5 Tips for Healthy Winter Lips

Lips are very tender and fragile. Lips don’t have any sweat glands or sebaceous glands and only produce a small amount of melanin leaving them delicate. They also have more than 1 million nerve endings making them one of the most sensitive parts of the human body. Lips, just like all of the skin on your body, can really get dry and damaged during the cold winter weather. We’ve got 5 simple tips that will keep your lips kissable and healthy during even the coldest day.

  1. Keep your lips hydrated and protected. We recommend using a lip balm that has SPF 30 or higher. Finding a good lip balm with an SPF of 30 or higher can be a challenge and finding one that is natural is even harder. I recently discovered the brand Vacation and love their lip balm. It’s natural, tastes great and protects my lips. Vacation has five SPF 30 Lip Balms inspired by legendary desserts. Offers include “Strawberry Jello Salad,” “Bananas Foster,” “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake,” “Bombe Alaska,” and the “After Dinner Mint.”  My favorite is the Bananas Foster. If you want to try other brands check this post from Allure for additional recommendations. Tip: Layer your favorites lip stain or lipstick over your SPF lip balm. Don’t think lipstick, gloss or stain is enough to keep your lips moist and protected during cold weather.
  2. Drink more water. Drinking more water in the winter actually helps you to stay warmer. If your body is warmer it will not dry out as rapidly. Your body uses water to help regulate its temperature so drinking more water is vital. There are also additional reasons/benefits of drinking more water in the winter. They include: Avoiding dehydration, improving overall skin condition, minimizing winter weight gain, improving energy levels and helping to protect your immune system. If your not sure how much water you need the standard recommendation is that women drink 8, 8 oz glasses a day. Remember that coffee, tea and other beverages that are primarily composed of water count towards the goal. For more details on what you should drink we like this post from heart.org.
  3. Don’t pick at chapped lips. It can be tempting to pull off the dry skin but this only makes the situation worse. It is  best to pamper dry lips with a lip balm and then follow some of our other recommendations for healthy winter lips. Tip: Minimize lip scrubs in the colder weather months. The combination of cool air and wind can make newly scrubbed lips irritated.
  4. Use a humidifier. I happen to have an old house with old school water heater registers and my house gets very dry. This can be tough on your skin, lips, throat and nose. I honestly didn’t think a humidifier would do much to make things better but it really does make a difference. I recommend adding a humidifier when sleeping if your home is particularly dry as it will help to keep you from getting dry lips as well as balancing your skin, throat and nose.
  5. Try not to lick your lips. Licking your lips wicks away your lips natural moisture and can cause the outer skin cells to freeze in the cold air. Licking your lips will actually make them drier so be conscious of that if licking your lips when they’re dry is a habit. Instead apply lots of lip balm with SPF.

In summary, keeping your lips moist and conditioned during the winter months can be easy by just following a  few simples steps. Get ready for that new years kiss!

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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