When it comes to skin care, people tend to focus on sensitive areas like the face, neck, and chest. It's easy to forget that your lips need just as much attention, especially in harsh weather conditions or if your lips are prone to chapping. With the following tips for great lips, you can help get rid of bothersome lip dryness and other symptoms.
What Not to Do
There are a few habits you should try to avoid when attempting to take better care of your lips. If you tend to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, this could contribute to dryness. When more air passes across your lips, it can dry the saliva on them, leading to drier lips. Try breathing through your nose more and see if you notice an improvement in the moisture of your lips.
Certain medications or chemicals found in common skin care products are proven to dry out your lips. Ingredients that can cause lip dryness include:
- Vitamin A
- Flavorings — especially irritating flavorings like cinnamon, citrus, mint, and peppermint
- Salicylic acid
- Propyl gallate
Check your makeup, lotion, lip balms, and any other products you put on or near your lips for these ingredients.
One of the most important things you can do to take care of your dry lips is to stay hydrated. Your lips don’t have any oil glands, so they dry out more easily than the rest of your body. If you're in the habit of licking your lips, try to stop doing so. Licking your lips takes much-needed moisture away from your mouth.
Drink lots of water to help combat lip dryness. If you find you’re having serious trouble rejuvenating your chapped lips, you can try setting up a humidifier in your home to increase the moisture in the air.
Keep Your Lips Moisturized
Lip balm and other lip moisturizing products start from the surface of the skin and work their way inward to heal your lips. Dermatologists recommend products that include at least one of the following ingredients:
- Castor seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Mineral oil
- Shea butter
- White petroleum jelly
There's no such thing as applying lip balm too often. As long as yours doesn’t irritate your lips, you should apply lip balm multiple times a day and before bed every night. The more damaged your lips are, the thicker the product you should use. If you’re trying to prevent dry lips, use a standard chapstick. If you have cracked and flaky skin, try a thick ointment like white petroleum jelly. Ointments are better at caring for your lips because they seal in hydration more effectively than waxy or oily products.
Protect Your Lips From the Weather
If you spend a lot of time out in the sun, your lips can get chapped from too much sun exposure. To prevent sun-chapped lips, you can use a lip balm with protective ingredients like titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Something with an SPF of 30 or higher will help protect your lips from the sun.
If you don’t live in a sunny climate, you still need to take care of your lips. Windy or cold weather can be just as damaging to sensitive lips as the sun is. To be safe, reapply your chapstick every few hours to keep your lips protected from the elements.
How to Care for Lip Fillers
If you have lip fillers, your lip care might look a little different than caring for natural lips because you have to keep up with the inside of your lips, too. To care for the surface of your lips, you should follow the same tips for great lips listed above.
Right after getting lip fillers, you should try to avoid:
- Exercising or other serious physical activity
- Spending time in the sun or any form of tanning
- Touching the area (unless you’ve been told to massage the area)
As long as you don’t notice anything unusual after getting fillers, you can continue caring for your lips as usual.
Follow these tips for great lips and your chapped lips should heal before too long. If two or three weeks pass and you haven't noticed an improvement in your dry lips, consider contacting a dermatologist.