(StatePoint) During the winter, your lips may bear the brunt of the elements, both indoors and out. Centrally heated homes and offices can be particularly drying, and whipping winter winds can take a toll. Even ultraviolet rays from the sun still do damage in the cold of winter.
The function of your lips, like the rest of the surface tissues on your body, is to offer protection from the outside environment. When lips are chapped, they can be painful and uncomfortable.
These six basic winter tips can help your lips weather the season:
1. Refrain from licking your lips. Every time you do so, it removes natural oils that keep moisture in your skin. In turn, that moisture evaporates, leaving them feeling dry and cracked with nothing to protect them.
2. Dehydration can happen when you spend too much time in dry environments (heating systems are the main culprit here), if you breathe through your mouth at night, or if you’re not drinking an adequate amount of water every day. To combat winter dehydration, drink plenty of fluids — especially water and apply lip balm often throughout the day and night.
3. As the most delicate part of the face, lips have few oil glands of their own, so to help keep them soft and healthy they often need external moisture, like that available in a medicated lip balm. Use a product with broad spectrum SPF 15 or higher — not just on sunny days, but every day. To seal in moisture, use a time tested formula, such as Carmex Lip Balm, which has a medicated formula, and is available in a jar, tube or click stick.
4. UV rays are present even in the winter months. Try a triple layer approach to provide added protection for your lips: apply a lip balm with SPF, followed by a colored lipstick, and then finish it off with some shine.
5. Cover your face, especially on windy days. Make sure you have a scarf or hat with a mask that covers your lips.
6. Use a humidifier in dry environments to help moisturize your skin and lips.
More seasonal lip tips can be found at www.MyCarmex.com.
For a more comfortable winter season, don’t neglect to protect your lips.