Hey guys! Welcome back. It’s Felicia. It’s Rowena. If you guys have been with us for a while, you know that we have been talking a lot about skincare products. Eye health, gut health, and just general healthy lifestyle habits to achieve that flawless skin and body. But we haven’t actually gotten around to one really important feature on our face. Have we? No, we have not. And what we haven’t talked about yet is our luscious, beautiful lips 🙂 And this topic’s been highly requested by our beauty fam, so today’s episode we are going to be talking all about our juicy, and maybe not so juicy, lips. Because the skin on our lips is actually quite different to the skin on the rest of our face and bodies. So we’ll be talking about: How our lips work? Some of the most common problems we see including: chapped lips, split lips, aging lips, Angular Cheilitis. Mythbusting common ingredients for your lips, types of lip care products you’ll see in stores, and of course, our favorite lip care products! So let’s get into some lip anatomy 🙂 I think typically we don’t really think too much about our lips. But did you know there are multiple different parts? So we’re gonna break it down for you. Starting from the top you might see two vertical peaks that kind of lead up to your nose and this is the Philtrum and it serves no real purpose. But actually, after watching this short segment on a BBC documentary, where they talk specifically about the Philtrum, we found out that it’s actually where the formation of our entire face in the womb like morphs together! It’s so crazy! And this happens between 2 to 4 months of when we’re like in the fetus stage. It’s shocking! It comes out from here and your face and your eyeballs and your ears just form in this middle section. (Ro: Niceee) Haha I know! 😀 You are the … Creator. This is the … like the core of … the Earth face. (*laughs*) Then there’s the Cupid’s bow which is at the end of the Philtrum. It’s the curve at the top of the lip. Once again, not everyone has this, but it creates the shape of the lip. And with things like highlighters, we like to highlight this part to accentuate it to make the lip look fuller. (*Pouts*) Now we get into an interesting part, the border where our lip actually meets the rest of our face. And this is called the Vermillion border, and this happens because the skin on our lips is actually the thinnest and is made completely of soft tissue, and the skin on our face is thicker which means the blood vessels on our lip area are much closer to the surface, and so when this changes it creates this kind of border between the lips and the face. The blood vessels being closer to the surface also explains why our lips are naturally redder than the rest of our face. And some people’s will be more defined while other’s will be very faint. And it kind of just gradually blend into their skin. Yeah! Because lip color is a whole other story, Like some people’s (are) really pink and light. (*points to Ro*) While other people’s (are) darker browns or like sometimes mine’s purple looking. (*points at Fel*) But anyway we’ll talk about- (Ro: It’s like a natural lip liner.) (Fel: Yeah) I’ve always envied friends who had that. Mine’s like pale. Everything’s pale. And with the Vermilion Border, it actually splits into two different sections, the wet and the dry. And this is one of the biggest reasons why our lips actually get chapped in the first place, because the section that’s closest to the inner portion, you know when we like get all that gunk stuck in here, so that’s the wet Vermilion. And this is the extension of the inside of our body which is called the mucous membrane. And this keeps the portion of the body wet or moistened because of the salivary glands. You can also find mucous membranes inside the nasal passages, trachea or your windpipe, lungs, stomach and intestines. And all these areas will always be moistened and never dry. Then the dry Vermilion is where our lips get chapped and we need to use balms and products, because there are no salivary glands. So once again, the skin is very thin and it has no source of natural hydration in this area. The two outer edges are called the Oral Commisure and this is important for functions like smiling 😀 And inside the lips are known as the lip pillow which gives our lips that full cushion-like effect like some people have more of it, some people don’t have it. It’s like, you know, here. Even when you sketch lips, you create that pout here, right? And the pout here. (*mimics pouting*) Like shading. (Fel: Yeah) Now let’s talk about the layers. Our skin is made up of three layers, the epidermis or the surface layer, the dermis, and the hypodermis or the deepest layer. And our lips are also made up of these exact, same three layers of skin but the stratum corneum that sits on the top of the skin is thinner than most other areas of our body. So once again, it’s very, very sensitive. And the skin on your upper lip is actually slightly thicker than the skin on the lower. Unlike the skin on the rest of our face, our lips don’t have hair follicles or any sebaceous glands, so it has to rely on saliva to keep itself moisturized. But that doesn’t mean you should go ahead and start licking your lips. We’ll get to that later. Actually I have a very bad habit of licking my lips. So let’s go even