We all know that winter can take a serious toll on our skin and hair, but have you been paying attention to your lips? While we pay extra attention to our skin during the winter months, and strive to keep our pucker in kissable shape (seriously, there is nothing worse than dry, flaky lips), you may be actually doing more harm than good.
Not only does the cold weather directly affect one of our most sensitive extremities, but it is also further affected should you be taking overly drying medications such as Accutane, or using topicals containing benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
To ensure your pucker stays hydrated and ultra-soft throughout the cold months read on below for tips to ensure your lips stay kissable smooth.
Exfoliate: Yes, you read correctly, sloughing away dead skin cells built up on your lips is just important as exfoliating your face. Not only are flaky lips not the most aesthetically pleasing”dead skin doesn’t exactly invite a kiss from your new beau on the first date”but lipstick will often not apply easily, or, will sit on the surface of your lips resulting in a chapped appearance. But there are easy methods to attain soft, kissable lips any time! If you’re very sensitive you can simply apply Vaseline to your lips and wipe away any dead skin using a damp washcloth (this method would be especially ideal if you’re on an overly drying medication). Other budget-friendly options include combining olive oil and brown sugar for a homemade scrub or using a very soft toothbrush. Korres, an Athens-based natural skincare line, features an organic Lemon Lip Scrub ($19) that uses rice powder to effectively wipe away flaky skin, while the inclusion of jojoba seed oil and beeswax moisturize and condition lips. Just remember that whenever you exfoliate your lips, use a slow circular motion to prevent any tears to the surface skin.
Hydration: To prevent and moisturize chapped lips, it is often much better to use a hydrating lip balm than a gloss. Lip gloss can be very drying for your lips, especially if it contains shimmer or glitter, therefore choosing a balm that contains vitamin E or cocoa butter is the better option for cracked lips. Yet, do beware of medicated balms that can contain phenol and camphor. Phenol is a mild anaesthetic and camphor provides that tingly cooling sensation that may provide temporary relief, but it can further exacerbate sensitive lips. Also remember to purchase a lip-balm containing SPF to protect against the sun’s harmful rays.
Don’t Forget: Do remember to keep hydrated by drinking of plenty of water and talk to your physician about taking hydrating vitamin supplements. At night apply a thick coating of Vaseline to your lips and however compelled you feel don’t lick your lips!