Winter can be a brutal season for your skin, especially the skin on your lips. Not only are your lips extra exposed to the dry air and cold temperatures, but your lips don’t have the oil and sweat glands like the rest of your skin to keep them moist. They are delicate areas of skin that can show damage fast. Did you know that your lips can dry out ten times faster than other skin on your face? Dryness leads to cracked, chapped and even bleeding lips that can be quite uncomfortable to deal with through the winter months.
Unfortunately, the lips are commonly overlooked until it is too late. You may be careful to put on a jacket, buy earmuffs or find the perfect gloves to protect yourself from the cold air, but what about your lips? Don’t make the mistake of not giving your lips the attention they need and deserve this winter.
Tips for Winter Lip Care
- Don’t Lick. It is natural to want to lick your lips when they feel dry and chapped. However, this can actually make your problem worse. Licking your lips wicks away more moisture and can cause the outer skin cells to freeze in the cold air.
- Avoid Picking. When your skin is cracking and peeling, you may be tempted to pick away the loose skin. This only irritates your lips and can lead to painful sores that are vulnerable to infection.
- Be Mindful of Mouth-Breathing. If you wake up with a dry throat and lips, you may be breathing through your mouth while you sleep rather than your nose. Mouth-breathing dries out any existing moisture you may have on your lips with every breath you take. Breathing through your mouth is especially common during winter as many people have nasal and/or sinus congestion that prevents breathing through their nose. Nonetheless, an open mouth will only further dry out the lips during this cold season.
- Choose the Right Lip Balm. This is important. Try to stay away from lip balms that contain camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol. These products may feel refreshing at first but will only dry out the lips faster in the long run. They also create the need for repetitive applications, which can create a vicious cycle of lip damage. Instead, choose an ointment-based lip balm with healing properties and sunscreen. Your lip balm should lock in moisture while creating a protective barrier against harsh winter elements.
- Consider a Natural Home Remedy. Mother nature gives us several sources for lip protection and lip healing, including cucumber, milk cream, green tea bags and aloe vera.
Need Professional Help For Your Chapped Lips?
Many people struggle to stop the cycle of chapped lips during the winter. Whether you are an adult who can’t be away from your Chapstick or have a child who won’t stop licking his chapped lips, we have a dermatologist that can help you. Call Olansky Dermatology today to learn more about how you can keep your lips soft, moist and healthy this year!