The lips tend to lose moisture every second of the day, and become dry and chapped especially in cold weather and low humidity levels. The skin on your lips is very thin and has no oil glands to prevent them from chapping. Cold weather and low humidity levels result in dry air and can lead to dry, flaky and chapped lips. Apart from the cold weather factors that lead to chapped lips include:
- Excessive licking of lips
- Sun damage
- Smoking and drinking
- Skin irritants in toothpaste
- Certain medications, such as retinoids and chemotherapy drugs
Chapped lips can be annoying and painful, but the good news is that the condition is easy to treat. There are many things you can do to prevent and resolve dry, chapped lips. Here are some natural tips that can help restore, soften and moisture your lips quickly.
- Don’t lick your lips, as it actually makes them more prone to dryness. The enzymes in saliva are meant to digest food and would be too harsh on your delicate lips.
- Stay hydrated, inside and out. Maintain a healthy diet and drink lots of water. Eat food which is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C as this would help to repair the skin tissues and increase collagen production to keep your skin and lips supple.
- Try changing your toothpaste – synthetic flavors can cause an allergic reaction.
- Lips need exfoliation to get rid of dull and flaky skin. Regular exfoliation will speed up the process of skin renewal and keep your lips soft and pink. Use a sugar and honey scrub or toothbrush to gently remove the excess skin. Take care not to overdo the exfoliation.
- Lock in moisture by using lip products that could keep the water in and hydrate your lips. Popular hydrating and healing ingredients recommended for dry lips include beeswax, shea butter, moringa oil, dimethicone, and petroleum jelly.
Careful attention and preventive measures are the keys to getting your lips looking and feeling good. However, if you find that your chapped lips don’t heal with these natural tips see a doctor. Chapped lips can get infected, as bacteria can enter through cracks and abrasions. This is known as cheilitis and must be treated by a doctor.