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Why red lipstick is a game-changer for people living with dementia.

I'm recharging an old blog here.

The links in the original blog are outdated and this is still a very important subject.

Last Friday was Red Lippy Day, 100s of you joined in and I'd like to take this opportunity to say "thank you".

If you missed it, don't worry - you can still join in through Red Lippy May!

How do you take part?

Three simple steps:

  1. Put on your red lipstick

  2. Take a selfie (If you post your selfie on social media, please use the hashtag #redlippymay or #redlippyday

  3. Click the donate button and donate a minimum of £1

You can also raise funds by hosting an event, such as a coffee morning.

Your donations help to support care home activities for older people, including those with dementia.

When it comes to dementia care, small things can make a big difference.

And one of those small things just happens to be a beauty product most people associate with glamour and seduction: red lipstick.

That's right, recent studies have shown that applying red lipstick can have profound benefits for those living with dementia.

This seemingly frivolous item can boost confidence, stimulate the brain, facilitate communication, and create positive associations for residents living with dementia.

Ready to learn more about why red lipstick is a game-changer? Keep reading!

Boosting Confidence and Self-Esteem

Applying makeup like red lipstick can help older adults, especially those with dementia, feel more put-together and confident in their appearance. Through its ability to enhance a person's appearance, red lipstick can provide a sense of empowerment and rejuvenation, ultimately boosting confidence and self-esteem.

This benefit is especially important for people who may feel a loss of control or independence due to their dementia diagnosis.

By supporting them to feel good about their appearance and enabling the application of red lipstick we can promote a sense of self-worth and improve their overall wellbeing.

And that's not all, caregivers and family members can participate in the application of the lipstick, creating a positive bonding experience and reinforcing social connections.

It seems the simple act of wearing red lipstick can have an impactful effect on the emotional state of residents, instilling them with a newfound sense of confidence and pride.

Stimulating the Brain

Red lipstick's benefits extend beyond its ability to boost confidence and self-esteem. It can also stimulate the brain and improve cognitive function.

When applying lipstick, we use fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which can help exercise the brain.

Additionally, the bright colour can provide a visual cue and aid in memory recall.

By engaging the brain and promoting cognitive function, red lipstick can help people with dementia maintain their mental faculties for longer.

Facilitating Communication

Red lipstick's ability to stimulate the brain can also facilitate communication.

Red lipstick's benefits for people living with dementia go beyond just improving cognitive function. It can also facilitate communication between residents and their loved ones.

By improving cognitive function, older people, including those with dementia, may be able to engage in conversations more easily and express their thoughts and emotions more clearly.

Looking more put-together with makeup can encourage older adults with dementia to be more social and engage with others, rather than withdrawing. The bright red colour may also help get their attention.

By enhancing their memory and alertness, residents are more likely to engage in conversations and express their thoughts and emotions more clearly.

Applying red lipstick together can also be a fun and engaging activity for care home residents and their caregivers to do together, promoting social connections and improving communication.

With better communication, residents with dementia are more likely to feel understood and supported, leading to overall better wellbeing.

Creating Positive Associations

Red lipstick has the potential to create positive associations which can greatly enhance wellbeing.

For many older women, wearing lipstick was likely a lifelong grooming habit. Seeing and wearing red lipstick may spark positive memories from their past and provide a sense of familiarity and comfort.

This can bring feelings of joy and happiness to those living with dementia, even if they do not fully remember the specific events associated with the lipstick.

Including your gentlemen in this activity is essential, whilst there may be many who do not wish to wear lipstick, they may enjoy watching the ladies trying on theirs. Evoking happy memories associated with waiting for their wives as they get ready for a night out.

Some men may like to take part, this can sometimes be from curiosity, but many times the memories that it brings forth - playing the female lead in the school play, taking part in amateur or professional performances in childhood or adulthood, or as a part of their more personal experiences.

Wearing red lipstick can serve as a reminder of one's identity and personality,

which can be particularly important for people with dementia who may struggle to remember details about themselves.

By associating red lipstick with their sense of self, residents may feel a greater sense of control over their lives and a stronger connection to their past.

Caregivers and family members can also use red lipstick as a tool to create positive experiences and memories for their loved ones with dementia.

For example, applying lipstick before a special outing or event can make the experience more enjoyable and meaningful.

This can help to encourage residents to engage in activities and prevent feelings of isolation and depression.

By creating positive associations and memories, red lipstick can have a significant impact on the wellbeing of care home residents.

It serves as a simple but powerful tool for improving communication, promoting social connections, and enhancing overall quality of life.,

The power of red lipstick goes far beyond aesthetics.

Through boosting confidence and self-esteem, stimulating the brain, facilitating communication, and creating positive associations, this simple beauty product can transform the lives of those with dementia.

It's a small but impactful way to improve their quality of life.

As a caregiver or family member consider trying this game-changing tool for yourself or your loved one.

Just remember, sometimes the smallest things can make the biggest difference.

One question that is often asked is, "How do we afford lipstick for all of our residents?". Many ladies may have a lipstick in their belongings, perhaps long forgotten because it hasn't been seen as an important part of their care. Others will have family members who will be grateful for the suggestion and will happily bring in a new lipstick for their loved one.

Some residents will enjoy a shopping trip for a new lipstick. Simply looking through all of the different shades of red available is a great conversation starter. Trying some of the shades on the back of the hand will also provoke familiar memories as well as being a sensory activity.

You could also ask your local beauty shops or superstores for donations.

Perhaps your fundraising could buy a collection of lipsticks for your residents.


The act of applying lipstick can also provide a meaningful activity and sensory experience for those with dementia.

However, it's important to ensure the lipstick is applied safely and doesn't present a choking hazard. If you are sharing lipsticks, use a clean applicator for each resident.

Overall, red lipstick may be a simple way to boost wellbeing for some older adults with dementia.


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