Bye-bye chapped lips

KATHMANDU: Just because winter is gone, it doesn’t mean you are done with dry skin problems. In fact the dry and windy weather is more harmful for your skin. Of all the skin problems chapped lips is the most prevalent and probably the most irritating one. Besides the dry and cold weather there, are other factors which can lead to chapped lips.

Some common factors are —

• Lips are the most exposed part of one’s body and thus exposure to wind, sun, and cold, dry air are the major reasons.

• Mouth breathing due to obstruction, as in allergic rhinitis, which dehydrates the lips.

• Allergic reactions to cosmetics or skin-care products.

• A habit of frequently licking your lips. When lips become chapped, it is very common for people to lick their lips in an attempt to moisten them. Although saliva soothes momentarily, the act perpetuates the cycle of dry and irritated lips.

• Dehydration saps the body’s cells of moisture, including the lips.

• Vitamin deficiency is also one of the factors responsible for perpetually chapped lips.

Here are few steps to help you with your dry lips woes.

• Apply lip balm frequently, especially before going out in cold, dry weather. Avoid flavoured lip balms that can tempt you into lip licking. For effective relief, use lip balms that have all-natural ingredients with healing essential oils.

• Sun exposure does dry and burn the skin, so opt for lip cream or balm containing sunscreen to protect the lips from harmful rays.

• Avoid licking your lips. Saliva evaporates quickly and digests the thin membrane protecting lips, leaving lips drier than before you licked them.

• Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

• Smoking will constantly evaporate any natural oils on the lips.

• When wearing lipstick, try to choose one that has a moisturiser listed as an ingredient. Matte lipsticks tend to dry out your lips, so at least stick to a creamier texture. But if your lips are peeling don’t wear lipstick; lips are very sensitive to bacteria and using makeup when they are vulnerable can cause an infection

• Exfoliate your lips. Take a soft toothbrush and gently rub in circles to remove any of the dead skin cells. Make sure not to rub so hard that it’s irritating. Afterwards your lips will have a slight tingle to them and will actually look plumper and fuller.