Treating Chapped Lips

Treating Chapped Lips

Words by Michelle Park

Helga Weber
Shot by Helga Weber via Flickr

It’s the month that most of us have been waiting for all year. Time to celebrate the love in the air, embrace the beautiful snowflakes falling from the sky, and complete another chapter in each of our evolving life stories – with ample cigars, cigarettes and booze.

Well, all of the above are potential causes for the one thing that can ruin your holiday dreams: chapped lips. Maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration, but chapped lips are the bane of the winter season. Cracked, bloody lips can get in the way of the many enjoyments of the holidays – whether its getting on the picture-perfect makeup, kissing your hot date, or even just opening your mouth to eat some of the holiday delicacies. Lucky for us, there is a plethora of information available for dealing with the painful and embarrassing dead flesh that hangs tightly onto those sensitive lips. We’ve collected the most helpful tips for maintaining lipstick-ready, kissable lips.

Apply lip balm. Obviously, the best way to avoid chapped lips is to apply lip balm and carry it with you wherever you go. According to Leisa Goins at WebMD, the lips only have a few layers of skin compared to the rest of the face, and lose up to 10 times more moisture than other areas on the face or body. Look for balms with the ingredients like Petrolatum, castor seed oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, or squalane, which can nourish cracked lips. Ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, and glycerin also help keep the lips moist.

Protect your lips. Wrap a scarf around your face to cover your lips or try on those fashionable surgical face masks (everyone seems to be doing it here anyway) to protect your lips from the dry winter air and cold winds.

Avoid licking your lips. As saliva evaporates, it dehydrates the skin even further. Saliva also contains acids that help break down food, and these acids can irritate the skin on the lips. Maybe you plan on lots of saliva exchanging this winter – just remember to keep your lip balm handy after all the action.

Keep hydrated. Its obvious, but some of us need to be reminded. Drink plenty of water, especially if you plan on drinking heavily for the holidays. Try to limit your coffee, alcohol or cigarette intake as they will lead to further dehydration – even if you are drinking the recommended 8-10 glasses of water each day. Also investing in a humidifier can help prevent the skin from drying in low-humidity indoors.

Say you don’t have the time or patience to wait a few days for results. Avoid peeling off the skin on your lips; it will only make things worse causing scars or possibly infection. Try out the simple DIY lip scrub with sugar and honey on everydayroots.com/homemade-lip-exfoliator. You can also use the old trick of gently exfoliating with warm water and a soft, used toothbrush. Finish off by applying balm on the fresh layer of skin, and you’ll have those soft lips you want in no time.

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