Chapped lips are a common issue that seem as inevitable as the winter months. Not only is the feeling of chapped lips annoying, but it can also be painful and cause bleeding. We look at ways to get rid of dry and cracked lips.
That pesky chapped feeling can occur from a multitude of different small irritants, but is usually linked with dehydrated skin. While there is no one-fix solution to chapped lips, they can easily be prevented by implementing these habits:
DRINK MORE WATER
It is obvious, but has a right to be reiterated. Hydrating your body from the inside is one of the most effective ways of attaining soft, luscious lips. If you have dry, chapped lips it’s likely that you are not getting enough water in your system. Drinking a ton of water at once will not make your chapped lips disappear, but a consistent and healthy amount of water will heal them over time.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LIP BALM
It is simple, some lip products are better than others. If you are concerned, with what kind of product to pick it’s safer to stay with natural, unflavored kinds. Dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD explains that Menthol, a very common ingredient in minty lip balms, is actually damaging for your lips. Menthol is the ingredient, which gives lip balm that “cooling” effect, but can also inflame the skin and lead to dehydration. Avoid lip balms with excess chemicals and you will be fine.
DO NOT LICK YOU LIPS
This is a simple but important one! Licking your lips is a bad habit if you want to say goodbye to chapped lips. Licking your lips dehydrates healthy skin and creates further irritation.
USE A PRODUCT WITH SUNSCREEN
Like the rest of your skin, your lips are prone to overexposure and sunburn. Make sure you use a lip balm or product that has some SPF so you will not end up with charred skin. Sunburn leaves your skin dry and damaged, and there is no reason to put your skin through that.
CREATE A BARRIER BETWEEN YOUR SKIN AND THE ELEMENTS
Windy and harsh environments can snatch the moisture out of your lips in an instant. One way to prevent this is by creating a physical barrier between you and the environment. This can be as simple as wearing a scarf that covers your lips when you are outside in the cold. You can also apply a product like beeswax or petroleum jelly to prevent moisture from escaping.
Natural oils such as coconut, jojoba, or rosehip oil are great for keeping moisture in your lips. These oils are emollient, which means that they create a barrier on top of your skin preventing moisture from escaping. Reapplying oils often, or leaving them on overnight as a mask, is a great way to make sure moisture is being locked in.
EXFOLIATE TO GET RID OF DEAD SKIN
Exfoliating (very lightly) can be a great way to remove dead, dry skin. Use a sugar scrub or your toothbrush to polish your way to smooth lips. Make sure you go very lightly because you do not want to take off healthy skin!
EAT FOODS WITH HIGH WATER CONTENT
It is the same idea as drinking more water. If your body is kept healthy and hydrated, your skin will become soft and balanced. Sometimes we do not think about the water that we get from our food. It is important to eat vegetables and fruits because they have a high water content and will make it easier for you to keep hydrated.
AVOID SMOKING CIGARETTES
Your chapped lips might be connected to your smoking habit! Nicotine damages your blood vessels, making it more difficult for your body to transport nutrients and repair to your lips. This condition will get worse overtime as you continue to smoke, so consider dropping it.
AVOID DRY ENVIRONMENTS
This might be a hard one to avoid if you live in a naturally dry environment, but it could be one of the reasons for your all-year round dry lips. Instead of moving to another part of the world, you could try placing a humidifier in your workspace or home. Humidifiers are a simple way to get more moisture in the air and could make your situation a lot better.
LIMIT INTAKE OF SPICY AND SALTY FOOD
Sad, but true, spicy and salty foods are dehydrating. When you consume dehydrating food, your skin will naturally become less hydrated. To fix this, limit your intake of these foods, or consume more water to balance it.
ATTRACT MOISTURE WITH DERMAL FILLER
If you are dealing with severely chapped lips and want a faster solution, you might consider lip filler such as Juvéderm. Juvéderm is made out of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring substance inside your body that helps to retain moisture. This method could potentially help your chapped lip situation. Hyaluronic acid helps your lips to stay hydrated, prevents scaling, dryness and it improves your overall lip condition, according to research.
Try some of these preventative methods out! Most of them are completely accessible and easy to implement. Yet, these are preventative methods, so they will not fix your chapped lips right away.