Dry Lips Treatment – Our Top Tips
As the air becomes colder in winter, it can feel almost impossible to prevent painful chapped lips. Though it’s not usually medically serious, dry, cracked lips can present significant and persistent discomfort, if left alone.
The skin on the lips is much thinner than other parts of the body, so it’s especially susceptible to the harsh winter elements and cold weather. To make matters worse, lips don’t have any glands to produce natural protective oils like other skin, adding to their vulnerability.
A little bit of understanding, though, goes a long way towards preventing and curing chapped lips.
Causes of dry, chapped lips
Chapped lips are essentially the result of a lack of moisture. This can be caused by a number of factors, relating both to the environment and lifestyle. For example:
- A lack of humidity in the cold winter air, or frequent sun exposure in the summer, can wreak havoc on the already sensitive area;
- Likewise, smoking cigarettes or drinking too much alcohol can dry the lips out;
- Another common cause of chapped lips is frequent licking – although it may seem counterintuitive, saliva has a drying effect on the skin, so, if you lick your lips, you’re further depriving them of moisture;
- Finally, dehydration and certain vitamin deficiencies can also increase the likelihood of chapped lips.
Fortunately, through practicing self-care and making a few simple adjustments, it’s often possible to prevent the condition from developing in the first place. As they say, “prevention is better than cure.”
How to prevent chapped lips
There are a number of steps that can be taken to help minimise the occurrence of dry, cracked lips:
- Before going out in cold, dry or windy weather, consider applying a lip balm or cream to shield your lips from the elements;
- Use a lip balm that contains at least SPF 15 to protect against the damaging effects of the sun;
- Avoid lip gloss, lipstick or other cosmetics that contain irritants such as alcohol or fragrances as many of these can cause further drying;
- Drink at least 4-6 glasses of water each day to ensure sufficient hydration;
- Consume a diet rich in vitamins and minerals – specifically vitamin b and iron/zinc;
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol and cigarettes.
Not only will these prevention tips reduce the chances of developing chapped lips – you should feel a range of other benefits for your health too.
How to treat chapped lips
There are undoubtedly times when, despite best efforts, chapped lips develop. What then?
Fortunately, there are moisturising balms and creams that can help repair the lips. Look for lip balms with as many of the following ingredients as possible for the most effective protection: Beeswax; Dimethicone; Versagel; Polysilicone 11; Shea Butter; Lexorez 200; Petrolatum. It may also be helpful to use a humidifier to add some moisture to the air at night.
Don’t accept painful dry and cracked lips as simply being a fact of life during the winter. Add these helpful tips to your skincare arsenal and chapped lips should be a thing of the past.