Picture this. You’re getting dressed to attend a party or wedding. Your outfit and makeup are on point, but suddenly, you notice cracks on your lips. This is a common sight as winter sets in. With a nip in the air, humidity dips, thereby causing our lips to chap. If not tackled in time, one can even develop cheilitis, a condition characterised by cracked skin at the corners of the lips.
The weather, however, isn’t the only reason for our lips to dry out. “A common cause of chapped lips is habitual licking. The saliva from your tongue can further strip the lips of moisture, causing dryness. Breathing through your mouth can also cause your lips to dry out, so try to breathe through your nose,” says dermatologist Dr Syed Nazim, adding that it is important to keep ourselves hydrated at all times.
One of the other major causes for chapping of lips is wearing long-stay lipstick. “Silicone-based matte lip colours, especially those with long stay, cause the pigment to stick to our lips and make them dry,” says cosmetologist Pooja Nagdev, recommending the use of moisturising lip colours.
Does diet also play a role in maintaining the moisture of our lips? “If you are following a diet with extremely low or no fat content, that can also cause chapping of lips. Also, drinking less water results in dehydration, and subsequently, chapped lips. Other reasons could be lack of essential vitamins and excessive consumption of spicy food,” says Dr Pooja Chopra, a Delhi-based dermasurgeon.
But, there are ways to treat chapped lips at home, with ingredients that are available in our kitchens itself. “Combining natural oils, butters, essential oils can make excellent lip balms and lip polishes. Ingredients such as cocoa butter, olive oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, glycerin and honey can be combined. One can even add vanilla essence or essential oils such as orange oil or lavender oil for fragrance,” suggests Nagdev.
To this, Dr Nazim adds, “Lubricate your lips with lip cream or balm that contains sunscreen. Coconut oil works wonders. The emollient not only moisturises the skin, but can also protect it by enhancing its barrier function. Also, honey works as a mild exfoliator and can help remove dry, dead skin from your lips.”
DIY Honey Sugar Lip Scrub
- Mix one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar and massage onto the lips.
- Leave it for 10 minutes and then remove with a wet toothbrush, moving it gently in a circular motion.
Author tweets @srinidhi_gk