Winter. It is the worst time of the year for battling dry skin and this includes one of the most sensitive areas on your body – your lips. We are typically so diligent about moisturizing our bodies – our hands, our legs – even our faces, but we often forget our lips until they scream out for our attention.
First of all – WHY do our lips get so chapped? This is a problem we all have to battle at one time or another, but there are certain factors that increase our discomfort. Some people don’t retain moisture as well as others – and this can be the beginning of what will become severely chapped lips. Add the lack of moisture retention to cold temperatures, exposure to wind or sun, a habit of constantly licking your lips or breathing mainly through your mouth (a stuffy nose can cause this) or even the use of some medications – and you have a problem on your hands. (or your lips)
So – the question becomes, how can you heal your overly chapped lips?
- 1) Start by exfoliating. Use a dampened wash cloth with some texture and softly rub your lips in gentle circles removing any excess or loose skin – leaving the newer skin exposed and ready for a layer of moisturizer
- 2) Lip Creams and Balms: Apply these often, especially before going out in cold, dry weather. Avoid flavored creams and balms as these will likely tempt you into lip licking
- 3) Stay Hydrated. Chapped lips are often an indication that your body is dehydrated, so drinking water frequently can help to keep your lips from chapping.
- 4) Use Sunscreen Daily: (even in the Winter months) Because exposure to the sun can dry and burn the tender skin of your lips, use a cream or balm with sunscreen. This will help to protect your lips from the harmful rays of the sun.
- 5) Stop licking your lips! Sounds simple, I know… but this may be a habit you HAVE to break. Constantly licking your lips robs them of the moisture they need to heal. When the saliva evaporates, your lips are, in fact, more dry than before you licked them.
- 6) (easy one!!) Don’t smoke. Smoking removes all natural oils and moisture from your lips.
Vitamin E, Shea butter and almond oil are popular for helping to hydrate chapped lips.
Photo Credit: Ambro – Free Digital Photos