Thursday, March 15, 2012

Lip Appreciation Day


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By Diane Forrest

Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m sure you have all seen the buttons or shirts that say Kiss Me, I'm Irish.  I wore one once, and it works!  Well today is Lip Appreciation Day, and a great time to make sure your lips are kissable for tomorrow! After doing some extensive research, most men don't like lipstick on women.  They don't like how it tastes; they don't like getting it smeared on them, so why do women wear it?  For the men of course!!  Our lips are naturally colored.  That is because there is a thinner layer of skin over our lips, and the blood vessels are closer to the top.  However, history has shown that women have been coloring their lips for years.  The ancient Egyptians used henna to color their lips, and some even used rose petals or hog lard.

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Lips serve a very important function in our lives.  One of the first reflexes tested on a newborn baby is the ability to suck.  This is checked by placing a pinky finger on the baby's lips.  This sensation automatically initiates the sucking reflex.  Without this ability, the infant would not be able to eat.  Since the skin on the lips is only 5 layers deep, (the other skin is 16 layers) they are very sensitive.  They can detect touch and temperature.
There are 8 main muscle groups in our lips.  This allows our lips to move in several different ways for use such as holding food in our mouth, blowing, whistling, sucking, smiling and frowning.   They are important when speaking, and even playing a wind instrument such as the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet or tuba.

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Lips can also be a warning sign for illness.  They can turn blue indicating cold or lack of oxygen, they can appear pale and crack, indicating a nutritional problem, they can become enlarged which could mean an infection or dental problem.

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You must not lick or bite your lips this can lead to chapped lips or a break in the skin.  It is important to keep your lips moisturized with a lip moisturize such as lip balm or Chap Stick.  You can also exercise your lips in preparation for singing or playing musical instruments.  When I was young I used to practice kissing on the back of my hand.  I would see how it was done on television shows, and then practice in case the occasion ever came up when I had the chance to kiss someone.  Apparently I was not alone in that practice.  I was reading about a school full of girls who would put lipstick on then kiss the mirror in the girl’s bathroom at school.  To encourage the girls to stop this practice, the principal called the girls in the bathroom, informing them how hard it was to keep the mirror clean every night.  To demonstrate he asked the custodian to show how difficult it was to clean the mirrors, so he took out his long squeegee sponge, dipped it in the toilet, and proceeded to clean the lipstick off.  After that demonstration, there was no more problem with finding lipstick on the mirrors.

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Today is Lip Appreciation Day.  Show your lips you appreciate them by putting moisturizer on them, exercising them, and practice kissing someone you love, or even the back of your hand so that you will be all puckered up for St. Patrick’s Day.
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The old adage says that it takes more muscles to frown than it does to smile and this is generally accepted as true so smile, it takes less effort!

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