The 21st Century dwellers are obsessed with lip care and are always seen sporting a lip balm, some of which also double up as a lip gloss and add a subtle tint to your lips to make them appear more attractive. The cosmetic world recognizes this need and are encasing on it by providing them with a multitude of selections to confuse and choose from.
Let us cut the 21st century dwellers some slack though. The skin of the lip is thinner than the facial skin and that is why it needs the utmost care and nourishment. Lips also lack oil and sweat glands. This simply means that they do not have the protective layer of sweat and oil to keep them moisturized and smooth and so they need some help. Add to this the damage done by the environment, pollutants, sun and bad habits and our lips are robbed of the little moisture that they may have.
Lips can become extremely parched, dry, flaky and painful. They also tend to crack and ooze blood. As the lips become dry, the lip lines become 100% visible and accentuated. Chapped and flaky lips can be a cause of embarrassment for both Men and Women as they project poor personal hygiene.
While lip balms offered by the beauty industry are all fine for an immediate solution, what is required is more of a holistic approach for moist and hydrated lips.
Chapped lips are not a new issue but the prior generations had hardly ever been plagued by it. I certainly do not remember me or my friends owning a lip balm in our childhood or youth, leave alone roaming around with a lip balm forever lodged in our pockets and purses. So, I dipped into my memories to try and recall what our solution had been.
DADIMA’S SOLUTION TO CHAPPED LIPS
I can vaguely recollect rotis being served hot, straight from the kitchen, with ghee and we being advised by grandma to apply the warm ghee on our lips before we ate the roti. As weird as it may sound, if you look at it logically, it made perfect sense. Hot rotis + ghee = instant warm ghee for lips without any extra effort. After all, man is lazy by nature.
GHEE – THE UNLIKELY ANSWER
Ghee for lips? Yes “Ghee”, this innocuous looking pale golden to golden color liquid, always at hand in all Indian kitchens. The rest of the world knows this as clarified butter, it can actually work marvels for the lip.
“Ghee” according to the ancient scriptures was known as the “food of the Gods” and was part of all religious ceremonies. Also known as “liquid gold”, it has also been venerated through history for its many health benefits. It is a healthy fat, aids digestion, reinforces immune system, strengthens bones and is abundant in vitamins and minerals.
Ghee benefits are not limited to ingestion but also find ample use in topical application. It has been used in Ayurvedic massages and is the base of many treatments for inflammation, burns and rashes etc. It is also a potent moisturizer and it is great for dry hair as a conditioning mask and has been known to be used in beauty treatments since ancient times.
Ghee has always been lauded for its health and beauty benefits and the modern world is re-awakening to its benefits.
GHEE’S WONDER BENEFITS FOR LIPS
Enriched with essential fatty acids, it helps to nourish dry and chapped lips. It is a natural moisturizer which can penetrate deep into the layers of the skin, providing hydration to the cells. Regular use of Ghee on the lips may help to soften and remove flaky skin.
It is also known to improve blood circulation and repair and regenerate damaged cells. Ghee is a storehouse of nutrients like Vitamin A, C, D, E and K. Regular application of ghee can also lighten lip pigmentation.
Being abundant in antioxidants, Ghee neutralizes free radicals which have a crucial hand in the breakdown of collagen and appearance of wrinkles and lines, a sign of ageing. Topical application of ghee can keep you looking younger for longer.
Due to its remedial and anti-inflammatory properties, ghee can help to heal cuts, cracks and wounds while keeping infection at bay. It helps in faster healing of cracked lips.
Ghee also pair well with other herbal ingredients and can prove to be more potent when combined with the powers of other natural ingredients.
HOMEMADE LIP BALM
Since we have become a nuclear and casserole family, the tradition of applying warm ghee from rotis has gone for a toss. The next best thing is a homemade ghee lip balm.
It is extremely easy to make a ghee lip balm at home. Take 4 tablespoons of ghee, 2 tablespoons of cold pressed coconut oil and a 1 tablespoon of honey. Warm the ghee and coconut oil in a double boiler. Once this has been cooled down, mix in honey which is an excellent humectants and pour in containers and freeze for 3-4 hrs and it is ready for use.\
AYURVEDIC LIP BALMS
Contemporary Ayurveda Beauty companies are on a crusade to revive the usage of age old ayurvedic recipes with new insight into the benefits.
You can also select a lip balm for yourself from the options made available in the market by good Ayurveda brands known for their quality. More often than not, these ghee lip balms come combined with other oils and herbs which also provide many benefits. For example, Ghee lip balm with Green Apples - A little-known fact about Green Apple Ext is that it is an exfoliate loaded with AHA. These help to slough off dead skin (without abrasion) by breaking up the proteins that hold the skin cells together, making the lips smooth and soft.
Or ghee combined with Apricot Oil which is light and easily absorbed by the lips as it resembles sebum which is skin’s naturally produced oil. Apricot oil facilitates faster healing, strengthens the skin’s barrier function and softens skin for kissable lips.
I have found that these lip balms also double up as excellent lip gloss. Just be sure to read the list of ingredients carefully to ensure that they are preservatives and mineral oil free else it would defeat the purpose of going all natural and chemical free.Wishing you happy lips!