I bet you really enjoy those hot showers in the winter, but did you know you could be causing your skin to dry out? Winter is coming, and with it months of dry skin and chapped lips. We all know the itchy, dry, burning feeling of our skin and lips during this time, but it doesn’t have to be this way!
What are the main causes of dry skin and chapped lips, and what are some natural ways to take care of these wintertime problems?
The skin on your lips is very thin, so you can imagine how easily your lips are affected by the world around us. Lips do not have oil glands to protect themselves or create moisture. And lipstick doesn’t provide the protection or moisture you need during the winter, and can even be part of the problem.
Causes for Chapped Lips and Dry Skin
- Licking your lips is a bad habit that is a common cause of chapped lips. Although it feels like your lips are moist for a moment, the wind actually dries the lips out faster. So you lick, they dry, you lick some more, they dry even more. The truth is, you are licking away moisture. Dehydration is a key cause of chapped lips.
- Hot or cold weather changes can also be blamed for dryness and soreness. Aging is a cause with which little can be done, but you can still practice healthy habits and take care of your skin and lips.
- If you rub or touch your lips often, you are transferring bacteria from hands to face, which could lead to cold sores or irritations. Also, if you bite or chew your lips, you can cause bleeding and cracking, making them susceptible to infections.
- Excessive use of lipsticks filled with chemicals, or lip balms with alcohol, retinol or menthol can also be very drying.
- As with your lips, age plays a role in dry skin. Low humidity and extreme temperatures are other common causes.
- Extremely hot or lengthy showers, no matter how dreamy they feel, strip moisture from your skin. Also, hard scrubbing in the shower can irritate the skin and facilitate dryness. Products often used for the skin which contain alcohol can be drying as well.
- Makeup, when used daily, can have chemicals which are absorbed into the skin. In the case of dry skin, the type of makeup used can lead to extreme dry skin, especially in the winter.
- Yes, smoking is a leading cause of dry, wrinkled skin. Be healthy and put down the cigarette. Your skin will thank you.
How to Prevent Chapped Lips and Dry Skin
What is the number one way to prevent this winter dryness? Drink plenty of water every day. You will moisturize from within. Also, vitamin B is important to both lips and skin, so consume food rich in Vitamin B. Make sure you are getting enough Omega-3 as well. Omega-3 prevents dehydration in cells, and keeps them moisturized and strong. Overall, eat healthy, eat fresh vegetables and avoid processed foods.
Use a natural lip balm. You can put it on before bed, or wear a long-lasting one with SPF during the day. If you want to wear lipstick, simply use tinted lip balm. (Learn how to make your own lip balm here.)
For your skin, remember to moisturize as soon as you get out of the shower. Use as little soap as possible, as any soap can be drying. Use natural body scrubs and skin products with SPF.
1. Coconut oil — natural and easy to find, this oil is full of antioxidants.
2. Honey — apply honey alone at night. It cleans and heals, especially dry, dark lips caused by exposure to the sun. You can take a dab of honey, and a touch of sugar, to create a natural and gentle exfoliating scrub. Gently rub the combination on your lips and wipe excess off.
3. Green tea bags — enjoy a cup of green tea, and use the bag for your lips. Press the used tea bag to your lips for four minutes, and repeat this every day until your chapped lips are healed.
4. Lemon juice — take one teaspoon of milk or cream, and three drops of lemon juice and mix. Place mixture in fridge for an hour, and then take out and rub on lips (and other skin.) You can repeat this daily for three days. Lemon juice helps to fight signs of aging, and it softens, smooths and nourishes.
5. Cucumber — peel a cucumber and crush it to extract its juice. Take the juice and rub unto your lips, leaving it for 20 minutes and then wash off.
For your skin, there are many natural oils and creams you can use. In addition to coconut oil, here is a simple list you can find in most stores, including health and organic goods stores.
6. Shea butter.
7. Cocoa butter
8. Jojoba oil
9. Palm oil
10. Aloe Vera
You can also place one cup of powdered milk in the bath to combat dry skin, or mix lemon juice and vinegar in the bath water. Also, try products with lanolin.
So, stay healthy and moisturized from the inside out. Be aware of what dries your skin and lips. Look around and find some natural alternatives for wintertime dry skin and chapped lips.
How do you prevent dry lips and skin? Share your tips in the section below: