All About Lips

Posted by Itati Acosta on

Pucker up- Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Just like your face, lips need consistent care as they’re more prone to sun damage, drying, chapping, etc. Continue reading to learn how to take care for your pout!


Lip skin is very different from the rest of the face. It’s much thinner with a protective top layer that doesn’t actually accumulate dead skin cells for us to exfoliate off.  If your lips are dry or chapped it’s because your lip’s skin barrier needs repair.  It’s important to first hydrate with a lip balm.  Gentle exfoliation may help with dry skin build up and help smooth rough patches. Lip exfoliation will help restore shine, soften the lips, and smooth the surface. I suggest using a small amount of an exfoliating scrub 1-2 times a week as needed. But, Dr. Azi says that you’re better off hydrating the lips rather than exfoliating them.

Why are lips more prone to dryness?

Lip skin is thinner and more delicate making it more likely to be affected by environmental factors such as dry air, wind, and sun.  It’s also exposed to irritating substances such as saliva or spicy foods. Lips also don’t have oil glands and when they feel dry we tend to lick our lips which in turn can cause even more irritation and dryness.

How to exfoliate

  1. Apply a small amount of exfoliating scrub to your ring finger.
  2. Gently rub in a circular motion over the lips focusing mostly on dry areas for less than 10-15 seconds.
  3. Leave the mixture on for 30 seconds and rinse with warm water.
  4. Pat skin dry and apply a protective balm to lock in moisture and allow for self repair.

Lip scrubs

Dr. Azi generally recommends a premed one. It’s safer, easier, and cleaner. If you are going to make one at home , it's suggested to mix 1 teaspoon of a natural abrasive ingredient like sugar or salt with 1 teaspoon of a nourishing ingredient like avocado oil, pure petroleum jelly, almond oil, or shea butter.


Dr. Azi suggests using a dye free, fragrance free lip balm 1-2 times a day as daily care preferably with SPF 30 or higher.  If you are experiencing dry or chapped lips then use a protective balm up to 4 x a day  especially after eating or drinking.  If you are in cooler, drier climates, humidifiers help.  Lipsticks have dyes that can cause irritation, particularly the color red. 

Best ingredients

Ointments are more effective at sealing in hydration, preventing water loss, and forming a protective coat. Ingredients such as white petrolatum, shea butter, glycerin, ceramides, and beeswax are all great.

Dr. Azi’s personal recommendations:

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Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Shirazi received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. After doing a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, she completed her residency training in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in addition to completing her training in dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the University of California San Diego.

She has received multiple research scholarships from iconic institutions including Harvard University and the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has several peer-reviewed publications to her name.