further! Maybe now you’ve realized, if you’ve watched our eye care video, that the skin on our lips is very similar to the thin skin under our eyes. Both very sensitive, very thin, and we have to take care of it! And on top of that, our lips also lack in melanin which we mentioned in our sunscreen videos. And it’s the pigment that helps protect our skin against UV rays and sun damage, with darker skin tones producing more (*points at Fel) and lighter skin tones producing less (*points at Ro) so chances are that if you have dark skin colors, some of that melanin might show on your upper lip, while those with lighter skin have a lighter upper lip color. And I think you can actually see that with me and you. Like I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed, yeah, its like brown-y, purple, tan colored. And then- Healthy! (Fel: I don’t know!) Sometimes it just looks like I’m really cold! (Ro: Laughs) And I hated it for the longest time. And then this one is slightly redder, but yours is like kinda even, top and bottom. Actually, that was one of my biggest insecurities, I hated this upper lip. But I have freckles in my lips, so melanin … no melanin? Maybe you just need epic sunscreen for that? Hahahaha Which we will talk about later! (Ro: Anywayyyy…) So then it begs the question, how are some of these common lip problems, that we face, occurring? And why they’re caused? And what can we do to actually treat them? The good old chapped lips! This is probably the most common lip condition that we have all probably gotten some time in our lives. When our lips get dry or split, our first reaction is to moisten them with our saliva. (Fel: Licks lips) Frequently licking our lips due to general discomfort which only leads to more dryness. Because saliva may be a lubricant for our body, but it’s actually an irritant for our lips. And everytime we lick our lips, the moisture caused by saliva evaporates. And further dries out the thin skin which can then leave it itchy, dry, and flaky, and cracked. And it’s the same principle as we said, as T.E.W.L, or Transepidermal Water Loss, same with our skin which is not good. (Ro: *No no*) And did you know that dry lips are actually a common sign of digestive tract problems? When you are dehydrated, your body pulls water from other parts of the body, like the intestines, to hydrate the cells. This can cause dryness in the colon, leading to constipation, and dryness in the rest of the body. Overall, its leading to intense dehydration, that’s actually affecting your entire body. So what shall we do then? Obviously, there are lip care products which we’ll get into in a bit. But internally treating it is much more effective. 🙂 And if you’re out and about, you can also grab some coconut water which is very hydrating because it contains natural amounts of sodium and potassium! Which is what your cells need to bring water into the body. An additional way to look at dry lips is by understanding a little bit of Chinese Medicine. The health of our lips and mouth depend on the spleen which houses dead red blood cells. Thus, the spleen is responsible for the transformation of water and food into the ‘qi’ or energy, and blood of the body. Lips can also become pale when your spleen’s ‘qi’ is weak. And the spleen can be affected when we have irregular eating patterns or when we’re stressed. Another thing you can do for your lips is to consume foods that nourish the spleen. This means warm cooked foods, broths, stews and warming spices, like ginger and tumeric, like in teas. So moving on to Angular Cheilitis. We added this one cause a lot of you guys asked. So what actually is it? Angular Cheilitis is a condition that looks like a rough, painful, red, itchy and swollen patch, normally located on the corners of your mouth, and it can show up on just one side or on both corners of the lips. The patches are irritated. They’re raised and inflamed when it occasionally cracks. And the open wound makes it actually very difficult to open your mouth, and like eat and smile, and it’s quite painful actually. So it’s kinda similar to having Eczema on the sides of your mouth. Happens at least once or twice for me every winter. (Fel: Really??) Just little, little ones (Fel: Oh okay) There’s actually a few reasons for this lip condition. For external factors, apart from the obvious ones, like weather and overall dehydration, another main reason for this could be the pulling of saliva around the corners of your mouth, especially when you’re sleeping. It creates a wet environment that causes bacteria in that area to grow and flourish and thrive, so stop drooling in your sleep guys 😀 Yeah you wake up and its like its not that type of drool, but sometimes like yeah you see people talking and it just like pools. Or it could be from nutrient deficiencies, like Omega-3 or Omega-6, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, or even zinc and iron. All of which you can actually get by eating healthy oils, like coconut or avocado, and things like salmon. And we actually mentioned this in our two-part series. All about food and skin inflammation. For internal factors, Angular Cheilitis is commonly found in those who have a history of Atopic Dermatitis or Eczema, or in those who have Candida overgrowth which is an overgrowth of yeast in your body or skin. So it’s