Everyone likes to have bright, pink and smooth lips. But as the winter season sets in, the harsh weather takes a toll on your lips and makes them dry, chapped and dull. Cold weather and low humidity result in extremely dry air, which steals moisture away from your lips. Indoor heat further robs the air of moisture and makes the problem worse. Plus, as the skin on your lips is very thin and has no oil glands to prevent it from chapping, you need to take extra care of your lips. If you don’t care for your lips in the winter, they may end up severely dry, chapped, raw, sore or cracked.
1. Hydrate Your Lips from Within
As the winter season has a dehydrating effect on your lips, you must take special care to keep them hydrated from within.
This can be done by taking care of your diet. First of all, you need to drink about 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. However, everyone has different requirements for water, so consult your doctor to find out how much you need to drink based upon your health and fitness level.
Besides drinking water, eat fresh vegetables and fruits that are rich in water content. Try oranges, kiwi, watermelon, cantaloupe, apples, and watery veggies like celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and carrots.
Also, eat foods rich in vitamins A and C. While vitamin A helps maintain and repair the skin tissue, vitamin C increases the collagen production to make the lips more supple and full. It also protects the skin from sun’s ultraviolet rays.
2. Use DIY Masks Regularly
Homemade hydrating masks can help add the much-needed moisture to your lips in the winter months.
A variety of hydrating lip masks can be made easily using common ingredients from your kitchen, such as honey, olive oil, avocados and milk cream.
- Honey is a great moisturizer for chapped lips. Simply apply honey on your lips, or make a paste of honey and glycerin and apply it before going to bed to enjoy softer lips in the morning.
- Apply fresh milk cream on your lips and leave it on for 10 minutes. Then, gently wash your lips with a cotton ball dipped in lukewarm water. Do this daily to enjoy soft and pink lips.
- Add some olive oil to a spoonful of mashed avocado and apply it on your lips. Wait 15 minutes, then rinse it off using lukewarm water. Do it once daily.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of rose water with 1 teaspoon of honey. Apply this mixture on the lips and leave it on for about 15 minutes. Wash it off with normal water and pat dry. Repeat once daily.
3. Exfoliate Weekly
Just like your skin, your lips need to be exfoliated to get rid of flaky and dull skin. After exfoliating, your lips will look fresher and more evenly toned.
In fact, regular exfoliation is the secret behind soft and pink lips. When it comes to exfoliation, once or twice a week is enough. More than that can worsen your lips and cause redness, irritation or soreness.
- In ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar, add enough olive oil to make a paste.
- Gently rub the paste on your lips, using circular motions to remove any flaky or dead skin.
- Rinse off the remaining mixture using lukewarm water.
- Finish by pampering your lips with a mild moisturizer to truly see a smoother difference. You can apply a few drops of almond oil, coconut oil or olive oil to keep your lips hydrated and properly moisturized.
- Repeat once or twice a week.
4. Moisturize Several Times a Day
Lips tend to lose moisture faster than other areas on the body. Consider slathering on a moisturizing lip balm several times a day to keep your lips properly hydrated.
In the morning, when you brush your teeth, rub your lips gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. It will help remove the dry skin from the lips and make them look fresh and soft.
Then, using a few drops of olive oil or coconut oil, massage your lips gently for a minutes. This will increase the blood flow.
As in winter season, moisturizing the lips is more effective against the dry air, you need to apply a lip balm about every two hours. Also, after sweating, swimming or exercising, reapply the balm.
Note: Do not scrub your lips if they are flaky or peeling.
5. Lip Care before Bedtime
During the winter months, it is crucial that you take care of your lips properly before going to bed.
Before going to bed, wash your lips thoroughly with lukewarm water. Pat dry the lips with a soft cloth, then immediately apply a lip balm. Keep your lip balm near the bed and use it liberally every time you wake up at night.
Choose an oil-based lip balm rather than a water-based or alcohol-based formula to help your lips retain moisture during the night.
- A few drops of coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil works as an effective lip balm.
- Mix glycerin and rose water in equal amounts and apply this mixture to your lips, as well as your whole face, before going to sleep.
6. Don’t Lick Your Lips
Licking is one of the bad habits that can be very damaging to your lips. When the saliva from your mouth comes in contact with your lips, it quickly evaporates and dries out your lips even further instead of moisturizing them
Stop this habit immediately to avoid dry and dehydrated lips.
To avoid licking your lips to add moisture, always keep a lip balm handy. Whenever you feel a little dryness, just apply it. You can also try chewing gum or sucking on a hard piece of candy to stop licking your lips.
Along with licking, biting or peeling the skin also makes the lips nastier. Plus, the lips can begin to bleed from biting or peeling. So, never do it.