Are your lips smacking or cracking? Let’s dive into how to care for dry chapped lips in the winter.
There’s nothing better than smooth, soft lips to put a smile on your face. During this time of year, lip upkeep can be challenging. Lips need to be treated differently from the rest of our skin. The skin on our face is made of dead cells, which creates a barrier between the outside world and our delicate insides. However, lip skin is a combination of live and dead cells. These active live cells bring needed nutrients into our bodies through our lips.
Our lips take a beating from the elements. Common everyday things from toothpaste, food, and cosmetics interact with our lips. Furthermore, injury to our lips is inevitable. When you least expect it, it happens! Think about when you bite into a taco and the hot sauce or grease covers your lips, ow! Or, if you’re into cosmetics and you try the latest “all day wear” lipstick, hmm… What’s in that stuff, anyway? Let’s face it, our lips take a beating and keep on going, but how?
Luckily, lip skin heals faster than facial skin due to several reasons. Location, location, location! Our lips, being on the face, have access to lots of blood vessels. This is a good thing because blood can deliver necessary chemicals and molecules to aid in the repair process when damage happens. Skin cells on our lips repair themselves quite rapidly by dividing and laying new collagen.
How to Fix Dry Lips
Sweet Tip (literally). Sprinkle a pinch of table sugar into the palm of your hand. Next, add 1-2 drops of oil. The type of oil is your preference (olive, soybean, avocado, coconut, etc.) The goal is to mix the sugar and oil in the palm of your hand creating an “all natural” exfoliant. Here’s the trick- Stand over the sink, like you’re going to brush your teeth, and gently scrub the mixture all over your lips using your fingertips (some may fall off, and that’s ok). This scrubbing action will manually exfoliate your lips removing any dead and dry skin creating a rejuvenating smooth feel.
Drinking water is beneficial for good lip health. When you are not hydrated, your lips are one of the first areas to show it.
Lipstick is like a double edge sword. Indeed, it adds color and appeal to the lips, but there are so many varieties. Moisturizing lipstick wears off quickly, and matte varieties can be drying.
Since lipstick is made up primarily of wax, you can quickly melt your favorite color in the microwave (about 10 seconds) and mix it with an oil that hardens at room temperature (I recommend coconut or shea oil). All you need is a small, clean jar with a lid. I mix melted lipstick into my Cherry-O Lip Savior and Body Balm all the time creating a healing, soothing, colorful lip balm.
Warning: If you are going to microwave it, remove it from the tube first!
How to Maintain Healthy Lips
Sun protection for the lips is critical. Lip cancer is not an uncommon problem and is often overlooked! There are two types of lip cancer that you can develop: basal or squamous cell carcinoma. I recommend looking for a lipstick or gloss with an SPF rating and reapplying it often. Since we lick our lips and unknowingly wipe our mouths, it’s important to try and keep uniform coverage of the sun protection factor.
When you think of putting something on your lips, consider whether you would want to ingest it or not. The average person using lip products unexpectedly consumes approximately 110 mg (milligrams) of the product they wear. Now think about that! I recommend reading the ingredients for every product that you purchase. Lastly, if the ingredients listed on lip products aren’t readily recognized as “natural” or seem to sound like chemicals, then it may not be the right one to use on your precious lips.