Photo Credit: Michelle Stewart
Did you know that licking your lips can actually dry them out more? The stark contrast between cold weather outside and warm air inside means you may find your lips dry, flaking, and even cracking and bleeding. While some dryness is almost unavoidable, you don’t have to put up with sore, cracked lips and leave them vulnerable to the elements. Read on to learn how to get rid of chapped lips. Plus, explore DIY recipes for winter lip care.
It’s no surprise that the weather causes chapped lips, but that’s not the only reason your lips get chapped.
The combination of low humidity and cold winds results in a lack of moisture and strips away the natural oils protecting your skin. Central heating systems then exacerbate this dryness as cranking up the heat indoors decreases humidity.
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the sun’s harmful rays won’t have any effects on your lips. Sun damage is one of the more notable causes of chapped lips. So remember that winter sun can be as damaging as summer sun, even on cloudy days.
While it might be a common reflex, licking your lips can worsen the problem. Saliva may provide temporary relief, but as it evaporates quickly, it leaves your lips even drier than before. Also, try not to pick at the lips themselves.
Another factor to be aware of is irritation from a product or an allergy. Contact cheilitis is an allergic reaction due to chemicals found in lipsticks and other products. To determine if this is the cause, you or your dermatologist can do a patch test.
Chronically dry lips may also indicate a vitamin or mineral deficiency, such as vitamin B12. If you suspect this may be a cause, it’s best to get checked out by your doctor.
Hydration is key. So make sure your body is well-hydrated. In other words, drink plenty of water. Proper hydration helps maintain moisture levels in your skin, including your lips. Additionally, to prevent your lips from drying out in the first place, consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Like the rest of your skin, your lips benefit from regular exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells and stimulate regeneration. Exfoliating your lips also helps to improve blood circulation and allows your lip balm to penetrate more effectively.
It’s important to note that while exfoliation is beneficial, overdoing it can lead to more harm than good. Stick to a gentle routine to prevent irritation and further dryness. Use a lip scrub twice a week to keep your lips smooth. Scroll down to learn how to make a lavender and bergamot lip scrub yourself.
Photo Credit: Anna Reisz
Not all lip balms are created equal. Selecting the right one is crucial for effective winter lip care. Find or make a lip balm with moisturizing ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, or beeswax. These ingredients form a protective barrier on the lips, preventing moisture loss. At the same time, avoid lip balms with additives or fragrances that could irritate your lips, especially if they’re already sensitive.
You can learn how to make yourself a soothing lavender pine lip palm in Willow and Sage Winter 2024.
In addition to moisturizing, you should protect your lips from harsh weather conditions.
By Michelle Stewart from Willow and Sage Winter 2024
Bowls • local honey (1 TB.) • sweet almond oil (4 TB.) • vanilla in jojoba oil (24 drops) • peppermint essential oil (24 drops) • white sugar (1 cup) • spatula • 1-oz. metal tins (9)
YIELDS ABOUT 9 TINS
In a small bowl, blend the honey and sweet almond oil. You can gently heat the mixture if needed to melt the honey. Add the essential oils and stir well. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and the oil mixture and stir with a spatula until well blended. Store in metal tins.
To use, spread a small amount of scrub on your lips, gently exfoliate by rubbing your lips, and leave on for one to three minutes. Lick or rinse off. These make great stocking stuffers!
From peppermint foot fizzy to Christmas calm bath salts to candy cane sugar scrub, discover more holiday skincare projects in Willow and Sage Winter 2024.
Photo Credit: Kirsten Nunez
By Kirsten Nunez from Willow and Sage Winter 2022
Heat-resistant glass measuring cup • small pot • beeswax pellets (½ tsp.) • grapeseed oil (½ tsp.) • lavender essential oil (2–4 drops) • bergamot essential oil (2–4 drops) • white/brown sugar (½–1 tsp.) • lip balm tubes (2–4) • small spoon/popsicle stick
Add about 3 inches of water to a small pot. Place a glass measuring cup in the pot to make a double boiler. Bring the water to a gentle boil over medium heat. Then, put all the lip scrub ingredients in, except the essential oils and sugar, and stir until melted.
Remove the cup from the heat and let it cool slightly. Add the essential oils and sugar, depending on your desired level of exfoliation. Mix and pour into the remaining lip balm tubes. You might need a small spoon or popsicle stick to scoop the sugar into the tube. Let cool until solid.
Find tips on making this lip scrub in Willow and Sage Winter 2022.
Heat-resistant glass measuring cup • small pot • shea butter (1½ tsp.) • beeswax pellets (1 tsp.) • grapeseed oil (1 tsp.) • vitamin E oil (1–2 drops) • oven mitt • lavender essential oil (2–4 drops) • bergamot essential oil (2–4 drops) • white/brown sugar (½–1 tsp.) • lip balm tubes (2–4)
As for the lip balm, return the measuring cup to the pot, adding more water if needed. Put all the lip balm ingredients in, except the essential oils, and gently mix until melted and combined. Using an oven mitt, remove the measuring cup from the heat and add the essential oils. Pour the mixture into half the lip balm tubes and set them aside.