a type of fungus. So how do you know if its actually from Candida? You’ll notice that this area will clear up during the hotter, summer months, and it may suddenly come up and be active again during the damp, cool months, since it tends to thrive in these kind of environments. You can get this during any season but it often happens in the winter because of the lack of humidity in the air can hurt your lip barrier and it’s more prone to cracking. The yeast finds the corner of your mouth a very pleasant and sociable environment to live and thrive. Then what should we do? Focus on killing off the yeast. You can do so by limiting sugar, carb-rich and refined food intake in your diet. Incorporate more leafy greens, and vegetables, coconut oil and garlic. And once it heals, just try to avoid licking that area of your lip to prevent it from creating that environment again, for it to then pop up again. Alright, next is aging lips! The thing is you all know that as we age, our skin is going to age too. And it’s inevitable and natural. Since your lips are made of the most delicate and thinnest skin to begin with, we’re going to start seeing them wrinkle sooner than the rest of our face. (*Woooomp*) And what’s the reason? Collagen. Normally, your collagen production peaks in your late teens, like 16 to 18 years old, so that’s where your lips and the rest of your face, really, appear the fullest and plumpest, like a fresh grape and once you reach about your twenties, that amount of collagen production will slowly decrease about 1-2% a year, and that just kind of keeps on going down every decade or so. But it’s fine you know! Age is good! 🙂 Without the aid of collagen to help you, your once voluminous and luscious lips might start appearing flat and thin. So for those who have aging lips, start focusing on restoring collagen by using treatments containing active, anti-aging ingredients and regularly using lip balms with SPF protection. Because remember in our sunscreen video, we said sunscreen is actually the best anti-aging ingredient for anything. Because our lips are so thin and it doesn’t have melanin to protect it, the sun actually ages this. And it will cause those like puckering, like much quicker. (Ro: Puckers) So SPF all the wayyyy~ Let’s move on to some ingredients to look for and to also avoid. Maybe, when searching for that perfect lip balm. Here’s the thing, there are literally so many lip products out there! So, how can you be sure you’re picking out the best one for your lip? So before going into ingredients, keep in mind that each person will tolerate certain ingredients well, while others may be not so well. And it’s also a personal preference kind of thing, because in terms of like textures, and scents, and brands. Petrolatum, petroleum jelly, mineral oil. If you thought of Vaseline, you are correct! Petroleum jelly is also an occulsive that works as a- (Fel: Occlusive) Ro: I was thinking of occult. Fel: Occult. Vaseline is part of the occulttttt (*hahahahaha*) They’re controlling us by our toesss 😀 Petroleum jelly is also an occlusive that works as a barrier to prevent the skin’s moisture from evaporating into air while keeping out bacteria and other outside particles from entering the skin. Petrolatum, petroleum jelly and mineral oil are all derived from crude oil, which is found in the Earth. And to give another perspective, it’s also used for things like gas for running your car. This is the key reason for why these ingredients are considered harmful and carcinogenic. But what’s commonly misunderstood is the fact that these ingredients are actually ultra-refined, and so all the impurities from the natural crude oil are actually stripped away during the process. And what’s leftover are products that are generally safe to use in cosmetics and on the skin. Note that we’re saying *generally*, not everyone can tolerate these ingredients which is why it is still considered comedogenic in many reviews and can develop reactions with the skin. The good news is that for our lips personally, there’s less of a chance of it clogging pores because there are no pores on our lips. (Ro: To clog) So you won’t find, you know, Vaseline is comedogenic, and I actually find it worked really well when the skin is really, severely chapped. Next is Lanolin! So Lanolin is a natural, animal-derived product that is harvested from sheep’s wool. And when refined, the outcome is an occlusive again, that helps to prevent water from evaporating the skin, but to also keep the skin moisturized and soft-feeling. It also helps to stay on the lips for a longer period of time. Because you know how sometimes you apply lip products and it’s gone within 5 minutes? (Ro: Yeah) Like you lick it and it’s gone. Drunk Elephant Lippie. I love it but it’s like that. (Fel: Trueeee!) So, sounds like any other occlusive right? But what makes Lanolin controversial? Allergies! Ironically, when Lanolin or Lanolin Alcohol are considered safe ingredients, it’s also one that some people don’t know they have an allergy to. So the safest is to test it out yourself. Personally, I haven’t found anything wrong with putting it on my lips, but it might happen to others. Lanolin is more so catered to unbroken and intact skin, so when your lips are just in need of a little extra moisture, some people swear by Lanolin as their