Do you often find yourself with chapped, sore and uncomfortable lips? If so, you are not alone. Chapped lips can be a common and bothersome problem in the colder months, but even in warmer climates they can occur due to environmental stressors. As annoying as the problem of chapped lips is, fortunately there are steps you can take to reduce its frequency and severity. Before we dive into the solutions to overcome this problem, let’s first identify six mistakes to avoid when it comes to taking care of your lips!
Mistake #1: You lick your lips.
Although some of us may think that licking our lips is a way to moisturize them, it’s actually quite the opposite. What happens when you lick your lips is that the saliva dries on your lips, making them even more dry and chapped! In fact, saliva can disrupt certain lipids that help retain moisture for healthy, hydrated lips. So if you notice your lips starting to feel dry and uncomfortable, don’t feel like you have to lick them and opt for a nourishing lipstick or other lip product instead!
Mistake #2: You’re using harsh lip care products.
Taking care of your lips is an often overlooked, yet important part of any beauty and health regimen. Some people think that harsh lip care products, like abrasive scrubs, can help lessen the appearance of dryness, but in fact, using such products can be the cause! The delicate skin on your lips is easily damaged: when rubbed too harshly, especially with abrasive ingredients intended to exfoliate, it can deplete existing oils, further aggravating dryness. If you’re looking for softer, smoother lips, go easy on the scrub and opt for gentle moisturizers instead. Your lips will thank you!
Mistake #3: You smoke.
Smoking is known to cause various health issues, and surprisingly, one of them could be dry, chapped lips. Loss of lip moisture is an obvious result of smoking, as nicotine can interfere with our body’s natural defense mechanism that produces saliva and keeps our lips hydrated. Additionally, when people breathe in hot, harsh fumes, whether cigarettes or other materials, these fumes further irritate the lip area, which contributes to drying them out. Smoking can become a bad habit that is hard to quit, and having dry lips can be a sign that it’s time to cut back or quit altogether.
Mistake #4: You eat foods high in sugar or salt.
The link between what we eat and the condition of our skin is often overlooked. It turns out, however, that the type of food you eat may have a greater effect on your lips than you might think. Consuming foods high in salt or sugar can lead to dry lips due to dehydration and increased acidity in the body. To keep lips hydrated, focus on regular consumption of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables, which will help maintain overall healthy skin and relieve dry lips. Make sure at least half your plate is filled with vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables for your overall skin health – and it’s good for your muscles, too!
Mistake #5: You neglect SPF protection.
Protecting your lips from sun damage is key to keeping them plump, soft and hydrated. Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of not using SPF when it comes to lip care. What we don’t realize is that neglecting SPF protection causes lips to dry out – making it more difficult to apply home remedies. In addition to limiting the damage, research has shown that regularly using an SPF on the lips can actually promote smoothing and minimize wrinkles over time. So if you want healthy looking lips, pair your favorite lip balm or gloss with SPF for best results!
Mistake #6: You ignore lip balm.
With the colder months on the way and winter winds, it’s no surprise that our lips quickly suffer from dryness. Those of us who don’t value lip balm highly may suffer more than others. While at first the problem may seem minor, without hydration your lips may become sore leading to cracking and possibly bleeding. It can be uncomfortable and interfere with daily tasks like talking or eating. It’s good to remember that by taking a few seconds each day to give your lips some love (using lip balm!), you can help prevent long-term dryness and avoid painful side effects.