As the weather gets colder, many people find themselves reaching for their lip balm more often. However, even with all that lip balm, your lips may still feel dry and chapped. According to dermatology experts, the type of balm you use is just as important as how much you use. In this article, we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of lip balm, and give you expert tips on how to keep your lips soft and smooth all season long.
Why Do Lips Get Chapped in Winter?
The cold weather, along with the thin skin of your lips, can cause them to dry out quickly. Additionally, factors like dehydration, licking your lips, and exposure to wind and sun can all contribute to dryness and chapping. That’s why it’s important to take care of your lips with the right kind of lip balm.
Ingredients to Avoid in Lip Balm
While it might be tempting to use a lip balm that feels tingly or cooling, Dr. Mona Gohara warns that these types of balms can actually be harmful. Ingredients like menthol, camphor, and alcohol can irritate your lips and make them more dry and chapped in the long run. Fragrances, flavoring agents, and dyes can also be potential irritants that you should avoid.
Ingredients to Look for in Lip Balm
To keep your lips soft and hydrated, look for lip balms that contain natural ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, castor oil, coconut oil, and shea butter. These ingredients are great at trapping moisture in the skin and keeping it hydrated for longer periods of time. Additionally, lip balms with SPF can protect your lips from the damaging effects of the sun.
How Often Should You Apply Lip Balm?
While there is no hard and fast rule about how often to apply lip balm, experts recommend applying it as often as needed to keep your lips hydrated. Dr. Gohara suggests applying lip balm before bed and when you wake up in the morning, as well as throughout the day as needed. Dr. Brendan Camp recommends using lip balm at least twice a day, or more often if you have very dry lips.
Other Tips for Keeping Your Lips Soft and Smooth
In addition to using the right type of lip balm, there are other things you can do to keep your lips soft and smooth all winter long. Skin specialist and nutritionist Lisa Borg recommends drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated. She also suggests eating foods that stimulate saliva production, such as apples, cucumbers, tomatoes, courgettes, watermelon, lemons, and crunchy, fibrous vegetables like carrots and celery.
The National Health Service (NHS) recommends washing your hands before applying lip balm to prevent the spread of germs. They also suggest covering your lips with a scarf when you’re outside in cold weather to protect them from the elements. If you’re planning to be outdoors for an extended period of time, the NHS recommends using a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher and reapplying it every two hours.
Keeping your lips soft and smooth during the winter months doesn’t have to be a struggle. By using the right type of lip balm, staying hydrated, and taking a few simple precautions, you can keep your lips healthy and moisturized all season long. So, be sure to check the ingredients in your lip balm, avoid irritants, and look for natural moisturizing ingredients like beeswax, olive oil, and shea butter. With a little bit of care, your lips can look and feel their best, no matter how cold it gets outside