Do you suffer with dry, chapped lips during the cold, wintry months? You’re not alone.
As soon as the chilly, windy weather starts to bite, many of us suffer with dry, itchy, irritated skin. A lack of moisture in the air and exposure to central heating can wreak havoc with our lips, leaving the skin covering them feeling tight, cracked and sore.
Why do our lips get chapped?
Well, our lips don’t contain oil glands like our skin does, which means they can dry out very easily. When our lips are dry, we tend to lick them more too, which can also strip moisture away and lead to dryness.
When this happens, many people reach for petroleum jelly-based lip balms. However, whilst applying these balms to the skin can feel immediately hydrating, they can actually do more harm than good.
What is petroleum jelly?
Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the oil industry, and components removed from the oil during the refining process have been found to be carcinogenic. Petroleum jelly can be found in differing levels of purity, so there’s no way of knowing how toxic your chosen lip balm could be.
It also can also suffocate your pores and dry your skin out more in the long-term. Petroleum jelly acts as a water repellant barrier, so whilst it works to prevent moisture from escaping, it also prevents air and moisture getting in.
What’s the alternative?
If you want to hydrate your lips and moisturise, the best option is to choose a rich, nourishing moisturiser with natural ingredients that you won’t mind absorbing into your skin. Rosehip oil, coconut butter and shea butter are all great alternatives that will protect and replenish the moisture in your lips.
Our top tip is to apply a few drops of rosehip oil before bed to help your lips recover and rehydrate. Also, always remember to try and cover your lips with a scarf when exposed to the elements and don’t forget to protect your skin from the winter sun too!