If you live in a chilly climate, your dry, cracked lips are probably pining for warmer weather.
Like skin, lips are affected by the freezing temperatures, strong winds and drier air that winter brings. Because they have thinner protective layers and fewer oil glands than other areas of skin, lips are particularly susceptible to damage and moisture loss.
Consider the following tips to keep your kisser kissable through the frosty months ahead:
Wetting (and re-wetting) lips with a quick swipe of the tongue is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Every time freshly applied saliva evaporates, lips become drier. Saliva also contains natural acids that can further irritate lip skin. Instead, see tip #2.
Apply lip balm
Lip balm creates a protective barrier that helps lock in moisture. Slather it on liberally throughout the day, preferably before lips have become chapped. Make it a habit to apply a nice, thick layer every night before going to bed.
Don’t be fooled by the soothing, tingling sensation created by products containing peppermint, menthol and camphor. These ingredients are actually known to make dry, chapped lips worse. Look for natural lip balms made from beeswax, plant oils (jojoba, aloe vera, etc.) and herbs such as chamomile or calendula.
Yes, exfoliate! Just like skin on the rest of your face, lip skin accumulates dead cells. Removing them clears the way for topicals you apply to be absorbed. Mix a teaspoon of brown sugar with a little olive oil. Gently massage lips with the mixture, using a circular motion, for two minutes. Rinse with warm water, then apply lip balm. Do not over-exfoliate, or exfoliate too often, or lips may become chapped.
On hot summer days, it’s easy to recognize when your body needs hydration–but most people don’t realize they’re not drinking enough water in the winter. Dehydration contributes to dry, chapped lips, so be sure to guzzle plenty of H20 between those mugs of hot cocoa, tea and coffee.