Lip-care products were among the first cosmetics, dating as far back as 3500 b.c., when Mesopotamians made lip paints. Even in Puritan New England—where cosmetic use was frowned upon—women made soothing lip balm from crushed rose petals.
Lipstick, as we know it, was introduced in Paris in 1910. Beeswax was a key ingredient then and still is today, as manufacturers haven’t been able to develop a suitable substitute for it.
You don’t have to spend $15 at a cosmetic-counter for a bright, beautiful smile, however. Natural lip glosses and balms are easy to create at home. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Compared to the rest of our bodies, our lips are unique both for their appearance and their make-up. They have no sweat glands, few sebaceous oil glands and their only protection from the outside world is saliva—which really isn’t all that helpful.
Keep your lips looking and feeling their best with these simple tips.
• To exfoliate dry lips, apply a layer of light oil, then gently brush your lips with a warm, wet washcloth or soft toothbrush.
• Avoid licking your lips. This actually dries them out more, causing them to chap and crack.
• Condition your lips as you sleep by coating them with a layer of lip gloss or natural oil, such as coconut oil, before you go to bed.
• If you are susceptible to cold sores, look for products and recipes with peppermint or eucalyptus oil. These natural antimicrobials can help fight cold sores. Also add a few drops of these oils to your favorite lip product recipe.
• If you spend a lot of time outdoors, use sunscreen on your lips. Lips can develop skin cancer if not protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
Janice Cox is the author of Natural Beauty at Home and Natural Beauty from the Garden (Henry Holt & Company, New York).
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