If you struggle with chapped lips, you know that the dryness and cracking can be painful, and layering on lip balm isn’t always the only answer.
Harmattan: 5 ways to prevent dry, chapped lips
Much like dry skin rashes, chapped lips are a common skin concern during the harmattan season.
Here are some steps you can take to reduce dryness and keep your lips smooth this season.
Choose the right lip balm
Your favourite lip balm may be one of the culprits behind your chapped lips. Many lip balms contain irritating ingredients, which doesn’t do your lips any good and in some cases can make your chapped lips worse. Avoid ingredients like fragrance, flavouring, menthol, and eucalyptus. Typically, ingredients like shea butter, petroleum jelly, mineral oils, and ceramides are better options. Your dermatologist can tell you which lip balm products are best for soothing your lips.
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your skin and lips hydrated. While dehydration isn’t the only cause of dry lips, it can be a factor. Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day to remember to hydrate. This will do wonders for your entire body. Remember, though it’s recommended to drink eight glasses of water per day, you may not be getting enough water to hydrate if you’re a bigger and/or active person.
Use a humidifier
Once you turn the heat on for the season, the dry air in your home can make your chapped lips feel drier. Add extra moisture to the air by running a humidifier. Consider placing humidifiers in the rooms where you spend the most time, like your bedroom and living room. This way, you’ll add moisture to the air without having to think about it. The combination of adding more moisture to the air and the proper lip balm before bed will do wonders.
Remember SPF (Sun Protection Factor)
Your lips are as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your skin, so it’s important to protect them all year. Even in the winter, it’s important to apply a lip balm that contains SPF before spending time outdoors. The extra sun protection will prevent sunburn, which can worsen chapped lips.
- See a dermatologist
While at-home prevention can be helpful, you may need to see a dermatologist for severely chapped lips. What may seem like dryness may actually be conditions like dermatitis and eczema on the lips. Irritation may also be a sign of an infection or allergic reaction. No matter the specific cause of your chapped lips, a dermatologist can provide an accurate diagnosis and make recommendations for treatment.
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