Luscious Lips for Winter
With the winter weather well and truly kicking in, and our customers in full swing creating gorgeous gifts for loved ones for the festive season, I thought I would share with you some ideas for simple and easy lip care.
Let’s Get Balmy!
Firstly – protect, protect, protect! Cold temperatures, wind and central heating all add up together to dry out the delicate skin on our lips, leaving them dry, chapped, cracked and sore. The first step in maintaining that mistletoe kissable pout is to protect your lips from the elements. Apply a good lip balm regularly to moisturise and prevent moisture loss.
When choosing the ingredients for your balm, think about what you are trying to achieve. I like to add a wax (beeswax or rice bran wax work well), which not only helps to prevent your balm from melting in a warm pocket, but also creates and occlusive layer, maintaining the skin moisture barrier. The main bulk of the balm is then created with nourishing butters. Cocoa butter will create a firm balm, suitable for packing in tubes, and if you choose an unrefined variety it will lend a mild chocolatey aroma to your balm. Other softer butters that work well are mango, murumuru and shea. DO be careful when using she butter though, it is best not to heat it if possible, instead blending it by hand into your other ingredients. It is very heat sensitive and prolonged or intense heating can lead to loss of nutrients and a grainy texture in your finished product.
Once you have a base you are happy with then you can consider adding colour, aromaceuticals (essential oils and absolutes) or flavours. I like refreshing peppermint essential oil or vanilla absolute. Check out this great idea from Soap Queen for peppermint swirl lip balms – very effective, if a little fiddly!
Scrub ‘em Up!
Of course, there will always be days when our lips suffer from the elements and become dry and chapped. To bring them back to soft, plump cushions, give them a little TLC with a simple scrub. The two key elements here are an exfoliator and something to nourish & soothe. It’s important to remember that the skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than other areas, and this means it dries out faster and is more easily damaged.
Personally, I don’t think you can go far wrong with soft, brown sugar as your exfoliating agent. It is gentle enough to use on your delicate lips, whilst sloughing off all those dries skin cells, and has the added bonus of tasting rather yummy as well. Not only that, but you can easily get this in your local shop (or baking cupboard for those who have one!).
I then like to add castor oil to benefit from its healing qualities – I personally find butters can feel heavy on the skin, so if you want to use them, opt for something light like murumuru. Other great oils to use are almond or virgin coconut. As a rule of thumb, aim for 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil. You can then consider adding flavourings like peppermint oil, honey or vanilla essence.
Check out this delicious Minty, Almond Lip Scrub recipe from The Chic Site
Wishing you happy formulating – as always, please do share with us your successes and difficulties.