Heliotrope San Francisco

Whether it’s chapped lip season or not, lips need special care. The skin of the lips is thinner and more delicate than the skin anywhere else on the body. The skin of the face is made up of at least 16 layers, while the lips are only 5 or 6 cells thick. The lips are a place of boundary between the outer world and our inner world. This meeting place is called the vermilion zone, and it is named after the red color the lips often have. There are many nerve endings and blood vessels in the dermis and they are close to the thin, translucent epidermis and these blood vessels give our lips their red color. The lips gather information about the world around us - mainly temperature - and as we all know, lips are very sensitive to touch.

Formation on a tree shaped like lips

Many things can affect the health of our lips. It seems counter-intuitive, but licking your lips actually dries out the skin. Also, saliva contains enzymes that start the process of digestion. Over time, these enzymes can damage and dry the skin. Normal lip licking won’t cause harm, but if your lips start to feel dry, refrain from licking them and apply a product that will soothe the skin.

Because lips are so thin and have no oil or sweat glands, they do not moisturize on their own. We can’t always choose the external temperature or humidity but there are several steps that we can take to help our lips stay soft and supple. Dry weather or offices can take the moisture from our system, and this shows on our lips when they become dry and cracked. Drinking plenty of water can counter this, and living with a humidifier at home, and in your office if you can manage it, will help to keep your system and your skin hydrated.

Whenever you notice that your lips are feeling dry, apply our Shea Butter and Almond Lip Balm. It contains Beeswax, which absorbs into the skin quickly and also create a protective barrier on the skin but Beeswax doesn’t block the pores.

Beeswax in a honeycomb formation

The Beeswax acts as a humectant, which attracts hydration into the cells making your lips feel moisturized and refreshed.Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and is added to the balm as a unique ingredient as well as being one of the vitamins present in Shea Butter. Antioxidants help protect your skin from pollution, one of the causes of free-radical damage to the skin’s cellular structure. The tube makes applying convenient.

When your lips are chapped and cracked, treat your lips to an exfoliation and hydration session before you go to bed at night. Exfoliating will remove the dead skin and damage from the day and the thicker cream or therapy will lock in moisture and re-hydrate the delicate skin while you sleep. If your lips are really chapped and damaged, you may have to do this treatment for a few nights in a row.

With care, apply a small amount of Organic Agave & Shea Butter Sugar Scrub to each lip. I find it easier to exfoliate one lip at a time. You want to be gentle and not use too much pressure. The combination of Sugar with Agave will help to remove the dead skin cells, while the moisturizing effects of Shea Butter, and Coconut oil will soothe the delicate skin. The antioxidants present in grape seed oil combine with vitamins D and E create an environment for your skin to heal.

For this healing treatment, I recommend the Shea Butter & Pomegranate Face Cream, the Shea & Beeswax Hand & Cuticle Therapy and the Aloe, Shea Butter & Jojoba Body Cream. They have different consistencies and textures and as with everything, your preference should guide you to the product that would best heal your lips. Shea butter makes an appearance in each of these beneficial creams and Hand & Cuticle therapy. All of our products are made of therapeutic grade and plant ingredients so it won't cause any harm if you ingest some accidentally. Whenever possible, choose the fragrance free version.

Open pomegranate with close-up of seeds

The Shea Butter & Pomegranate Face Cream brings the antioxidant power of pomegranate into the mix. Pomegranate has a small molecular structure making it able to penetrate deeply into the skin. It has a natural ability to soothe dry and cracked skin. Pomegranate is high in antioxidant vitamins A and C, which help to speed cell regeneration. The combination of Pomegranate with Shea Butter protects, and hydrates skin and helps to minimize signs of aging.

The Shea & Beeswax Hand & Cuticle Therapy is the thickest choice. A little dab goes a long way! It is designed to bring intensive healing to cracked and dry skin. While it feels thick, it goes on lightly and absorbs quickly into the skin, leaving the skin feeling supple and moisturized. Aloe Vera, one of the main ingredients has enzymes that help to remove dead skin cells and several plant hormones which combine with the high water content to heal inflammation. The antioxidants in aloe vera will aid cells to heal and rejuvenate.

Close-up of aloe vera plant

The Aloe, Shea Butter & Jojoba Body Cream has a light, almost ‘whipped’ texture. The cream is rich without being heavy, and as with our other products, absorbs quickly into the skin. The ingredients in this cream are 70% certified organic. Jojoba seed oil is unique in that it has such a low melting point that it is a liquid wax. It is an evergreen plant that is native to the United States in the arid southwest. The oil closely resembles sebum, which is the oil produced by the skin. Because of this similarity, it integrates seamlessly into the skin and acts as a natural conditioner. The jojoba and shea butter will leave the skin feeling soft and smooth.

None of our products contain petroleum derivatives such as petroleum jelly, or mineral oil. These ingredients are common in many skin care lines, and especially in products made for lip care and for chapped lips in particular.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, please feel free to come by our shop on Valencia Street in San Francisco and try the different creams for yourself! You may find your new favorite products to use when you have chapped lips and find that you also want to use them everywhere on your body!

Written by Jen Bator — April 17, 2017

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