Chapped lips are the pits. At best, they feel dry, and at worst, cracked and painful. No, thank you! In a nutshell, chapping occurs when your lips fail to retain moisture as well as they should, and there are a few reasons why this dryness comes about. The number one culprit is lip licking, followed by the elements, diet and allergies. So, let’s talk about how to protect that pretty pout…
1.Eat a balanced diet
As you know by now, good health starts from within. Chapping points to dehydration and deficiencies, so to stop it in its tracks, you need to take care of yourself. Drink at least two litres of water every day to nourish and protect your skin, and by extension, your lips. Avoid consuming too much caffeine, and steer clear of hot drinks (like tea) when your lips begin to feel dry. Next, munch on foods high essential fatty acids, B-vitamins and vitamin E, such as walnuts, avocadoes, flaxseed, Swiss cheese, eggs and tofu. This will boost the vitamins and antioxidants in your body, which in turn will speed up oil production and bring back that protective barrier your lips need to stay smooth and healthy. Eat spicy and salty treats in moderation, and forget citrusy foods like orange and grapefruit if you feel chapping coming on (unless you like that stinging sensation!). Lastly, cut back on smoking – or even better, quit completely. It dries out lips, and messes with their colour and texture.
2.Lather on lip balm
To keep your pout in tip-top condition, apply lip balm every chance you get. A good lip balm will heal and seal in moisture as well as protect your lips from external irritations, like harsh winds and the sun. Not all balms are created equal. Ditch any with a long list of nasties (like alcohol, parabens and petrochemicals), and look for nourishing natural ingredients:
- Shea butter. This rich cream contains allantoin, a healing agent, and works hard to nourish and protect lips.
- Castor oil. A thick, natural oil that lubricates lips and delivers a hit of nutrients.
- Aloe vera. You know how you use aloe vera when you’re sunburned? The same principle applies. It’s anti-inflammatory and incredibly soothing.
- Coconut oil. This beauty staple relieves dryness and itchiness while deeply hydrating skin.
- Beeswax. Along with boasting anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, beeswax protects, softens and moisturises skin. #winning
- Glycerin. A natural skin softener that binds moisture to lips.
- Vitamin E. A brilliant moisturiser and antioxidant.
Since we’re all about making your life easier, we’ve found a lip balm with the lot! Enter: Little Bird Organic Papaw Balm in Coconut Free from chemicals and preservatives, it’s loaded with those natural wonder ingredients we just mentioned and smells like a tropical holiday. Plus, the handy applicator makes applying a breeze. Keep one in your desk drawer and another in your handbag to touch up those luscious lips on the go.
Pro tip: If your lips are prone to chapping, choose hydrating lipsticks over matte varieties. In winter, put away the lippies and stick to tinted lip balms.
3.Stay away from allergens
Got sensitive skin? Chances are, your lips are just as delicate. Be careful and keep any cosmetics and products containing perfumes, dyes and fragrances away from your mouth. Also – and this is really interesting – your toothpaste may be to blame for chapping. Many toothpastes contain synthetic flavours and/or sodium lauryl sulfate, both of which can strip lips of their natural oils and leave you with an itchy, dry pout. Try switching to a natural toothpaste, and be sure to cover your mouth when you’re out and about. A scarf will do the trick, and it’s tres chic.
Pro tip: If your lips are seriously parched, place cucumber slices on them – this will have a cooling effect and feel divine.
How do you keep your lips healthy? Can you suggest another cure for chapped lips?