Chapped lips are the pits. At best, they feel dry, and at worst, cracked and painful. No, thank you! In a nutshell, chapping occurs when your lips fail to retain moisture as well as they should, and there are a few reasons why this dryness comes about. The number one culprit is lip licking, followed by the elements, diet and allergies. So, let’s talk about how to protect that pretty pout…
As you know by now, good health starts from within. Chapping points to dehydration and deficiencies, so to stop it in its tracks, you need to take care of yourself. Drink at least two litres of water every day to nourish and protect your skin, and by extension, your lips. Avoid consuming too much caffeine, and steer clear of hot drinks (like tea) when your lips begin to feel dry. Next, munch on foods high essential fatty acids, B-vitamins and vitamin E, such as walnuts, avocadoes, flaxseed, Swiss cheese, eggs and tofu. This will boost the vitamins and antioxidants in your body, which in turn will speed up oil production and bring back that protective barrier your lips need to stay smooth and healthy. Eat spicy and salty treats in moderation, and forget citrusy foods like orange and grapefruit if you feel chapping coming on (unless you like that stinging sensation!). Lastly, cut back on smoking – or even better, quit completely. It dries out lips, and messes with their colour and texture.
To keep your pout in tip-top condition, apply lip balm every chance you get. A good lip balm will heal and seal in moisture as well as protect your lips from external irritations, like harsh winds and the sun. Not all balms are created equal. Ditch any with a long list of nasties (like alcohol, parabens and petrochemicals), and look for nourishing natural ingredients:
Pro tip: If your lips are prone to chapping, choose hydrating lipsticks over matte varieties. In winter, put away the lippies and stick to tinted lip balms.
Got sensitive skin? Chances are, your lips are just as delicate. Be careful and keep any cosmetics and products containing perfumes, dyes and fragrances away from your mouth. Also – and this is really interesting – your toothpaste may be to blame for chapping. Many toothpastes contain synthetic flavours and/or sodium lauryl sulfate, both of which can strip lips of their natural oils and leave you with an itchy, dry pout. Try switching to a natural toothpaste, and be sure to cover your mouth when you’re out and about. A scarf will do the trick, and it’s tres chic.
Pro tip: If your lips are seriously parched, place cucumber slices on them – this will have a cooling effect and feel divine.
How do you keep your lips healthy? Can you suggest another cure for chapped lips?