Although that first snow of the year always looks so beautiful and cozy (and who doesn’t wish for a “white Christmas” every year?), overall the winter weather can wreak havoc on our lips.
The frigid temperatures and dryness in the air makes it hard for both our lips and skin to retain moisture. And then there’s that biting winter wind, which seems to instantly chap even the most hydrated pout.
Fortunately, there are ways to avoid the dreaded “winter chap,” and it usually only takes a bit of extra time and foresight to do. If you struggle with dry lips in the wintertime, here are 8 tips that can help.
1. Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Did you know that you can actually hydrate your lips from the inside out? By drinking lots of water throughout the day, you’ll keep the largest organ of your body (the skin, which includes your lips) super moisturized. Aim to drink half your overall body weight in ounces of water. You can also supplement your intake with other non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic drinks like milk and juice.
2. Avoid licking your lips.
One of the worst habits you can have if your lips are dry is licking them. While it may seem like you’re adding hydration to your lips when you lick them, you’re actually causing the opposite to happen. That’s because your saliva contains digestive enzymes, which are particularly irritating (and not at all nourishing) to the delicate skin on your lips.
3. Don’t use lip products that include these ingredients
Eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor are common ingredients in lip balms, and to be sure, they often provide a refreshing effect that makes you feel as though you’re providing good hydration and moisture. Unfortunately, these ingredients actually have more of a drying effect on the lips.
Better ingredients for lip products include lanolin and vitamin E. Lanolin is derived from sheep’s skin, and vitamin E (also known as tocopherol) is a known antioxidant. The latter has been used widely in lip products for decades and works wonderfully at keeping your pout soft and hydrated.
Another ingredient worth trying is actually CBD or cannabidiol. You can find quality CBD lip balms at your local Mesa dispensary. The anti-inflammatory properties of CBD are what gives it its power to reduce dryness and dehydration in the lips.
4. Stick with fragrance-free products.
If you’ve ever read the ingredients list on your lip or skincare products, you may have seen the word “fragrance.” While this may seem like an innocuous ingredient, it’s actually quite harmful in many cases.
That’s because manufacturing companies are allowed to use the word fragrance to represent basically anything they want. In other words, a product with fragrance in it can include ingredients that are actually detrimental to your body. Therefore, it’s best to avoid lip products with fragrance at all costs.
5. Keep good lip balms in places where you’ll need them.
Even when you have the right lip balms to use, if you don’t know where they are, you can’t possibly use them! For this reason, aim to put your favorite, most effective balms in key places where they are easy to find in your home, at work, and in your car.
6. Use a humidifier at home.
During the coldest months of the year, humidity levels drop, and the air can get extremely dry. Home humidifiers pump water vapor into the air to increase humidity levels throughout your house. If you can’t afford several humidifiers to place around your home, get at least one that you can keep in your bedroom and turn on at night.
7. Don’t pick at peeling lips.
If your lips have become so dry and scaly lately that they’ve started to peel and blister, absolutely do not pick at them in the state. If the peeling is relatively minor, simply leave it, and continue to apply your typical nourishing lip balm, adding extra applications whenever you can.
Picking at your lips in this state can actually exacerbate the problem and may require you to see a dermatologist in order to find a solution. In some cases, skin picking can actually cause cold sores to appear.
8. If possible, cover your mouth when going outside.
Unlike our feet, hands, ears, and most of the rest of our bodies, it’s not easy to cover your mouth and lips when you go outside. We need to talk and breathe, after all. Still, there are some situations in which you can cover your mouth.
If you won’t be around people or talking to anyone, consider wrapping a scarf or gator loosely and comfortably around your mouth and lips when you go outside. Do this especially when you’ll be exposed to the winter wind for an extended period of time.
Though winter brings lots of things we adore (beautifully falling snow, festive holiday shopping, eggnog and hot cocoa, presents …!), it also brings with it dreaded chapped lips and dry skin. Luckily, with the tips we’ve provided above, you can avoid severely chapped lips this season and keep your pout plump and soft until spring arrives.