Along with dry skin, the harsh conditions of winter cause painful chapped lips. As much as you try to protect your body, inevitably your lips remain vulnerable to the sun, wind, dry air, and low temperatures. Additionally, your lips have only a thin layer of skin, which makes it easier to loose moisture. In fact, you tend to lose more than ten times as much moisture through your lips than anywhere else. However, you do not have to suffer through the entire season with unkissable lips. Follow these tips to keep your pout beautiful and tempting all winter, and all year, long, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Stop with the licking: When your lips get dry, it is only natural to moisten them through licking your lips. Although it is easy and seems an obvious answer, licking your lips actual exacerbates the problem. Your saliva is acidic in order to break down food, and this can further irritate already weakened and chapped skin. Additionally, when the saliva quickly dries, it only hastens the drying of the skin.
Don’t pick: When you pick off the flaky, chapped skin, it slows the healing process and can lead further problems, including bleeding. Instead of picking the flakes off your lips, take a washcloth, dip it in warm water, and rub gently back and forth against your lips. This works as a type of exfoliate to remove the flakes. You can also use a lip scrub for the same effect. Just be gentle and careful, as too abrasive or harsh of an exfoliate can be just harm your lips more than help, just like picking.
Lip Balm to the rescue: A good lip balm is the best answer. Not only does it rehydrate your lips, but it provides the buffer and protection your lips need from the elements. Never leave your lips bare by always keeping a good balm on them. This also seals in moisture while also allowing beneficial oils in the balm to heal and moisturize chapped, dry lips. The best ingredients are petrolatum, castor seed oil, shea butter, sunflower seed oil, hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, glycerin, and squalane. Stay away from eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor, which can actually continue to dry out your lips. A stick is better than a jar, as continually sticking your finger into a tube can cause sanitation issues. Apply the balm often, especially right before bed and first thing in the morning. Put it on under your lipstick, and reapply often throughout the day. For extra protection, use a balm with an SPF of 15 or higher.
Suggested lip balms:
Colorescience Lip Exfoliator Lip Conditioner—exfoliate and conditioner in one
Eminence Citrus Lip Balm—a great way to moisturize the lips
EltaMD UV Lip Balm Broad-spectrum SPF 31—for UV protection
Avene Cold Cream Lip Balm—long-term relief of chapped, dry and flaky lips
Dr. Hauschka Lip Care Stick—plant waxes to protect from the elements
Don’t forget to drink lots of water, which will hydrate your lips from within. With these simple tips, your lips will survive this winter beautifully and truly kissable. With smooth, healthy, moist lips, you can truly enjoy this Valentine’s Day.