During the cold winter months dry, chapped lips are quite common in both men and women. They can not only “crack your smile” but they can also the very painful.
The skin of the lips is probably the most delicate area of your whole body and that’s why its highly vulnerable to the drying effect of the climate, as the moisture evaporates from the lips, causing the lips to dry out easily. They may be caused by different factors – dehydration, excessive sun or wind exposure, licking your lips. In most of the cases they are caused by dryness of the lips (loss of moisture from the skin in and around the lips), that’s why the best way to prevent and treat is to keep the lips well-moisturized all the time.
- dry and sore lips
- lips feel painful and appear red
- lips become too sensitive
- feel rough and tender
- peeling and cracking
- licking the lips
- exposure to wind and cold
- some medications
- vitamin deficiency
- use of harsh skin care products
- excessive exposure to the sun without a protection
- dry air
- obstructed breathing
- some cosmetics and lip products
- fungal infection
- riboflavin (vitamin B deficiency)
The most common cause is excessive exposure to wind and cold which usually leads to moisture loss. Another common cause is licking the lips – when you lick your lips in order to make them wet and soft, they may become dry and chapped as the wetness evaporates. The saliva strips away the natural protective oils of the lips leaving them dry, chapped and sore. Excessive exposure to the sun can also cause chapping of the lips, especially during the summer months. Smoking is also among the reasons that lead to rough lips as smoking strips the lips of its natural protective oils and dry the lips out.
How to treat and prevent properly:
Exfoliate your lips
You should exfoliate your lips at least once a week no matter whether they are chapped or not. When you exfoliate the delicate skin of the lips you remove the dead skin cells that can make your lips looking rough and dry.
How to exfoliate your lips properly:
All you need to exfoliate your lips is an old toothbrush and a mild exfoliating product. Run your lips gently with the toothbrush and the exfoliator for a few minutes with light circular motions.
Use moisturizing lip balm
Applying a moisturizing lip balm every time you want is probably the best and the easiest way to treat and prevent. Look for a lip balm that contains more moisturizing ingredients and natural oils. Today most of the lip balms offer sun protection (with SPF 15 or higher) in order to protect the delicate skin of your lips from the harmful UBA and UVB rays. There is a wide range of lip balms that work great to treat and prevent chapped, sore lips. Most of them contain many natural ingredients, emollients and nourishing ingredients that moisturize, soothe and nourish rough, lips.
Common ingredients in the lip balms are: Aloe Vera, Honey, Chamomile, Almond Oil, Rose Oil, Lanolin, Waxes, Vaseline, Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Cocoa Butter, Beeswax, Lime, Lemon.
There are lip balms designed specially for treating chapped lips, lip balms that moisturize the lips making them soft, lip balms that add volume to the lips, tinted lip balms.
Use petroleum jelly and Vaseline
Petroleum jelly works great. Massage Vaseline or petroleum jelly gently on your lips once or twice a day. They will make your lips soft and will moisturize them deeply. Both petroleum jelly and Vaseline work great as they lock the moisture in the lips.
- The best way to prevent is to stop licking your lips.
- Apply lip balm every time you want – it cannot damage or irritate your lips.
- Look for lip products (lip balms, lipsticks, lip glosses) that contain more emollients (moisturizing ingredients) in order to prevent chapping of the lips.
- Look for moisturizing, creamy lipstick with SPF and avoid applying matte lipstick.
- Choose a lip balm, lip gloss, lipstick with SPF at least 15 to protect your lips from the harmful sun’s rays.
- smoking can lead to dry lips so maybe now is the perfect time to quit smoking.
- Always make sure your lip products are hypoallergenic and don’t contain any harsh chemicals (such as salicylic acid).
- Apply petroleum jelly or Vaseline once or twice a day to prevent and to moisturize your lips.
- Exfoliate your lips once or twice a week to remove the dead skin cells.
- Never exfoliate your lips is bleeding or infection is present.
- Drink plenty of water – at least 1.5 liter a day to keep your body and skin hydrated.
- Stop licking your lips.
- Keep the air in your home humid.
- Look for a moisturizing lip gloss or lipstick and apply it every time you go out.
- of your lips are too painful and chapped consult a physician – it may indicate some serious health problems.
- Look for lip balm that contains more natural ingredients.
- During the colder winter months wear a scarf to protect your lips from the wind and cold.
- It’s essential to take a proper care of your lips in order to prevent dry, sore lips.
- Remember: cracks at the corners of your mouth may indicate riboflavin (vitamin B deficiency).
- Some skin care products and makeup products may lead to chapped lips, so make sure your beauty products don’t contain harsh ingredients.
- Beeswax ointments work great for treating and preventing.
- Never go out in dry, cold weather without applying lip balm or lipstick.
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