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Just like the sun, smoking, gravity and other pollutants can have an impact on the skin around your eyes and on your face, it can also affect how your lips age. From the loss of your perfect pout, lips can thin and discolor, fine lines and wrinkles may appear, giving away your age.
Lips deserve the same care and attention that you pay to the rest of your face. Protecting with a well formulated, high SPF sunscreen is a good start. Look for one that also contains moisturizing ingredients to help prevent dryness. Skin on the lips is thin and doesn't contain oil glands making it particularly prone to dryness and peeling.
Recently, new lip products containing peptides have come on the market. Certain peptides stimulate the production of collagen helping to fight against the loss that comes with age. If lips are thinning, peptide containing formulations can help to boost collagen production. Products with alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) can help to exfoliate lips improving their appearance if they are dry and peeling. They've also been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Vitamin A derivatives like retinol also help to minimize the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating collagen production and increasing skin cell turnover. Vitamin A can also deliver antioxidant benefits helping to protect against free radical damage.
That Perfect Pout
If you're anxious about lips that aren't as luscious as you'd like, consider products that feature ingredients to plump the lips. One ingredient is cinnamon leaf oil, which works as an irritant to boost circulation, leaving lips looking fuller and redder. Be cautious as cinnamon leaf oil is a strong ingredient that can leave a burning sensation. If lips are sore and cracked, stay away. And because cinnamon oil is so potent, it's often recommended that it be mixed in with your lip balm to reduce its potency. This is definitely a case where more is not better.
Another ingredient used for its lip plumping effect is niacin, a form of Vitamin B3. Niacin works very well as a plumping agent by causing capillaries within your lips to swell thereby resulting in a fuller, redder appearance. As with cinnamon oil, niacin can irritate lips so don't apply it directly to lips. Look for niacin contained within a lip balm or lip gloss.
Like any skin care product, don't expect miraculous results. Dramatically thick and pouty lips can only be achieved with injections containing ingredients such as fat, collagen or hyaluronic acid. However, if you're interested in more inexpensive and less painful ways to achieve gorgeous looking lips, here are some over the counter products to consider:
Neostrata Anti-Wrinkle Lip Enhancer – Formulated with peptides, retinol and niacin, this new formulation is ideal for individuals concerned about thinning lips as well as wrinkles and fine lines.
Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in skin care solutions including anti aging skin care. She owns and operates an online skin care store at www.PharmacyMix.com