Winter is right around the corner, but with the current temperatures it might be more accurate to say it’s right at our doors. While colder weather means warm beverages, fuzzy socks, and snuggling under thick blankets, it also spells chapped lips, and dry skin.The sudden cold may have been unexpected but there are ways to prevent and treat the skin that will leave you feeling soft and smooth even with the cold winds slapping you in every direction.
The most uncomfortable and potentially the most painful part of colder weather is chapped lips. With the skin on our lips being so delicate, exposure to dry, cold air leaves them feeling dehydrated and raw. The most important tip that should be well known by now is to never lick chapped lips. The saliva evaporates, leaving you with more severely chapped lips that can also become painful. Another tip is to drink lots of water to keep your body and ips sufficiently hydrated. While not licking and staying hydrated are great ways to prevent chapped lips, the greatest weapon against the already sawdust-looking lips is lip balm.
When looking for lip balms, there are a few ingredients to avoid. Check ingredient labels for hyaluronic acid and glycerin because they will bring your lips to a new level of chapped as they are ingredients that extract water from your skin and that water will then evaporate quickly. Paired with beeswax or shea butter, however, these ingredients will not be able to pull out moisture from your lips, so make sure to carefully check the labels of your products. Fragrances should also be avoided because of the harmful chemicals in them. Another ingredient to be aware of are parabens because they are known to interfere with hormone and reproductive function. With a disruption in hormone function, there is a higher risk of breast cancer, so not only would you still have chapped lips, you would also give yourself cancer. Synthetic colors in lips balms are also known to release toxins into your skin so Yellow 5 and Red 33 should be avoided at all costs.
The lips lack a protective layer that is present on the rest of our skin, so they are more susceptible to UV radiation. While there are many chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and avobenzone that can disrupt the body’s hormone production, look for zinc oxide, which is a safe sunscreen for the lips.
The most recommended lip balm ingredients are shea butter and natural oils for their fatty acids, which will assist in deep moisturization of the lips. Keeping your lips hydrated and protected will be beneficial in both the short and long term since they are involved in the most important aspects of our lives: eating and talking. Since these actions will most likely never disappear from your daily activities, it is best to take care of your lips as often as possible.
Another big problem that comes with the frigid winds in dry and sensitive skin, mainly on the face. Retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and alcohol should all be avoided in skin products. Retinoids is an ingredient known to treat acne but for dry and sensitive skin, they will only make the skin drier and very irritated. Benzoyl peroxide is also used in acne products but, like retinoids, will only cause dry, itchy and red skin. Alcohol, known for its drying properties, should also be kept away from the face. A tip for finding the best moisturizers for your skin is to look for the name written on the product itself. The levels of moisturization from lightest to heaviest goes from lotions, creams, and gels. So if you’re on the oiler side, opt for lotions and likewise for those with only dry skin, look for the creams and gels.
The most important time to moisturize your skin in right after it has come in contact with water, since water evaporates quickly and leaves your skin dry. Make it a habit to moisturize your body and face right after showers and before going to sleep, since your body and skin will be doing the most healing and rejuvenating throughout the night. Although it might seem counterproductive, those with oily skin should also make sure to include moisturizing in their morning and nightly routines. Without moisturization, your skin will dry out and in turn, will produce more oil to counter the dryness. Instead, opt for moisturizers without oil or butters but instead aloe or squalane.
While cold weather is a time for snuggling and sleeping in, never forget to take care of your skin, especially when you are younger. Your skin will become weaker with age, so taking good care of it now will make sure that the youth and elasticity remains for a longer time.