As the last of the leaves have dropped from the trees and been cleared from your yard and the morning rooftops are covered with frost, it’s hard to ignore that fall is slowly giving way to winter. And for most of us, the arrival of winter also means the return to dry, cracked, chapped lips. Here are five helpful tips for getting rid of chapped lips and keeping them soft and supple this winter!
What Causes Chapped Lips
The biggest factor that causes dry skin is a significant decrease in humidity. You remember those hot, sticky days of summer when the temperature was high but the Humidex reading was higher? Well, warm air can hold higher amounts of moisture and humidity making it “feel” hotter than it actually is. The higher levels of humidity in the air help keep our lips moist, which is why you’ll hardly see someone suffering from chapped lips during the summer months.
The colder air of the winter months can’t hold as much moisture. Consequently, our lips lose more moisture faster, causing the skin to dry out and get hard, irritated and chapped.
Other factors that contribute to chapped lips during the winter months are unprotected exposure to the sun because people don’t normally wear sunblock during the winter even though the sun still shines, and the cold winter winds that wick away precious lip moisture.
Getting Rid of Chapped Lips
Here are a few helpful hints for getting rid of chapped lips:
- Drink Lots of Water – Your body is always losing moisture in one form or another, but your body is also great a hydrating from within. Drink a healthy amount of fresh water daily and give your body what it needs to keep itself moist.
- Cut Down on the Coffee – Yes, wrapping your hands around a hot mug of tea or coffee can certainly make you feel warmer, but it is believed that caffeinated drinks are diuretics – they make you pee more. And some believe that the more you pee, the less hydrated you are, contributing to dry lips. Of course, you can keep that cup of coffee as part of your morning routine if you … drink lots of water!
- Don’t Lick Your Lips – Licking your lips can make chapped lips worse. When you lick your lips, you cover them with saliva. When that saliva evaporates, it removes some of the moisture from your lips, making them even drier. So even though it might feel good to lick your chapped lips to get some temporary relief, try not to because doing so only makes it worse.
- Use a Good Quality Lip Balm – There’s a difference between good and poor quality lip balms. Lower quality lip balms are made mostly from waxes and are good at sealing moisture into your lips. But high quality lip balms combine oils, emollients and antioxidants also help replenish and repair the lips.
- Protect Your Lips from the Sun – Even though the days are shorter and the sun isn’t as strong, the sun can still burn the delicate skin on your lips, causing it to dry out and crack. Make sure your lip balm has sun block as one of its ingredients, with at least SPF 15 protection.
Chapped lips are as normal a part of winter as snowstorms and Christmas lights. But with these helpful tips you can keep your lips soft and moist this winter, and that will help you take better care of your mouth and teeth.
Orion Dental can also help take care of your mouth and teeth! We offer a complete range of dental services for the whole family, and with dental offices conveniently located in Scarborough and Milton we make a trip to the dentist quick and easy. Call us at our Milton dentist office at (905) 636 – 9770 or our dental office in Scarborough at (416) 291 – 0305 and book an appointment!
P.S. It’s still not too late to get some of those last-minute treatments you’ve been thinking about! Call us to book an appointment today!