Smiling Young Woman Applying Chapstick

If you walk through an art gallery, you’ll notice that all the great paintings are held within beautiful frames. In some ways, the frame is just as important as the art; if you choose a frame that is too fancy or too plain, too colorful or too dull, it can detract from the beauty of the art.

You can say something similar about your smile. Sure, your teeth are the focal point, but your lips are equally important. Healthy, hydrated lips make the best frames.

What Makes Lips Unique

Like works of art or fingerprints, no two sets of lips are the same. Besides differences in the size, shape & texture that differentiate your lips from other people’s lips, they differ from the rest of your skin in a few key ways.

Though lips are composed of the same layers of skin as the rest of your face & body, there are fewer of each type of layer, which is one reason lips tend to be pinker than your other skin as the blood vessels underneath are closer to the surface. They also contain no melanin or sweat glands, which both naturally protect you from sun damage.

How to Care for Your Lips

The most important thing you can do to keep your lips in good shape is to protect them from the sun. Besides preventing discomfort from a sunburn, protection from UV rays helps to prevent skin cancer on your lips, which is one of the most common forms of oral cancer. Thankfully, it is preventable with chapsticks that include UV protection of at least 15 SPF. Apply these liberally, often & underneath cosmetic lip products.

If you want to go a few steps further, especially during colder, drier months, there are skincare routines for your lips to keep them moist & prevent chapping, which can be uncomfortable & unsightly. There are two types of products that address different needs. The first type exfoliates, or helps get rid of flakey damaged skin. The second type moisturizes & soothes dry skin. Of course, hydration is also important, so keep drinking water throughout the day.

Our goal as your dentist is to make your smile as beautiful & functional as possible, & that includes your whole mouth!

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