7 Steps To the Perfect Pouty Lips

Have you ever carefully applied your favorite lipstick ... only to look in a mirror an hour later and discover that it's bleeding through the edges of your lips?

There are ways to slow the signs of lip aging! Time and time again, I've encountered patients and friends who invest tons of time and money in skin care - only to virtually ignore their lips. Don't make that mistake.

  1. If you smoke, stop! The repeated action of pursing your lips around a cigarette creates "wrinkles in motion," that is, wrinkles caused by repeatedly moving your skin a certain way. Eventually, those wrinkles will remain even when your lips are at rest.
  2. For that same reason, limit your use of drinking straws and anything else that causes you to repeatedly purse your lips.
  3. When you're slathering SPF on the rest of your body, it can be easy to forget your lips. If your signature shade of lipstick isn't sun-friendly, always start with a base of SPF lip balm.
  4. In fact, the lips are a very common site for skin cancer because they don't naturally secrete vitamin E-rich sebum - the oil that helps protect your skin. Pick up a bottle of vitamin E oil or lip balm with vitamin E. Not only will it help protect your pout against skin cancer, it will also prevent the signs of aging.
  5. If your lips feel flaky, it's perfectly fine to exfoliate them, although there's no need to exfoliate on a regular basis. Use a fine scrub (nothing too abrasive), and be sure to follow it with a hydrating product. In addition to vitamin E, I love glycerin-based balms, which will help lips hold on to water.
  6. Curious about "lip plumping" glosses? In general, they do work - by irritating the delicate skin on the lips and causing them to swell slightly. (They're not dangerous, but a word of warning: When I tried one, my lips burned for an hour, even though I'd washed it off immediately!)
  7. If you're really interested in plumper lips, consider dermal fillers. Contrary to common fears, the latest dermal fillers (like Restylane, Juvederm, Hylaform, and the newly approved Perlane) can look very natural when a skilled doctor performs the procedure. Ask him or her to go easy on you - a little goes a very long way when it comes to lips.

Wishing you great skin!

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Dr. Baumann is author of the best-selling book, " The Skin Type Solution." To learn more about her revolutionary skin typing system, visit her Web site, SkinTypeSolutions.com.

All of Dr. Baumann's recommended skin care products are available online, and a portion of proceeds goes to The Dermatology Foundation.

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