How to Prevent Dry and Chapped Lips
Skin dryness is a serious skin concern among women; be it a dry skin type, a result of cold weather conditions or altitude. However, lips exhibit dryness more extremely than your skin. This is because unlike the skin on other parts of the body, lips are extremely thin and very fragile.
In fact, lips are the driest spot on the face and body. While the face is covered with a relatively thick and more protective layer of skin that remains intact and prevents dryness, the lips are virtually naked in comparison and require intensive care and nourishment to remain smooth and moist.
Lips have a layer of skin (stratum corneum) like the face, but it is extremely thin and transparent, and barely covers the vulnerable mucous membrane underneath. In fact, the reddish color of lips is because the ultra-thin layer of skin allows the color of the high concentration of blood vessels to come through vividly. In fact, lips turn blue in winter because cold weather conditions or low body temperature cause blood vessels in the lips to shut down and become poorly oxygenated. As a result, the lips look blue.
Lips also lack sebaceous glands and have almost no sweat glands. These physiological facts along with extreme climate changes make the lips dry and cause chapping.
One thing that comes naturally to all of us is that we lick our lips when they feel dry in a futile attempt to restore moisture. However, this may be even more damaging for dry lips. Licking your lips may make your lips feel better for a few seconds, but when your tongue transfers saliva from your mouth to your lips, it actually eats away and destroys the thin layer of skin covering the lips. This leads to a vicious cycle and the lips become cracked and chapped.
How to Treat Dry and Chapped Lips
The best way to protect your lips is to keep them covered. Remember, chapped lips are not going to disappear immediately. What you need is a dedicated and diligent routine of treating your lips and restoring the moisture within.
Protect Against Sun Damage
Sun damage is one of the prime causes of dry lips. The UV rays of the sun can wreak havoc on lips throughout the day, be it a bright sunny day or even if it’s dark and cloudy. Therefore, it’s important to use a well-formulated emollient lip balm, lip gloss or lipstick with an SPF 15 or greater that contains sun protecting ingredients like titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, or avobenzone.
Nourish Lips at Night
At night, before going to bed, make sure to apply an emollient lip balm or clear thick gloss to lips. However, don’t use lip care products that contain skin irritants such as menthol, camphor, peppermint or citrus, or those that are highly fragranced. These ingredients have no real benefit for the lips and only serve to cause potential problems.
Naomi Andrews is a professional esthetician and skin care expert. She has written several articles about skin care including Eye Care & Lip Care . She believes that beauty is a woman’s armor and researches about anti-aging skin care products and mineral cosmetics that are healthy options for your skin.