Winterize Your Smile
In chilly temperatures, blood vessels in your lips constrict to minimize heat loss. The super thin skin in this area becomes drier as the amount of fluid decreases, causing skin to crack and flake.
1. Prep - for moisture to penetrate delicate lip tissue, you must first remove the layer of rough dead skin. Mix 1 tsp. olive oil with 1 tbsp. brown sugar and use the paste to - very gently - slough off visible flakes. Wipe off with a tissue or a damp washcloth. The olive oil left behind will infuse skin with softening essential fatty acids. Repeat once a week.
2. Heal - after exfoliating, generously coat the area with a lip ointment that contains petrolatum. If you’re experiencing serious discomfort, try a medicated version that’s also infused with camphor or menthol. A thick layer of petrolatum will trap the lip skin’s own moisture and prevent it from evaporating into the dry, cold air. Camphor and menthol will work on your nerve endings to cool and soothe irritation. Apply frequently, especially before bed, until you’re feeling better.
3. Protect - because continued use of camphor and menthol can dry lips over time, switch to a non medicated, wax-base balm for everyday.
4. Prevent - apply balm early and often. Avoid licking your lips, the enzymes in saliva can actually breakdown delicate lip skin. Finally, if you can’t seem to kick chapped lips, try swapping your toothpaste for an all-natural version. The irritation around your mouth might be due to a sensitivity to sulfates, the sudsing agent found in many oral products.