It can be very frustrating to deal with dry skin during the winter. Cold weather causes the air to hold less water, which means that all kinds of skin can end up getting dry and uncomfortable. However, because your lips are made of such delicate skin, they often get the worst of it. If you’re dealing with chapped and cracked skin on your lips during the winter, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for caring for that dry skin in the winter.
1. Apply Lip Balm
Lip balm is a great tool to use if you’re experiencing issues with dry and flaky skin on your lips. There are many different moisturizing ingredients that you might find in a quality lip balm, including coconut oil, shea butter, and castor seed oil. It’s also a good idea to get an SPF lip balm, with ingredients like zinc oxide. The sensitive nature of the lips means that sunburn is more common there, and a sunburn on your lips can increase your risk of skin cancer just like a sunburn anywhere else.
2. Drink Lots of Water
One of the top ways to moisturize your lips is just to moisturize yourself. The winter weather can cause dehydration, which can contribute to rough skin all across your body—including your sensitive lips. This can also help with dry mouth in general, as well as certain medical conditions, like high blood pressure, which you can talk to a healthcare provider about. Drink water multiple times per day to alleviate your dry mouth and potentially help out your chapped skin.
3. Exfoliate Your Lips When Possible
If your lips are so dry that they’re cracked, especially if they really hurt or if they’re bleeding, you should avoid exfoliation, as this can make chapped skin even worse and, worst-case scenario, lead to a bacterial infection. However, once you’ve started to get your dry skin under control, exfoliation might help you remove the old, dead skin and replace it with new, fresh skin. Talk to your healthcare provider if you’re worried about whether exfoliation is a good idea.
4. Moisturize Your Lips at Night
Lip moisturizing is great all day, but it can be especially helpful at night. This is because you’re not moving your mouth as much during the nighttime, so lip ointment can stay on your lips without budging all night. If you breathe through your mouth, it’s even more important, as the moving air can cause dry and cracked skin.
5. Avoid Licking or Picking at Your Lips
It’s certainly tempting, but you should avoid licking your lips if you’re experiencing dry and cracked lips. Saliva has acids in it to break down our food, but those acids aren’t great for dry skin. Licking your lips can cause even worse problems over time.
Keep Your Lips Safe
Whether you’re choosing a shea butter lip balm, drinking more water, or exfoliating, it is possible to manage dry and cracked lips during the cold weather. In fact, this is a common condition that it’s easy to tackle yourself or with the help of a board-certified dermatologist if the problem worsens. If you like learning about how cold weather conditions can cause health issues, and what you can do to fix them, the esthetics program at Ogle School might be a good fit for you. This can be a great foundation for an entire career helping other people manage their delicate skin.