Tips for two-lips

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. 

By Cathleen Kronemer

Do you ever ask yourself, “Why am I working so hard in the gym?  Why am I being so careful with my nutrition…..all the time?”  While I would hope that your answers lie somewhere on the continuum of better health/improved fitness/increased self-esteem, I am fully aware that many of us remain dedicated to our routines so that we may forever hold the rapt attention of that certain special someone in our lives.

If you fall into that last category — and let’s be honest, it certainly ranks up there for most of us!!! — there may be one area of the body that we have neglected in our overall self-care regimen.  We nurture our insides with healthy food and appropriate hydration; we work our muscles and strengthen our bones through resistance training; and we care for our skin with lotions and essential oils.  But what about that all-important smile?  How often do we think about caring for our lips? 

Especially at this time of year, much emphasis is placed on wearing sunscreen whenever we are outdoors.  Lips need protection, too, and lip balms can provide the coverage we need to protect our “kisser”.  Lip balms designed for outdoor use contain titanium dioxide as well as zinc oxide, both of which confer significant protection against dangerous ultraviolet rays. Since cracking and moisture loss are the two most commonly reported lip issues, wearing protective balms when you plan to be out in the sun for extended periods of time can help to minimize these concerns.

Lest you begin to think that these products are only designed with the fairer gender in mind, companies are now creating lip products specifically for men, since skins types and their needs do vary from males to females.  Odorless and colorless, nobody needs to know that you are wearing a “cosmetic” product!

If you do venture out in the sun and accidentally suffer painful sunburn on your lips, help is out there to make sure your date won’t miss a good-night kiss! Shea butter, a natural fatty oil extracted from the nuts of the African shea tree, is a popular additive in many lip balms.  Shea butter lip balm is most commonly used to help heal and moisturize sunburned, dry, or cracking lips. It is easily absorbed into the skin, with the added bonus of possessing anti-inflammatory properties. Though shea butter lip balm is often used to heal chapped lips, many feel that it can also help prevent dry lips, since the fatty-acid properties create a moisture barrier.

Next time you contemplate your wellness regimen, make sure to include plans for the flower on your beautiful face: the “two-lips”!  Kissing never felt so good!