As well as the gloves, hats and all of the other accessories which seem to accompany winter, there’s something else that you’ll see most guys doing at this time of the year.
You’ll most likely have set eyes on a lot of them licking their lips frantically, or applying a product like there’s no tomorrow, all in the aid of clearing those dry, flaky and chapped lips. In fact, judging by the fact you’ve already landed on this guide, you’re probably in the same category.
In truth, this is one of those issues that can affect you at any time of the year (more on this later), but it’s in winter where most people are affected. The upshot of all of this is that you’re left wandering around feeling both uncomfortable and unattractive – and just looking for that instant relief.
It’s because of all of the above that we have put this guide together. We will now get to the bottom of chapped lips, find out exactly what they are and what they cause, before going into some of the best solutions you can implement in a bid to beat them for good. Here goes…
How do you get chapped lips?
It’s through the winter months that guys seem to go overdrive with their chapped lips, and there’s good reason for this. However, before we get into the real “how” of chapped lips, let’s point out that this is a problem which isn’t just localised to winter. It can affect you at any point through the year, it just happens to be more common during the colder months.
In short, chapped lips occur when they are devoid of moisture. The result is that they become dehydrated, and that dry feeling occurs.
The only reason why the problem is exasperated in winter is because the air tends to be a little drier, while indoor heaters can withdraw moisture from your skin as well.
Can’t licking your lips resolve the problem?
Most of us attempt to resolve the problem by licking our lips. After all, it’s applying a form of moisture, isn’t it?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite as simple as that. Your saliva is a substance which dries really quickly and the upshot of this is that your lips will probably become even drier than they were previously.
How to treat your chapped lips
Let’s now get onto the serious part – how exactly can you treat chapped lips? Most people will find the first product that catches their eye, apply it, and cross their fingers.
There’s a little more science to the correct process than that. Firstly, you will need to initiate some preparation work. If you were to apply a product onto skin that’s flaky, it simply won’t absorb it and there will be no benefits as a result.
This means that the first step is to exfoliate your lips. Just like it sounds, this can be an intricate job, and that’s why you should use a specialist product to carry out the job. A rough exfoliating product is just asking for trouble, you really could do some damage to your lips in this case as this is designed for the thicker skin on your body. Fortunately, there are lip exfoliating products around, with many of these taking advantage of natural fruit acids in a bid to ease the process.
Once you have carried out the exfoliation, you then need to find a lip balm itself. The best ones on the market are those which take advantage of natural ingredients, with cocoa butter, argan oil and avocado oil being some renowned favorites. The benefits of these ingredients is that they can all act as a natural moisturizer for your lips, and prevent the problem occurring.
As a “seal” so to speak, you could also consider Vaseline. This is a product which can reduce any pain that you might have, and also eliminate the flakes which may have occurred. You can apply this as much as once every hour to get the best out of it.
What about for the really serious cases?
So far, we’ve talked about some of the natural remedies that can help you along your way to treating your lips. Unfortunately, not all cases are simple, and it might take more than an exfoliator and balm to solve the issue.
This is where you can, under some circumstances at least, rely on over-the-counter creams. These often contain steroids, with hydrocortisone being one example, and have a much more potent effect than the basic balms.
However, you really should exercise caution before going ahead with this approach. While they can be effective in moderation, it’s also possible that they will make your lips thinner. Over time, this can increase the chances of you developing a fungal infection in the area.
In the really serious cases, you might have to visit a dermatologist. They will probably write a description for a specialist cream but again, this should only be used in the very worst case scenarios.
Another important point: sunscreen
We’re going to now mention another important point, and one that’s often forgotten about. Particularly if you reside in an area of the country which doesn’t receive huge amounts of sunlight, it can become easy to “forget” about sunshine and simply not apply it unless the day happens to be very hot.
It’s these sorts of actions which can really hinder your lips in the long-term. Even if it’s freezing cold and in the middle of winter, you should always be applying at least a little sunscreen to your lips.
Even in winter, the sun will shine on some days, and it’s these days which the thin skin on your lips is really susceptible to damage. Remember, there is very little melanin in your lips, and this means that it’s very hard for them to protect themselves from any sort of sun.
As such, always apply sun screen and mitigate the risks. On the subject of sunscreen in winter, never be afraid to apply to the rest of your body at this time of the year as well. While other skin is thicker than your lips, it’s still susceptible to those dangerous UV rays.
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