How to prevent and cure dry or chapped lips

Julie Delahaye

Dry and chapped lips are not only painful, but they can take a while to heal especially during the winter months when we're faced with colder, harsher weather. Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take to prevent your pout from drying out, and protect your lips no matter what you're up to.

We take a look at the best ways to prevent chapped lips…

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There are easy ways to prevent dry and chapped lips

Stay hydrated

Hydration is key to any skincare routine, and your lips are no exception. Dehydration can leave you with cracked and sore lips, so make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.

Don't lick your lips

If you've spotted signs of chapping, don't lick your lips – although it seems like it helps hydrate them, it actually dries them out further and strips them of natural oils. The same applies to biting and picking – you risk causing more damage. Use a lip balm or moisturiser instead to help your lips recover and stay out of the cold as much as possible – if you go out, apply your lip balm thirty minutes before you leave.

Use the right lip balm

Use a lip balm with SPF to keep your lips protected from UV rays – re-apply every hour or two. Look out for ingredients such as almond oil, macadamia oil and shea butter as these will soothe and moisturise lips. If you're going outside for an extended period of time you may want to try a lip wax as these can last longer. Avoid products with fragrances as these can actually irritate your skin.

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Make sure to find the lip balm that works best for you

Exfoliate

You wouldn't skip on exfoliating your skin, so don't forget about your lips – especially if you're suffering from lip flakes. Mix a tablespoon of brown sugar with honey, and then rub the scrub onto your lips. After one minute, wipe off with a damp washcloth and apply lip balm. Next, apply a moisturising lip balm.

Avoid certain foods

If your lips already feel dry, avoid citrus fruits such as oranges or grapefruit as these can cause more dryness. The same goes for spicy and salty food, and highly acidic food such as tomatoes.

Use a humidifier

If you're turning up the heating to stay warm, then the air around you dries out and makes it more difficult for your skin to stay moisturised. Use a humidifier to restore this moisture and aim for a humidity level between 30 to 50 per cent.

Soothe chapped lips

Apply aloe vera gel for a couple of days as this will not only help minimise pain, but it will also repair any damage. If you need a quick hydration boost, cut a cucumber into slices and hold these on for five to ten minutes. Really suffering? You might want to try a treatment with ceramides – speak to your GP if you are unsure.

Click here for more winter skincare tips

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