As the weather gets colder and the air becomes dryer, chapped lips can seem an inevitability of the wintry months. Chapped lips can not only be an annoyance but also painful and embarrassing. Follow these steps to a plumper, healthier set of lips during the chilly season.
- Protect your lips: Ointment-based products that contain ingredients such as shea butter, lanolin, vitamin E and agents such as beeswax and skin-protector dimethicone, are useful for keeping lips firm and moisturized. Protecting your lips from sunburn with a balm that provides an SPF protection of 30 or higher is another key step. Protect your lips even during the colder seasons when indoor heating systems dry out your skin, especially your lips.
- Don’t lick! It may feel good to nourish your lips with the simple remedy of some saliva, but saliva evaporates quickly and winds up leaving lips dryer than they were before you licked them.
- Keep hydrated: Probably the leading cause of most dry or cracked lips is simple dehydration. If the body does not have enough water the extremities, including the lips, will show that lack first.
- Avoid allergens: Many cracked and dry lips are the result of negative reactions to cosmetics and skin care products. Overusing commercial products can aggravate the very condition they are supposedly designed to cure. Certain medications have dry or cracked lips as a side effect. If your condition coincides with beginning a new medication regimen, consult your doctor about this possibility.
- Breathe through your nose: When you catch even the common cold, it can be hard to breathe through your nose, which causes you to breathe through your mouth. This excessive airflow only dries out your lip’s skin even more, only adding to the list of things to treat while you’re already sick.