As we wearily emerge from the pandemic, our brick and mortar has been buzzing with an anticipatory glee for unmasking. With the recent lifting of our provincial mask regulations, we are doing more colour-matching than ever. An emphasis on under-eye care and eye-enhancing makeup has been trending since the beginning of the pandemic; the focus is starting to shift back to a full-face look. And like the grand unveiling of a work of art, this just makes our hearts flutter. Easing back into a complete beauty routine after two years of wearing a mask is exciting, to say the least. Just a whisper of colour on glowy skin can change everything as we come out of winter hibernation and look forward to beauty beyond Covid. But you may have noticed a change in your skin. Let's talk about one area in particular that has been neglected. Your lips.
The Effects of 'Mask Mouth'
Face masks induced significant skin issues. We saw clogged pores, localized irritation along the mask-line, dull, sagging skin caused by more time indoors in front of screens, and parched, cracked lips. Dehydrated lips have resulted from trapped heat, bacteria and saliva combined with repetitive friction and low airflow.
When you breathe or talk, your mask tends to trap a lot of hot air. This air creates a warm, humid environment - an ideal setting for yeast, bacteria and other flora, such as Demodex, to grow.
- Dermatologist Amy Kassouf, MD.
While wearing a mask, we default to breathing through the mouth. This means more air moves through the mouth and past the lips, drying them out in the process. While we diligently slathered on lip balm, it often rubbed off on the inside of the mask, depriving the lips of moisture and adding to local skin congestion. Even with the proper mask selection and frequent mask washing, we were, at best, only slightly able to minimize dry, chapped lips. The cold winter months zapped even more humidity from the air causing extra dryness. They've been through enough! It's time to show your lips some much-needed love.
Steps To Restore Your Lip Health After Unmasking
Staying hydrated can maximize your lip's fullness and defend against dry, damaged lips. To keep your lips (and the rest of you) healthy, hydrate from the inside out. Aim to get 3 litres of water a day.
Lips require a more specific, gentle exfoliation than the rest of our facial skin. The temptation may be to aggressively slough off chapped lips, but the goal of this process is to increase cell turnover and eliminate dead skin - not cause damage. So avoid vigorous scrubbing, like brushing your lips with your toothbrush, and instead use a hydrating lip exfoliant once or twice a week to smooth and soften the lips.
Lip balms containing emollients, like cocoa or shea butter help draw in moisture, while vitamin-rich oils like avocado or coconut oil help retain moisture. Pro tip: Avoid licking your lips - it's only a temporary solution to relieving dryness, and it will work against you. When saliva evaporates, it takes moisture with it.
Signs of aging occur first on the neck, back of our hands, and the lips. This is because the skin in these areas is thinner than anywhere else on your body. This, in combination with a lack of sebaceous glands (the glands that keep your skin moisturized), causes lips to chap easily. They also lack melanin, the pigment in the skin that darkens to protect from the sun's ultraviolet rays, putting lips at a much higher risk of getting sunburnt. Because your lips can't protect themselves from sun damage, it's important to use a lip balm that contains sunscreen.
Here comes the fun part. If you didn't wear lipstick before the pandemic, you are not required to start now. However, you may just love it. We carry the gold standard in lip colour, from silky lip liners to high-pigment plumping lip glosses and anti-aging lipsticks. Clean, high-performance lip shades make a world of difference in keeping our lips hydrated and supple. A small amount of any product applied to the lips is ingested over time, so with that in mind, we guarantee our lip line contains the best quality and safest ingredients. Some of our lip glosses contain volume-boosting vegetable collagen that helps repair cell structure and fight the visible signs of ageing. Some lip tints include olive-derived squalane oil to boost moisture retention and plump lips. Some of our lip balms contain organic beeswax to lock in moisture. The list goes on.
*Side effects of wearing lipstick again may include exhilaration and a boost in confidence.
This beauty deserves a shoutout of her own. Fitglow Beauty Night Lip Serum is a regenerative and plumping lip treatment that stays put while you sleep. It is designed to hydrate, repair and strengthen the lip moisture barrier with Plant Ceramides and Pomegranate Sterols. Its vegetable collagen increases lip volume and fights visible signs of ageing on the lips. The natural plumping properties of this treatment can create a bit of a tingle that dissipates quickly but leaves a volumized appearance. This product can be used day or night as the perfect plumping, non-sticky gloss!
Reach us here for a complimentary colour-consult.
Pucker up, Buttercup 💋,
Copywriter, The Green Kiss