You might want to pass on the Chapstick….

It’s been one cold winter, no matter where you live. And when it’s cold, we tend to ramp up the heat, which sucks the moisture from our bodies.  Plus, it’s so cold, we tend to not to want to drink the same amounts of water that we do in the summer, or when it’s warmer out, so our lips tend to get drier than normal, as unlike the rest of your skin, your lips don’t produce oils that can keep them from drying out.  I know tons of people who automatically reach for their favorite lip balm, constantly, and still have dry lips….well there’s a reason for that!

Why do most lip balms dry out your lips?

The skin of your lips is very thin and sheds every 28 days, they don’t produce any oils, and they aren’t protected from UV exposure on their own due to lack of melanin, so they do tend to dry out really easily. This is one case where you really need to read ingredients because if they have menthol, camphor, phenol, or any form of alcohol (things that have alcohol in them end with the letters “-ol”), that means that they will give you that tingle, but the tingle is usually the alcohol drying on the top layer of the skin on your lips.  So, if feels like it is adding a layer of moisture, and that minty/alcohol tingle takes any moisture you just added away.  That’s truly a bummer because so many lip balms, chapsticks, etc. that you see in the local pharmacy are filled with drying agents. You almost become addicted, because you feel like you have dry lips, apply your favorite lip balm, and it dries them out more, leading to the need for more lip balm…and the cycle continues.

Even Hilda likes to use coco butter on her lips!

Even Hilda likes to use coco butter on her lips!

What does actually moisturize my lips?

Some people really do like that tingly feeling, so it can be hard to move to a product that doesn’t allow for that tingly sensation, but to truly get moist lips, you have to ditch that tingle, sorry to be the bearer of bad news. But what you can use is petroleum jelly or Vaseline work great and are very cheap.  You can also use either cocoa butter or Shea butter sticks, which are a bit pricier, but more portable than Vaseline tubs.  And, if you don’t like those options, then search other lip balms that do not contain alcohols, but are oil/lipid based as that helps to add moisture to your lips…and keep them moisturized!

What else can I do?

– Keep your mouth covered by a scarf in really cold weather

– Drink your 8 glasses of water a day

– Wear an SPF when going outdoors to prevent UV damage

– Use a humidifier at home if you use heat, to help keep your lips full of moisture

– Don’t pick or pull at dry skin from your lips- it can make the situation worse.

– If your lips are very chapped all the time, you may want to see a Healthcare Practitioner (HCP) to see if maybe you have a vitamin deficiency, and not necessarily a dryness issue!

So ditch your products with the tingle, and get some real moisture for your lips. You’ll save money in the long run, and have better looking moist lips!

Yours in Good Health