Many of us have a habit of reaching for the lip balm to combat chapped lips. But is this really the best idea?
You’ve probably seen in the news lately talk of a lawsuit against a popular brand of lip balm, alleging that it does not help, and in fact harms your lips. While we can’t speak to that, we CAN look at lip balm as a whole – is it good for your lips?
Some lip balms don’t hydrate, and instead actually seal moisture OUT. This is obviously not beneficial to most people, as dry air dries both your skin and lips. Also, if your lip balm contains ingredients like menthol, camphor, and peppermint, that lip balm might just irritate your chapped lips and give you a burning sensation. While we’re all for keeping warm in winter, this is not the way to try and do that.
So if you shouldn’t use lip balm, what can you do?
Avoid Licking your Lips
Saliva evaporates on your lips and can leave them drier than before.
The first thing to do is to drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated! You already know that your body is mostly made of water, and it’s very important that you keep your hydration levels up. For all that they look different, our lips are still part of our skin, and they may benefit from you drinking enough water. How much is enough, you ask? Women should drink about 2.2 liters of total beverages a day according to the Institute for Medicine. One easy way to remember it is the 8 by 8 rule – drink eight 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, and make sure most of it is water!
A part of Christy Brinkley’s daily skin care routine is to exfoliate. She’s been exfoliating her skin since she was a teen, and it’s one of the key parts of the Bio-Clock Activation system (check out the Christie Brinkley Skincare face exfoliator from Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare for a scrub that is gentle on the skin yet gives a strong exfoliating action that leaves skin looking refreshed and smooth). Use a product that is specifically designed to exfoliate your lips, or make a sugar scrub to use (there are many recipes available online).
Not all lip balms are created equally. If you want to still use one, look for a lip moisturizer or lip conditioner that has ingredients like petrolatum, beeswax, or oil-based cream. Applying occasionally, especially after a shower or bath, may help to keep the moisture in, and the chapping out.