holy grail and as the holy grail ingredient for getting that soft pucker. If you go to duty free in Australia, because you know Australia has a lot of sheep, and this is from sheep’s wool, like this is one of our biggest exports. And there’s so many Lanolin lip care products. So an example of lip products that have this is the Go-To Lips Super Balm. And this is an Australian brand! (*Hehehe ding-ding-ding-ding-ding*) So this has ultra medical grade Lanolin. It also has shea butter which helps to soften and soothe and moisturize dry skin. And on top of that, it also has apricot kernel oil which is an emollient, with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and a little bit of beeswax which you’ll see in like most lip products which helps in moisturizing the skin. And then, towards the end of it, there’s also, almond oil, primrose oil, Vitamin E, jojoba and avocado. So there’s quite a lot in here, but the top product is the Lanolin. So personally, I actually like this texture of lip stuff. (Ro: Me too.) (Fel: It’s like gooey.) (Ro: It reminds me of the Kiehl’s.) (Fel: Oh yeah.) (Ro: But then this is like ten times better.) (Fel: Mhmm!) And then the go-to products also have no parabens or sulfates or mineral oils, no petrolatum. So it’s completely on the Lanolin side. (Ro: Mmm) Australia represent!! 😀 (Ro: Woohoo~) Yeaaaa maaaaate~~Bahhhhh. Anyway…okay let’s move on. Another ingredient is honey. We mentioned in many of our videos how raw honey has a variety of healing properties on the skin. It works to hydrate, even out texture, and plump the skin while destroying acne-causing bacteria with its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. The good news is that this ingredient is safe to use for healing your lips. It’s rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants, which is great for fighting off free radicals. Beeswax is another very popular ingredient to help provide structure to the actual lip balms. So there’s so many brands that actually use beeswax or bee properties. So the more waxy the lip balm feels, and the less greasy, the more likely it has a higher content of beeswax. So once again, this just goes back to personal preference as well because some people prefer less glossy or oily effect from the lip balms while others enjoy it. And the more wax, the less shiny it will look. For example, Farmacy’s Honey Butter Beeswax Lip Balm. Yeah, so that’s this one. There’s Echinacea GreenEnvy Honey, which is like Farmacy’s proprietary ingredient (tech ingredient). And it’s high in antioxidants. Echinacea is also known as a coneflower, which is known to help fight off colds and infections. There’s also honey, propolis, royal jelly. There’s cupuaçu, and cocoa butter, which moisturizes, nourishes and softens the lips. Superfood oil blend with olive, castor, coconut, sunflower and jojoba oil, which all act as emollients to soften the skin and strengthen the skin barrier. And if you’re into beeswax, you can just check out the whole line of Burt’s Bees. There’s the honey. There’s the moisturizing. There’s so many. Now moving on to some more simple ingredients you can find, that will probably suit most or the majority of you, which is shea butter and cocoa butter. Shea butter and cocoa butter might be comedogenic ingredients for slathering onto the skin, especially if you’re sensitive and oily skin type, but they can be fantastic for your lipsss! Shea butter is rich in fatty acids, and contains terpenic alcohols and phytosterols, which are key components to healing wounds and soothing inflamed skin. And cocoa butter is rich in vitamins, from A1, B1, C, D, E, iron, magnesium.. That’s it. (*Laughs*) which are all nutrients needed to maintain soft and healthy looking lips on the outside. Natural oils. We’re mostly talking about base oils such as coconut, olive, jojoba, almond, sunflower, (and) hemp seed. Basically all the oils we can use on the rest of our face as well. And they do very similar things. So these oils contain essential fatty acids which are a rich source of antioxidants, and help to deeply moisturized the skin on our lips, while forming a protective barrier. So then, with the natural oils, there’s this Lippe Balm from Drunk Elephant. And one of the key ingredients is virgin marula oil which helps to heal dry and chapped lips, but it also has coconut oil and shea butter which helps to soothe and moisturize. It also has mongongo oil which is an egg-shaped fruit, native to the Sub-Saharan African region. Yeah! Like my face 🙂 It’s great but it just needs to be reapplied. And I don’t know, it’s quite expensive for what it is. So in terms of like lip balms, this is probably high up there, but also the quickest to kind of fade away. Alright, moving on to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Otherwise, just SPF in your lip balm. As we discussed earlier on how sunscreen and SPF is so important to maintaining your skin’s health, the same applies to your lips. Finding a lip product that contains SPF is great in protecting not just your skin, but your delicate, delicate lips. So Paula’s Choice has a really good one with SPF 50, I believe, which comes in like a chapstick tube. So that takes us on to our personal recommendations. And the ones we’ve gathered are actually a little bit of like all across the board of lip products. Because