The cold and dry winter air can leave your lips cracked and chapped. And since most chapsticks only work for a short period of time, you have to reapply over and over again. But not to worry, we’ve got tips for how to keep your healthy lips in tip-top condition this winter season.
What Causes Chapped Lips?
The main reason people get chapped lips is a lack of humidity in the air, which in most parts of the country, usually happens during the winter time. But it can be caused by other conditions. These include:
- Taking certain medications or supplements (For example, vitamin A, retinoids, or lithium to name just a few.)
- Using matte lipsticks constantly without moisturizing your lips.
- Vitamin B2 or B6 deficiency, which can cause constant cracking and drying around the lips.
- Sun damage on the lips caused by sunburns.
How to Treat Chapped Lips
While your first reaction might be to lick your chapped lips for immediate gratification, that’s actually the worst thing for them because it breaks down the top layer of skin on the lips, damaging them further. But there are some effective steps that you can take, including:
- Adding a humidifier to the room to put moisture back into the air.
- Protect your lips from cold air using a scarf.
- Avoid using lip balms with irritating ingredients, like petroleum byproducts or lipstick preservatives, that can actually deplete moisture.
- Drink enough water.
- Apply a lip balm with effective ingredients (see below) throughout the day.
- Wear SPF protection on the lips just as you would on your body.
How to Choose a Good Lip Balm
The best lip balms don’t contain phenols, which are used to kill the bacteria that can make their way into lip products. However, phenols actually dry the lips out. This is also true of camphor, alum, and menthol, which provide a nice minty tingle on the lips, but again, actually dry the lips out. Generally speaking, using synthetic chemicals on the lips depletes them of moisture.
Lip balms made with natural ingredients aren’t just better for you, they’re better for your lips. Some ingredients to look for include beeswax, shea butter, nut oils, and cocoa butter. In fact, while you can buy them, it’s better and less expensive to make your own. Try this recipe:
DIY Lip Balm
1 Tbsp. grated beeswax
1 Tbsp. virgin coconut oil
Dash raw honey
2 vitamin E capsules
several drops essential oil
1. Using a double boiler, melt down the beeswax and gradually add in the coconut oil, honey, capsules, and essential oil. Melt completely and combine.
2. Pour into a glass container or tube and let it harden up.
3. Apply throughout the day to moisturize and pamper your smackers. This is a great holiday gift for friends or family!
Recipe: Everyday Roots
DIY Lip Exfoliant
If your lips are chapped and need a little extra love now and then, this DIY lip exfoliant can remove that extra layer of dead skin that’s holding them back. The brown and white sugars help to gently remove dead skin while the honey and olive oil rejuvenate the top layer.
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. white sugar
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp olive oil
1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl using a whisk.
2. Make sure the combination is mixed thoroughly and then add to a glass container.
3. To use the scrub, apply gently to the lips before putting on lip balm or lipstick. Let stand for about 20 seconds and then use a warm washcloth to remove. Repeat daily if need be.
Recipe: The Wonder Forest
How to Choose a Lipstick
Solving the chapped lip problem is only one aspect of bright and beautiful lips. You also have to learn how to wear lipstick, which can be done beautifully–if you know your stuff. First, start by choosing the right lipstick with these tips:
- Avoid too much sparkle. It’s not cool and it makes you look like an amateur.
- Go bright or go home. Okay, not really, but if you are choosing bright lip color, choose a shade based on your natural lip color, not your skin tone. For naturally redder lips, choose a pinker color like hot pink, coral, or cranberry or for dark lips, try brick red.
- Skip the liner. The ’90s are on trend, but not its worst makeup trend: lipstick that requires a lip liner.
- Avoid blue-based shades. These can actually make you look older because they cause that vampire pale look.
How to Wear Lipstick
Lipstick doesn’t have to be intimidating. Especially once you know how to wear it. This holiday season, give into the urge to flaunt your gorgeous smackers!
1. Exfoliate your lips first. Using a sugar scrub with an extra toothbrush, remove the dry layer that makes your lips look unhealthy.
2. Apply your favorite lip balm first. Lipstick looks so much better when your lips are healthy, so make sure your bottom layer is moisturizing.
3. Starting from the center of the lips, begin to apply color.
4. Blot the lips with a tissue.
5. Apply one more layer of lipstick to fill in any spots you missed.
The Hottest Shades This Winter
Trying to stay up-to-date with the latest makeup trends? We’re here to help. Brighten up your smile this holiday season with beautiful shades of fuchsia, cotton candy pink, bright tropical coral, and “coca cola red.” Additionally, choose organic, cleaner lipstick brands that use ingredients that nourish your pout rather than sucking up moisture. These brands rock:
- Lotus Pure Organics (try espresso, plum berry, port wine, and rosebud)
- Lippy Girl Vegan Lipstick (try coral me maybe, ski bunny, fancy pants, and rosey posey)
- Eco Bella (try almond, mauve rose, pink rose, and sangria)
Do you have chapped lips? If so, how do you deal with them? What are your favorite brands of eco-friendly chapped sticks? We want to know! Drop us a line via Twitter @EcoSalon.