brush.

 


 

Vanilla Lip Gloss

MAKES ½ OUNCE

Cocoa butter softens and protects lips. It’s available in the skincare aisle of your grocery or drug store. (Make sure it’s 100 percent cocoa butter.) For variety, replace vanilla oil with another flavored oil (not extract) of your choosing. Flavored oils are often available in the baking section of large supermarkets.

1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
⅛ teaspoon gluten-free vitamin E oil
⅛ teaspoon vanilla-flavored oil

1. Place all ingredients in a small, microwave-safe container.

2. Melt mixture very gently in the microwave, being careful not to overheat.

3. Pour into a small, clean container and let cool completely.

4. Spread gloss on lips with a clean fingertip or lip brush.

 


 

Tropical Lip Gloss

MAKES ¾ OUNCE

Island ingredients help protect against wind and sun. If you can’t tolerate macadamia nut oil (or can’t locate it at your local grocery store), substitute your favorite light oil.

1 teaspoon grated beeswax
1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon macadamia nut oil
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
⅛ teaspoon gluten-free vitamin E oil

1. Place all ingredients in a small microwave-safe container.

2. Melt mixture very gently in the microwave, being careful not to overheat.

3. Pour mixture into a small, clean container and let cool completely.

4. Spread gloss on lips with a clean fingertip or lip brush.

 


 

Lip Exfoliator

MAKES ½ OUNCE

Be very gentle when exfoliating your lips, as the skin there is delicate. Use this mixture weekly for softer lips. Store any leftover mixture in a small, covered container.

1 teaspoon light oil, such as sunflower, canola or almond oil
1 teaspoon honey
2 teaspoons brown sugar

1. Mix all ingredients together until smooth.

2. Gently massage a bit into your lips using your fingertips.

3. Rinse well with warm water.

Janice Cox is author of Natural Beauty at Home.

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