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Kelowna Skin Care Tips For Cracked Dry Lips

It’s one of the most common skin problems this time of year. It can have multiple causes, many of which increase in the colder months of the year.

The skin on the lips is thinner than that on any other part of the body. For this reason, when they are attacked with cold, dry air, they are more susceptible to damage.

Additionally, the lips do not have any oil-producing glands on them, meaning that if they do become dry, the skin can’t protect itself with natural oils.

Other habits that exacerbate dry, cracked lips:

  • dehydration
  • peeling, biting, or licking irritated lips
  • exfoliating chapped lips
  • applying products with irritating ingredients directly to chapped lips
  • using a lip balm with sensitizing ingredients in it (which can create a “lip balm addiction”)

Here is our favorite multifaceted approach to lip care.


Your Game Plan For Battling Dry Lips - Choose The Right Lip Balm

Applying lip balm is one of the best ways to moisturize your lips and stave off that winter dryness. However, not all lip balms are created equal! Some have to sensitize ingredients that actually prolong irritation, instead of promoting healing.

Lip balms with irritating ingredients can often cause people to develop what is often called a “Lip balm addiction”: the balm irritates their skin, and, not knowing that it is the root of the problem, they apply more balm in an attempt to soothe the issue. Cue the vicious cycle.

Not all sensitizing ingredients affect everyone, so if you think you have an allergy, use a process of elimination and consult with your doctor to find out if that is the case.


Fragrances, Dyes, And Flavourings

Sometimes, we choose our favorite lip products based on the smell and appearance. After all, who doesn’t love the smell of vanilla sugar, or love a tinted lip balm?

However, these additives can irritate the lip at the best of times and can turn moderate chapping into full-in irritation and redness.

To be on the safest side, choose flavorless, scent-free products.


Consider The Ingredients

Vitamin E - According to a 1999 study on surgical patients, about 1 in 3  patients developed contact dermatitis when Vitamin E was applied to the skin. And remember what we said about the lips having thinner, more delicate skin?

Beeswax - Beeswax is an amazing and natural way to protect the lips, but unfortunately, some patients are allergic to it. If beeswax isn’t the best for you, consider other natural bases such as coconut oil olive oil, or shea butter.

Castor Oil Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, which can irritate the skin of some patients.

Lanolin - Lanolin is derived from sheep, and while it is well-loved for its ability to protect the lips while still allowing them to breathe, it can also cause an allergic reaction in some patients. If you’re allergic to wool, lanolin might not be the right option for you.

Menthol - Menthol provides a cooling, soothing feeling and a minty taste, but it can also cause irritation.

Salicylic Acid - Some lip products contain ingredients that are designed to lightly exfoliate the lip, including salicylic acid. Unfortunately, this can be irritating to those with sensitive skin!


Get Hydrated

While you can’t control how much moisture is in the air, you CAN control how much goes into your body. Make sure you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, and that you add extra H2O to your diet if you work out frequently or drink dehydrating beverages like coffee. Find tap water too boring, or too cold this time of year? Stock up on decaffeinated tea.


Let Your Lips Heal

When your lips are chapped, many people fuss with them, either in an attempt to make them look better or out of habit. Instead, add a lip balm that promotes healing and locks in moisture.

While leaving your lips alone is the best way to promote healing, we understand that some of our clients hate going without their favorite lipstick. If the appearance of dry lips concern you, apply a medicinal lip balm, a lip primer, and then finish off your look with your favorite long-wearing lipstick. Note that this trick is NOT advisable if your lips have open cracks or are bleeding, rather than simply slightly chapped.


Contact Us

Ready to get beautiful, healthy lips year-round? Contact our skin clinic for more details! Contact us through (250) 868-9290, or reach out to us through our online contact form.

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Donna McAteer

Donna McAteer

Donna is the general manager and has been with the Okana­gan Skin Care Cen­tre for over 14 years. She is a certified Es­theti­cian and previous business owner with over 20 years enjoying the skin care industry. Her passion for knowledge, integral client care and maintaining a syn­er­gis­tic team that represents professional excellence in skin care remains her focus.

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