I like lip and cheek duos with a little bit of color as well as some lip tints, and other moisturizing lip balms. So let’s just get into the ones we like. What I used to do before, I used to apply a lot of like matte lipstick, is take my toothbrush, and wet it, and then just like slowly go over it, and it actually stimulates blood to go to the lips which then like makes it more red and vibrant. (Ro: I actually do that a few times a week. I brush my teeth, I brush my tongue and then my lips. If they are flaky.) Then you’re spreading all your tongue bacteria. No, I wash it in between. I’m not just like a one hehehehehehe So after the exfoliating, nourishing products. (Fel: Yeah) You cannot go wrong with Burt’s Bees and ChapStick. Like OG ChapStick. All the colors of the rainbow. I really like the blue ChapStick. Yeah, I really like the Vaseline. In terms of like OG, I like the Vaseline cocoa butter one. And it comes in this mini, little~~It’s soooo cute 😀 So this one is the Klavuu Lip Mask. I think it is a relatively newer brand. This is a great treatment. There’s castor seed oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, apricot oil, pearl extract. It does smell very natural. Personally, with my lip products, I’m actually not all that fussy, but like it’s so thick. Here’s the thing, I feel like with lip products, because I know that if I need to put on lip products, that I actually need to just drink water. (*Laughs*) And so when I drink water, it doesn’t even make me want to put on lip products because I don’t think about it. So for me, because I am already dry, and I am dehydrated, no matter how much water I drink, my lips are still going to be chapped. So I think growing up I’ve always applied some sort of lip care product. And this one for me, it works great as like an overnight lip mask. Cause it’s so thick. (Ro: Yeah) Compared to the Laneige, that didn’t do much for me. (Fel: Really?) The pink one that everyone loves. Yeah. That wasn’t … That just didn’t feel hydrating at all. But this one I wake up feeling like- (*mimics having plump lips*) (Fel: Wowww) I really felt like the Laneige one is suuuper thick. So why I like this one, not only because it’s from Queensland Australia, it’s actually the factory is 5 minutes from my cousin’s house. (Ro: Niceeee) And yeah, why I like it is because, Paw Paw, as an ingredient, or papaya, is known as like a very natural AHA right? If it’s used as a chemical exfoliant. But it’s a really gentle product to use on your skin, and it has antibacterial properties, and it can also soothe irritation and Eczema. That’s why at the back you’ll see, it’s for any sort of topical inflammation, insect bites, splinters, rash, open wounds, burns. So you don’t have to worry about this actually causing like worsening of an open wound. You can actually apply it on top but also for your lips. Like people swear by this. This also comes in a tub. She bought me a tub when we lived together. Yeah, it was like … (Ro: I was like ‘What am I going to use this for?’) Like is this all for my lips? Yeahhh, it’s multipurpose. You can apply it literally anywhere which is why I like it. I like these no-fuss, like don’t have to think. Next on the way, way, way opposite side of the spectrum compared to the Burt’s Bees and the Chap Sticks, we have stuff like this By Terry Baume De Rose. Yeah, like high-end :O So this one has essential rose wax that soothes and restructures lips. There’s floral oils that nourishes and moisturizes the skin, and there’s bioceramides to smooth and provide anti-aging benefits. Vitamin E offers antioxidant protection. I’ve always loved the smell of this, but the thing with me and expensive skincare products, is I just don’t want to use it, but I don’t know what I’m saving it for. It’s true! (Ro: You know?) But with like lip balm, high-end lip balms, I feel like this versus this, they do the same thing! Why would I pay like 8 times the price for this? $60 for this :O But again this is like different strokes for different folks, you want to spend your money in different places. (Fel: Yeah) And then you’ll also have lip masks. And one that one of our co-workers gave us is the one from Holika Holika, the Golden Monkey Glamour 3-step Lip Pack. So it’s yes, a three-step process. First, you exfoliate, and the pad that you exfoliate with contains the herbs and botanicals, like Edelweiss flower extract and Chrysanthemum flower extract, and lotus flower extract. And then you move on to step 2 which is the hydrogel lip mask that you put on, and it has Allantoin, hydrolyzed collagen, peony root extract which is more anti-aging and soothing. And the last step is the lip serum which contains honey extract, royal jelly extract, and this helps seal everything in. Yeah, so its kind of like a self-care type thing, instead of like for the face, it’s for the lips. Those are kind of our favourites. We didn’t really go into like lip sticks, because that’s more makeup. So we hope now you have, like a better understanding of how our lips are joined to the rest of our face and body. Go drink a cup of water! (Fel: Seriously!) Dehydrated lips, after drinking a cup, within like minutes, it’s replenished. So, yeah, I just do that … And then you can save yourself a lot of money actually. (*Laughs*) Then yeah, we’ll see you in the next one 🙂 Byeeee!