Tips for hot lips!
“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone”
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Our bodies largest organ, our skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and a subcutaneous fat layer. At the top of the epidermis is the the stratum corneum to provide protective layer (against bacteria, moisture loss, heat and light), but the skin on our lips is much thinner than the skin covering most of our body — in fact, on our lips this protective layer is four to five times thinner compared than the skin on our face
There are no sweat glands or hair follicles on our lips, they don’t get the same kind of natural protection that skin on other areas of our body does which makes them even more vulnerable to damage
With the hot weather, the sun and the out-doors lifestyle comes burned chapped, peeling, sore lips.
Prevention is the best idea…but we have been caught out and ended up with dry and chapped lips, so here a some of the most popular remedies for common summertime lip woes.
Lips may become chapped for a variety of reasons, including:
- Exposure to wind, sun and dry air. Since a person’s lips are one of the most exposed parts of the body, they are typically affected by the elements before other parts of the body.
- Mouth breathing due to obstruction, as in allergic rhinitis, which dehydrates the lips.
- Contact dermatitis due to irritants or allergens in cosmetics or skin-care products.
- Certain medications, such as those used to treat acne.
- A habit of frequently licking your lips. When lips become chapped it is very common for people to lick their lips in an attempt to moisten them. Although saliva soothes momentarily, the act perpetuates the cycle of dry and irritated lips.
- Dehydration saps the body’s cells of moisture, including the lips.
- Vitamin deficiency is a surprising culprit in perpetually chapped lips. Certain nutritional deficiencies cause insufficient cellular hydration.
If you are trying to heal your chapped lips, here is a list of the most popular remedies to ensure you have softest lips in town…
Lip Licking – Avoid licking your lips. Along with teeth, your mouths saliva is one of the first parts in the digestive process and it contains enzymes that begin to break up food. This saliva evaporates quickly and digests the thin membrane protecting lips, leaving lips drier than before you licked them.
Lip Cream or Balm – Apply lip balm frequently, especially before going out in hot or dry weather. Avoid flavored lip balms that can tempt you into lip licking. The best products to rehydrate your lips do not contain petroleum as a base, but use natural emollients (moisturizers) like beeswax, shea butter, cocoa butter. Initially, a petroleum-based lip balm hydrates the lip’s cells, but repeated use will make the user dependant upon it for moisture. Petroleum prohibits the skin from breathing, perpetuating cell dehydration and in turn, increased lip chapping between product applications.
Petroleum based lip balms lubricate but they do not hydrate. If you apply a vaseline type product constantly to dehydrated lips it makes them feel slick and smooth, which may seem moisturized. But this type of lip balm does not hydrate. It actually seals moisture out so that lips cannot absorb moisture from the air, the water we drink or from hydrating formulas applied to lips. We wax a car and it feels shiny and smooth, but what does the wax do? It seals water out — rolls off like off a ducks back. Better bet is to use natural moisturizing products which are designed to introduce moisture back into the lips
Remember to apply just a thin coat of lip balm, applying an excessive amount might tempt you to lick off the excess and we already learned why that was a bad idea
Sunscreen – The sun is the most obvious cause of damage. Your lips to not have melanin (which is your bodies natural defense against burning), lips are especially susceptible to the sun’s powerful rays and subsequent sunburns. Often overlooked, sun protection for lips is available in the form of lip balm. Sold in a stick form, these formulations are essentially the same as regular sunscreen but in a format that is pleasant-tasting, comfortable to wear and gentle enough to be used regularly
Hydrate – Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Dehydration typically results in chapped lips. That means drinking lots of water, generally about eight glasses a day to keep you moisture levels balanced. Remember: If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. The other interesting fact about dehydration is that often when you have a mid afternoon hunger pang…its not food you need but water. Keep yourself hydrated and you are likely to eat less!
Humidify – If you don’t live in a humid climate, use a humidifier or place a pot of water on a radiator to add moisture to the surrounding air. Maintaining at least a 30 to 40 percent indoor humidity level will help keep you comfortable in your skin, and putting moisture back into the air mechanically can help rejuvenate even the driest lips.
Don’t smoke – Smoking will constantly evaporate any natural oils on the lips….not to mention its bad for you!
Underlying health issue? – If chapping is severe and self-care measures don’t seem to help, consult a doctor. Occasionally, persistent chapped lips may indicate an underlying problem, such as a vitamin deficiency, fungal infection or allergic reaction. All of the B complex vitamins contribute to your skin’s health, but some key players, such as niacin (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) really boost your skin’s ability to retain moisture.
Green vegetables such as spinach, Swiss chard, green beans and collard greens are fantastic sources of niacin, and riboflavin is readily available in dairy foods and almonds. For optimal skin (and thus lip) health, you should, of course, eat a balanced diet. But if you sometimes struggle to get all your fruit and vegetable servings each day, it’s a good idea to supplement with a multivitamin.