As autumn gives way to the cold winter season, the chilly weather calls for more than just some warm layers. Crisp, frosty temperatures profoundly affect our skin, especially delicate areas like our lips and nails, which means that skincare in winter should be a priority for all of us.
If you’re used to the bitter UK winters, you’ll know the feeling of chapped lips that don’t seem to feel any less rough or cracked — no matter how much Vaseline or lip balm you use! Often, covering up the affected area can only intensify the problem, so it’s vital to ensure that you are treating your lips with the right products and ingredients that will help eliminate dry skin for good.
In this blog post, we’ll cover our 5 top tips for winter-proofing your lips and maintaining a soft, smooth pout throughout the festive season. So, if you’re tired of the severe effect the winter weather can have on this sensitive area, read on to discover our go-to chapped lips remedy, as well as our best tips and tricks for prevention.
What causes chapped lips in winter?
Unlike other parts of the skin, lips don’t contain oil glands that serve as a protectant and lubricant. Since the skin on our lips is thin and sensitive, it’s much more susceptible to the harsh effects of the cold, dry winter air. The lack of humidity in the colder months is one of the major culprits for patchy or flaky lips. For many, the subconscious reaction to chapped lips is to lick them in an effort to restore moisture. Of course, this only makes matters worse, as the saliva from the tongue further strips our lips of moisture, drying them out to a more extreme level and often causing a vicious cycle of dry and uncomfortable skin on the lips.
While it might feel like this cycle is tough to break, it simply comes down to proper treatment and prevention methods. Luckily, there are a few simple yet effective treatments you can use at home to get your pout back to its very best.
Chapped lips treatments
A highly effective remedy for chapped lips, applying an exfoliant should be the first step on your to-do list. A gentle, non-irritating scrub on your lips works to shed the dead skin cells that have built up from the lack of moisture. By allowing the new skin underneath the peeling area to emerge, you’re creating a fresh canvas on which to apply moisturising treatments and balms that will keep your lips feeling hydrated. Any further treatments will be virtually useless without first getting rid of this dead skin.
While there are a plethora of lip scrubs available on the market, you can also choose to make your own at home with a few simple ingredients that are already likely to be in your cupboard.
You can easily make an effective sugar scrub by mixing up some honey, cane sugar and coconut oil. A top tip is also to add a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil for some extra nourishment!
Use an ointment-based lip balm
While the added scents may be appealing, you should avoid products with unnecessary fragrances and flavours, as these may further irritate your flaky lips. Look for ingredients that lock in moisture, such as shea butter, beeswax and ceramides, which will work to hydrate your skin and combat the damage done by dry winter weather. It’s also worth considering an ointment over a balm, as they generally contain a more potent, effective formula that will assist in retaining moisture in the skin. Ointments are also free of preservatives, chemicals and flavours, making them the perfect chapped lips treatment.
Try making your own chapped lips remedy at home
A homemade chapped lips remedy can be just as effective as its store-bought alternative — and much more affordable! Avocado and honey are the perfect blends of vitamins C and E — for collagen production and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from the harsh winter weather.
Simply mash up two teaspoons of avocado, add a teaspoon of honey, then apply to the lips and relax for 20 minutes. It’s as simple as that!
Apply petroleum jelly
A tried and tested chapped lips remedy, applying petroleum jelly on a daily basis over a consistent period can drastically reduce the chances of your lips becoming dry and flaky. A simple, affordable option, it forms a protective layer on the skin and penetrates at deeper levels than a lip balm to renew and hydrate the lips.
Use a lip balm with SPF
While it may seem like we don’t see all that much of the sun during the winter months, its rays are powerful and can damage the skin even on cloudy days. Since the lips are a particularly delicate area, it’s vital to apply a lip balm containing SPF before heading outside. If you already suffer from dry, flaky skin in cold weather, the effects of the sun’s rays will steadily worsen the condition of your lips unless protected.
Prevention is key
The bottom line is that you can prevent many of the harsh affects you feel on your lips during winter by taking the time to care for them correctly and according to the current season.
Here are a few of the ways you can prevent your lips from becoming chapped before it happens:
- If you have a bad habit of licking, touching or biting your lips, make a conscious effort to avoid this entirely — it will only encourage flaking and worsen any existing problems you’re experiencing.
- Use a humidifier to add some much-needed moisture to the air and prevent your lips from drying out while you sleep.
- Staying hydrated at all times will do wonders for keeping the fragile skin on your lips feeling moisturized and smooth.
- Be consistent with applying balms, scrubs and ointments during the winter months. Your delicate skin needs a little extra love during the colder seasons, so take the time to give it the attention it requires.
About the Writer
Acquisition Aesthetics are a London-based, female-led company who were recently nominated for ‘Best Independent Training Provider of the Year’ award at the Aesthetic Awards. The company consists of an expert team of highly skilled aestheticians, founded and led by experts in Aesthetic medicine Dr. Priyanka Chadha and Dr. Lara Watson. The team offer injectables training courses to medical professionals wishing to broaden their horizons into the aesthetics industry.