As one of the most prominent features on your face, your lips are supposed to stand out.
Unfortunately, standing out without a shield for protection against harsh or very cold weather can lead to seriously chapped lips.
That’s why regularly adding moisture to lips as part of a daily ritual is the best defense against lips that appear dull, cracked, flakey and wind burned.
Periodic, consistent application of a moisturizing lip balm will help seal in lips’ natural moisture and form a protective barrier to the cold and wind that frequently exasperate the problem of dry, cracked lips this time of year.
Lip skin is very thin and contains few oil glands to keep it lubricated, moisture is critical to maintaining a healthy balance.
A moisturizing liquid lip balm is recommended, with a formula that includes lanolin to help store and maintain skin’s moisture balance.
If lips become severely chapped, a medicated lip product can help alleviate itching while lips heal. These products provide a very immediate and noticeable relief from hot, itching sensations while helping to restore a healthy moisture balance to your lips.
In addition to moisturizing and protecting lips, the following actions will be helpful for keeping lips healthy through the cold weather season:
- Choose a moisturizing balm that contains SPF, even though many people don’t necessarily think about protecting their lips from the sun during short days and cold temperatures.
- Apply lip balm at bedtime to help keep lips hydrated while you sleep.
- Avoid the urge to lick dry lips. Bacteria and enzymes in saliva can damage lips and evaporated moisture dries out lips even more.
- Drink water regularly, which helps hydrate the entire body.
- Use a humidifier where indoor air is particularly dry.
- Limit use of medicated products-such as benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, Retin A and Renova–that may intensify chapped lips during cold weather.
- Exfoliate skin once a week to keep skin refreshed and vibrant.
- Limit hot baths and showers, which can irritate dry skin and lips.
As far as your teeth are concerned, there are a few things you should know about how your lips affect your smile. . .
What role(s) do our lips play in maintaining a healthy smile?
Your lips obviously provide a lot of natural protection for your teeth, especially in the front of your mouth.
Remember that your lips can be very strong, and can actually make it harder to brush along the gum line of your front teeth.
Next time you come to see us here at Bridge Street Dental Centre, ask us about how to be sure that your lips are doing their job well for you, and that your lips are as healthy as possible, especially during the cold Winter months. See you soon!