Even though we can suffer from chapped and dehydrated lips any time of the year, the chances are even higher during the winter months. That’s because in the winter, our lips are more vulnerable to dryness due to cold winds and indoor heating, which reduces the humidity. If you want to make your pout plump and kissable again (so you can try all the holiday edition lip makeup and won’t be afraid to kiss someone beneath the mistletoe), look no further than these simple and useful chapped lips remedies!
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What Causes Dry Lips
Lips don’t have oil glands like the rest of our skin, which is why they’re more susceptible to drying out and cracking. Low humidity, dehydration, lack of self-care and sun exposure are the main culprits of dry and chapped lips. Certain ingredients such as retinol can also cause lips to dry out.
Tips to Prevent Dry Lips
Here are some basic dos and don’ts to prevent dry lips:
1. Cover your lips. You cover your hands and feet when temps drop so do the same for your lips! Wear a cotton mask that covers your mouth when you’re out.
2. Drink enough water. Some people tend to drink less water in winter either because they don’t feel thirsty since the body’s not sweating, or they’re reluctant to take frequent breaks to the toilet. But that’s a big no-no! To keep your lips moisturized, you need to maintain hydration from the inside out. Drinking water has many benefits for your skin, from replenishing skin cells and facilitating metabolism to detoxifying and regulating body temperature. So don’t forget to drink your eight glasses of water daily!
3. Use a humidifier. It’s best to keep a humidifier both on your work desk (Those USB-charged ones are cute and handy!) and at home (consider getting a bigger one so you don’t have to refill it with water often). Feel free to add a few drops of essential oil for an aromatherapy twist!
4. Don’t lick your lips. It can be hard to avoid licking your lips especially when they’re dry but try to refrain from doing so. Saliva evaporates quickly and takes away moisture from lips as it dries. It’s also packed with the enzymes that break your food down, which can also cause lips to crack. When your lips feel tight, reach for a lip balm instead.
Home Remedies for Chapped Lips
Find ingredients in your kitchen to create the best lip treatments:
1. Sugar and honey are perfect for lip exfoliation. Combine them and rub the mixture onto your lips. Leave the scrub on for a few minutes before rinsing it off. For deeper exfoliation, apply with a gauze pad.
2. Lemon juice contains ascorbic acid that helps exfoliate lips and prevents the formation of wrinkles. Mix three drops of lemon juice into a teaspoon of cream. Refrigerate for an hour and apply it on the lips before sleeping.
3. Coconut oil promotes the healing of chapped lips. It’s also an excellent emollient and disinfectant.
4. Aloe vera is perfect for soothing lips burned by the sun or wind. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve itchiness, soreness and stinging sensations. It’s also a natural moisturizer.
What to Use for Chapped Lips
If you’re too busy to prepare the above home remedies, try these ready-made products:
1. Lip Scrubs
Gentle exfoliation prevents dead skin from building up and leaves lips smoother and softer. Use a mild exfoliator such as sugar or ascorbic acid to exfoliate lips twice a week. Be careful not to peel off flaky skin that isn’t completely dead yet as this may lead to bleeding. Exfoliation should be done as a preventive measure instead of a cure. For extremely dry lips, soften them with a lip balm first, and remember to always follow exfoliation with a good lip moisturizer.
2. Lip Balms
Offering the best dry lips remedy, a lip balm shields lips from extreme or harmful environmental elements. Look for two types of moisturizing ingredients: humectants and emollients. Humectants (e.g., sugars, proteins, amino acids and collagen) bind with water molecules to increase skin’s water content. Emollients (e.g., petroleum jelly, dimethicone, plant oils and butters) soften and smooth skin. These ingredients also form a protective layer to prevent moisture loss. The best lip balms should contain a good combination of emollients and humectants.
Apply lip balm before putting on your lipstick or lip gloss and re-apply it frequently to keep your lips moisturized at all times. Use it first thing in the morning, after meals, every couple of hours during the day and before sleep.
Your skin needs UV protection, and that includes the skin on your lips. If you’re exposed to the sun daily, choose a lip balm with SPF 15 or above to protect your lips from any sun damage. You may even need one with SPF 30 or above during prolonged outdoor activities.
3. Lip Masks
Your lips are free from all their duties while you sleep. Grab this golden opportunity to foster healing and hydrate lips with an overnight lip mask. Many of these are enriched with emollients like essential oils, beeswax and shea butter for deep hydration. Some even include exfoliators for thorough lip pampering.
4. Lip Patches
Hydrogel lip patches are a fun and Insta-worthy way to moisturize lips. The patches help seal in all the goodness from potent humectants like hyaluronic acid and collagen. Treat your besties to a lip patch party, and don’t forget to take some selfies!
5. Lip Oils
Lip oils not only provide lips with hydration but also make them look glossy and plump. They form a moisture barrier so lips can stay soft and smooth throughout the day. Some lip oils contain honey, ceramide and Vitamin E for added nourishment.