Lip Service

Dr. Whitney Bowe, a leading NYC dermatologist and recognized expert in skin rejuvenation, laser therapies, and nutritional dermatology, offers the following tips on how to achieve a healthy pout.

The good doctor's first piece of advice is to avoid products with plumping agents. Today’s trend may be plump lips, but ingredients such as menthol and camphor sting – a telltale sign you’re reacting to it. Additionally, these products don't contain any nourishing ingredients to help lock in moisture.

Instead, Dr. Bowe suggests seeking out nourishing ingredients to provide both immediate relief from the dryness as well as long-term moisture. One such ingredient is shea butter, which is fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. Shea butter is an essential hydrator with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It's also rich in Vitamin E, which helps protect lips against environmental stressors.

Another suggestion by the derm doc is to stop licking your lips. She explains that our skin has a thick stratum corneum to keep it protected, but our lips do not have this layer. Our pout is, therefore, more prone to irritation and dryness.

"If you lick your lips, you are going to experience even more chapped irritation," she said. "Your saliva evaporates and causes you to keep licking to avoid the drying sensation. It's a vicious cycle. Saliva also breaks down the delicate tissues and compromises the barrier."

To lock in moisture all day, it's advised to apply lip balm after eating or drinking and right before bed. It's also suggested to apply balm just outside the lip borders because it’s often the outer perimeter of your lips that becomes chapped. Another tip is to try to avoid matte, or long-lasting lip stains, as they tend to be very drying. If you do use them, Dr. Rowe says to prime the lips first with a hydrating balm.

Dr. Bowe's go-to for lip balm is made by eos. She approves that eos Lip Balms are made with shea butter and have been shown to lock hydration and moisture into lips for up to eight hours. "My favorite is eos Pure & Free," she said, continuing, "It’s made with all-organic ingredients, including shea butter and coconut oil, to deliver hydration for soft, healthy-looking lips." Good to know Dr. B. - good to know!