It's International Kissing Day, and to celebrate we've got some top tips to help you freshen up, before you pucker up!
Have a gulp
Dehydration is one of the most common reasons of bad breath. If you are one of those people who survive on coffee and forget about topping up their water bottle, you are most likely to develop bad breath during the day. 'Our saliva is a natural antiseptic and it plays a crucial role in breaking down food particles trapped within dental crevices, protecting teeth from bacterial decay. However, in order for your body to produce enough of it, you must be drinking plenty of water throughout the day, otherwise microbes in our mouth will feed on food pieces and release by-products, causing odor at the same time.' explains Nutritionist, Cassandra Barns.
Sometimes, bad breath could be coming from your gut. 'If your digestive tract is sluggish and you suffer from bowel problems you are more prone to ‘morning breath’. An imbalance between the good and bad bacteria in your gut as well as an excess of gas in your body can cause an unpleasant odor. To nip the problem in the bud take probiotics regularly, that will directly target harmful bacteria. Try ProVen’s Probiotics 25 Billion (www.provenprobiotics.co.uk, £13.95).' advises Barns.
Keep it clean and white
Floss and brush your teeth at least twice a day with good quality toothpaste. ‘Don’t forget about tongue and the inside of your mouth as well as flossing to get rid of food particles and odor-causing bacteria.’ explains Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson. ‘You can also snack on strawberries – they contain malic acid, a natural astringent that can help remove discoloration.’ adds Wilkinson.
'Oral bacteria bind to proteins and metabolize them into sulphur gas, which most of us describe as rotten egg scent. Zinc is a mineral that can aid in the neutralisation of harmful germs and reduce concentrated sulphur gases.' Says Cassandra.
Zipp your cold sore away
'The cold sore virus, HSV1, is the second most common virus worldwide, trailing only behind the common cold. A few things can trigger a cold sore outbreak: compromised immune system, colds and flu, excessive sun exposure or sunburn, emotional stress and fatigue, poor nutritional intake and food intolerance.' explains Barns. Heal your cold sore within two days with Zzip, which is a film-forming liquid that will dry the blister out and accelerate healing. (£12.95, Boots).
Keep your lips soft
Your lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of your fingers. That’s why it is so important to keep them smooth if you want to enjoy your kisses! However, drying lipsticks, cold wind and stressful biting can leave them dry and chapped. ‘Exfoliate your lips twice a week with a homemade scrub: mix honey with sugar to keep them smooth and nourished. Don’t forget to apply a moisturising balm before you go to bed. Go for the one with natural essential oils, such as Cracked Skin Cream by What Skin Needs (www.whatskinnneeds.co.uk, £13.99).’ says Sonja Dymalovski, skincare expert at What Skin Needs.