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Let's face it, lips are at their most luscious when they look full and juicy. And today, a flurry of new products can actually repair and improve your lips, all before you even swipe on your lipstick.
You might not realize it, but there's a big difference between the skin on our lips and on the rest of our face. "Lip skin is very thin and it doesn't contain any oil or sweat glands," says Dr. Howard Sobel, a cosmetic dermatological surgeon based in New York City. "Also, constant muscle movement and exposure to the sun leads to fine lines, fading, and volume loss." But with a little help from these new treatments, balms, and glosses, your lips will be toned and protected -- and gorgeous.
If you want instant softness, a lip exfoliator will buff away rough cells, leaving you with a soft, kissable result.We Like:
Comfort Zone Lip Blooming Scrub ($19.50) uses jojoba beads to buff and moisturize, and apricot butter for extra hydration. English Ideas Lip Refine ($32) an overnight treatment, smoothes lips with alpha hydroxy acids. Aloette Soothe 'n Smooth ($24.50) contains both a scrub and a moisturizing balm with aloe and peppermint oil.
Unlike the rest of our skin, which is covered in a protective layer called the stratum corneum, our lips have only a thin protective layer (permeable mucous membrane). "The upside to this unique layer," explains Dr. Charles Zugerman, a dermatologist and Blistex advisor, "is that anti-aging ingredients get to where they need to go, faster." Look for products that contain collagen-building, lip-volumizing peptides. Lip treatments containing vitamin A-derived retinol can diminish lines and wrinkles. Finally, don't forget about your best defense, sun-protecting ingredients.We Like:
Aveeno Positively Radiant Lip Enhancer ($6.99) contains moisturizing soy, also a protective antioxidant, to fight cell breakdown. DERMAdoctor POUTlandish ($27.50) helps prevent wrinkles with SPF 15. Clinical Solutions Therapy Systems Line Tox for Lips ($65) has Argireline, a peptide as well as hyaluronic acid, for superior moisturization. Let it soak in before applying lipstick.
For a quickie lip miracle, try one of the instant plumping formulas, which work by rushing blood to the lips. The secret to temporary -- and oh-so-sexy -- fullness is also available as pretty lip glosses, many of which feature anti-aging peptide technology. Talk about streamlining your lip plumping and coloring routine in one shot!For Instant Gratification We Like:
DuWop Lip Venom Flash ($16) a shimmery gloss that contains a jojoba oil base with such spicy ingredients as cinnamon, wintergreen, and ginger. By warming the skin, it flushes color to the lips. With its tingly kick, you'll actually feel it working.For the Long Haul We Like:
City Lips ($29), originally a clear gloss, is now available in colors to wear whenever the mood strikes. In addition to peptides and instant plumping ingredients, this formula features Celedrol, a patented ingredient that keeps new cells at the surface where they can retain moisture for much longer. Philosophy Big Mouth ($22) boasts camphor and peppermint, plus peptides for plumping and retinol for smoothness and toning. You'll love your newly bee-stung pout!