The cold, dry winds of winter can not only leave your hair in a frizzy halo around your head and your skin red and cracked, but it can also wreak havoc on parts that are exposed to the elements, namely your lips. If you’ve ever had to deal with the peeling, cracking, and pain associated with winter chapping, you’re no doubt keen to avoid it in the future. But you may have noticed that the products you’re using don’t seem to be doing the job at all. In fact, your regular lipsticks, glosses, and balms could be making the problem even worse, despite increased application. In truth, your regular products are probably not designed to handle the targeted task of protecting your lips from harsh winter weather, so here are just a few tips to prevent chapping when you face the low temperatures and dry air of winter.
Ingredients to avoid
You might be surprised to learn that even products claiming to be moisturizing contain ingredients that will actually dry your lips. Common items to avoid include alcohol, camphor, and menthol, but you might also want to skip chemicals like fragrances and dyes that can cause dryness and irritation. Even some commonly helpful ingredients like aloe and vitamin E could cause issues, especially in less-than-ideal weather conditions. So just be aware of these potential problems and you should be able to find the right products to combat your winter woes where your lips are concerned. If you are concerned about the possible link between certain cancers and parabens (a type of preservative commonly used in cosmetics) you might want to avoid these, as well.
Ingredients to seek
Now that you know what to avoid it’s time to find out which ingredients are going to do the most good. Natural oils and butters are your best bet. Products containing almond, olive, coconut , and any number of other oils will act as carriers, hydrating dry, cracked lips, while shea and cocoa butter will both help to lock in moisture and protect your lips. You might also want to look for beeswax, which adds to the staying power of your product, as well as humectants that increase the hydrating properties.
It’s hard to believe that your lips can get burned when the winter winds are howling, but you can actually be at higher risk when the snow on the ground reflects sunbeams back up at you. So make sure to choose a product that contains a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) SPF.
Exfoliating lip balms might seem like a great idea when your lips are peeling, but many contain drying agents that will actually make your problem worse. So avoid such balms and go for moisturizing options instead.
Keep products on hand
If you’re doing a vegan, paleo , or low FODMAP diet , chances are that you carry some snacks around with you in case you can’t find a suitable selection of options while you’re out and about. Winter lip care is no different. Since licking dry lips will only exacerbate your problem in the winter and you don’t want to have to buy lip balm wherever you go, get multipacks of a product you like and stuff one in every purse and jacket to ensure that you’ve always got a quick fix on hand to protect this sensitive skin and leave you with baby soft lips until spring.
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