Your lips are a small part of the skin on your body, but they are incredibly unique and especially sensitive. All year round, but especially in the colder months, dry and cracked lips are something you need to be prepared for.
Many lip products out there are not actually designed to heal cracked lips. Lip balms, or lipsticks containing ingredients like camphor, lanolin or salicylic acid may work to provide hydration or shield your lips from dry air, but they can cause irritation in the process. A good, healing lip balm will not make your lips sting or burn. If your lips react in this way to a product, don’t use it because it’s not helping.
You also should be using lip balms or lipsticks that include sunscreen. Lip balms with an SPF of 30 or more are ideal for year round use. Even in the winter, your lips and skin should be protected from UV radiation. Sun damage is harmful to your skin and can cause dryness, a sunburn or skin cancer. The lips are not immune from this damage either, and the best case scenario for unprotected lips is dryness and thinning from sun damage. Some sunscreen ingredients also work double-duty. Zinc or titanium oxide can both actually help heal the lips while offering protection. There are a variety of products out there that can keep your lips from drying or cracking.
If you’re dehydrated, it can impact a number of parts of your body all at once. One of the first signs of dehydration is dry lips. If you aren’t hydrating enough, your lips are going to be more susceptible to developing cracks. If dehydration is your problem, properly hydrating and using a healing lip balm should restore your lips. Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean we can skimp on water intake. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to fit your lifestyle, typically eight or more glasses, but this varies depending on activity level and size.
Dry air is the biggest enemy of your lips and skin during the winter months. Cold air carries far less moisture, and the air can draw moisture from your skin quickly without some help. A good lip balm gives you an effective barrier against dryness, but that’s not all you can do if your lips are dry in winter.
Humidifiers are an excellent, relatively cheap way to balance the humidity in your home. Your furnace is not helping your lips either. The warm air heaters generate is very dry. Humidifiers work by turning water into water vapor, providing much needed moisture. Having a humidifier in your room overnight is a great idea, and having another in your living space or office is a must. This is a simple way to get the moisture your body needs without having to think about it.
If you’re dreading chapped, cracked lips this winter, prepare now! If you have further questions or a particularly bad case of chapped lips, don’t hesitate to call the Northeast Dermatology Associates today.
York, ME / Portland, ME - Now Open! / Beverly, MA / Burlington, MA / Gloucester, MA / Haverhill, MA / Hopkinton, MA / Newburyport, MA / North Andover, MA - Mass Ave / North Andover, MA - Turnpike / Marblehead, MA / Salem, MA / Sudbury, MA / Bedford, NH / Concord, NH / Dover, NH / Exeter, NH / Londonderry, NH / Manchester, NH / Portsmouth, NH