Chapped lips suck. Sometimes, it feels like no amount of balm, salve, or masks can fix our parched pouts — especially as temperatures begin to dip. Instead of swiping on product after product to little effect, take a good hard look in the mirror. You might be the cause of the problem (#sorrynotsorry). Read on to learn about the most common mistakes and what the remedies are when dealing with dry lips.
1. You crank up the heat at night without a humidifier. Next time you turn up the dial on your thermostat, think twice: The warm, cozy vibes you love so much this time of year could be drawing out the moisture from your lips. “Using a heater will not only dry out your lips but also your skin,” says esthetician and founder of Los Angeles-based StackedSkincare, Kerry Benjamin. To bring much-needed moisture back into your life (and your lips), use a humidifier at night.
2. You’re quick to buff off flakes. Sloughing off the dead, dry skin flakes on rough lips will only cause your pout to become more irritated and extend the healing process, according to Dr. Pedro Catalá, pharmacist, cosmetologist, and founder of London-based Twelve Beauty at Ayla. “Eventually, the dead skin will flake off,” he explains. “If you remove them, you’re increasing the chances of developing an infection while also delaying the healing of the lips.” Hold off on lip scrubs and treat your pout to a hydrating lip mask instead.
3. Licking your lips is a subconscious habit. It may seem like NBD — and you might not even realize you’re doing it at all — but licking your lips can exacerbate your chapped lip prob fast. “Licking your lips offers temporary relief, but the saliva is taking moisture out of the skin,” Benjamin explains. Reach for a lip balm to help break this habit.
4. Salty foods and citrus-based juices are your go-to. There’s nothing like gorging on a bag of chips while watching Stranger Things or starting your morning with a glass of orange juice, but foods like these can cause major irritation. “Salt is a dehydrating agent that will draw even more moisture out of your already dry lips,” Catalá says. “Citrus stings and burns chapped lips, adding to the uncomfortable feeling.” Keep a healthy pout and pass (or cut back) on the salt and citrus snacks during the winter months.
5. Lipstick lingers when you hit the hay. Even though you may be a double cleansing devotee and take your skincare routine seriously, it’s common to have a little leftover lipstick. You might not be able to see it, but a lingering lippie can leave your pout feeling dehydrated and looking cakey come morning. “A tiny amount of lipstick overnight will compound the dryness you’re already experiencing,” Benjamin tells us. “I recommend using jojoba oil to fully remove any remnants.”
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