The new year brings a lot of excitement, but in many places, some of the coldest temperatures of the year along with it. If you’re anything like us, then you constantly experience dry chapped lips in the winter months. But fortunately, there are solutions. Read on to learn our tips for keeping your lips protected, soft and smooth all winter long.
Why do lips chap in the winter?
“Chapped” is a term for when your skin becomes cracked, rough, or sore (thank you, Merriam Webster!). It can happen anywhere on your body, perhaps from rough clothing like wool, but the cause of chapped lips in particular is often exposure to cold temperatures and wind.
However, your lips can also become chapped when you’re inside with the heat, or if you’ve been neglecting to drink the recommended amount of water. This is because it’s not just the cold that chaps lips, it’s dry air and dehydration.
Your lips are a part of the body that is particularly sensitive to becoming dried out—ten times faster—as they don’t contain oil glands like your skin. In the winter, humidity levels inside and out take a huge drop. When adding the additional factor of cold wind, your lips get quickly stripped of their natural moisture.
Taking care of your lips
Firstly, chapped lips are one of the early warning signs of dehydration. So the first thing you should do is drink a glass of water. The recommendation is eight glasses of water a day, or half a gallon, which most people do not come close to. Even if your chapped lips are caused by an environmental factor, use them as an opportune reminder to drink more water.
Even when you’re inside in the winter, your lips skin still at risk of becoming chapped quickly. This is because the heating sources in your home wick the air of moisture and do not add any. This is especially true if you are using an electric heating source (more common in older, mid-century homes) or a space heater to supplement.
To prevent this, keep up your winter lip routine inside as well. If the problem is really bad, and you’re having other reactions like cold sores or rashes on your skin or frequent nose-bleeds, invest in a humidifier. These are not just good to achieve healthy lips, but your entire body.
When we go outside in the winter, we may bundle up in hats, mittens, and boots, but we often leave our face exposed to the elements like chilly winds and sun exposure. To help prevent lip damage outside, put on a big chunky scarf that you can tuck everything below your nose into. Sure, it’s less fashionable than a cashmere scarf folded into your jacket, but in our books, being warm and cozy takes precedent.
Next, a moisturizing lip balm. We recommend one with a lot of natural fats (often listed as butters in the ingredients list) and some form of glycerin, which fortunately is often plant-derived. Glycerin is a humectant, which is a fancy word for something that attracts water.
Lip care products containing glycerin actually attract more moisture to the applied area, helping to moisturize further. Apply generously whenever needed, and if your lips are extra-prone to getting chapped, we recommend getting a heavy-duty lip balm to apply during the nighttime to keep moisture in all night long.
Our Nourishing Lip Balm is a great choice for you winter lip needs. It contains vegetable glycerin as well as natural fat-heavy butters like Kokum and Mango butter. Want to learn more about them and their special properties? Check them out here and here, respectively.
In addition to having all the right ingredients to keep your lips protected, nourished and happy – and just like all of our products – our Nourishing Lip Balm is formulated with only plant-based ingredients, and we do not use sulfates, phthalates, synthetic dyes, fragrances, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, petrochemical substances, silicones, PEG, TEA, DEA and propylene glycol in our formulation. Our lip balms are also lightly tinted, meaning here you don’t have to sacrifice looking good for feeling good.
What to stay away from
Don’t just treat, but take preventative measures! One thing that can really accelerate damaging your lips is by licking them too much. We know, a little counter-intuitive. But your saliva contains a lot of enzymes designed to help break down food, which can then strip your lips of their natural protections on top of wind, sun damage and dehydration.
Along the same lines, try not to touch, scratch, or bite your lips’ cracked skin when they do become chapped. Finally, avoid lip products containing secretly drying ingredients. Menthol may feel nice and tingly when applied, but it will actually help dry your lips out faster. The same goes for eucalyptus.
By adding these tips to your skin care routine, we hope your lips have a very happy – and healthy – winter!