Our faces get put through so much all year round and winter is especially gruelling. The cold, the snow and rain, or the dryness of the wind all contribute to the changes we have to make to our normal beauty routines.
In winter my skin seems to take a different turn and sometimes not for the best. It starts to feel parched and dry and needs more looking after than usual. And unfortunately, the same goes for my lips. Even the average cool winter day has them shrivelled up and looking pale.
The thing with lips is they are naturally delicate and the slightest change in temperature, eating and drinking habits and beauty routines can cause them to react in different ways. I’m sure we’ve all experienced cracked lips at some point and wow is that painful. Even trying to smile becomes the hardest work while they heal, making every attempt not to let them crack again.
But the good thing is, winter doesn’t need to be the destroyer of your smile and with a few changes to your normal routine and a couple of handy additions, you can get through to spring with smooth and silky lips and leave the chapped smile a thing of the wintery past.
Why do Lips get Damaged in Winter?
Winter evokes many positive pictures – from snowy walks, mugs of hot chocolate, Christmas and cosy nights in front of the fire. If only winter delivered on all of these promises all season round and it would be a much calmer and friendlier time. But unfortunately for many of us the reality is that winter can be filled with rainy days stuck in traffic, trying to get warm in front of the heater and dealing with chapped and scaly lips that don’t seem to let up.
It doesn’t actually need to be freezing cold for this to happen either, just slight drops in temperature or changes to the outside elements can wreak havoc on the already delicate skin on our lips. The skin there is actually so much thinner than anywhere else on our face and the reddish hue that you see is really from the near visible blood vessels that show through thin layers of the epidermis.
It is because the skin is so thin on our lips that it doesn’t provide much service in protecting them from cold, wintery conditions. Unlike the rest of our bodies, they don’t produce oil either which can act as a protective barrier against the cold or even the sun. So, basically, the motto here is to look after your lips as they essentially cannot look after themselves.
Why is it Important to Look After your Lips?
Apart from looking great, our lips serve more of a purpose than we realise. They can say an awful lot about underlying health issues or temporary problems we need to fix. You might experience dry lips from time to time and not think too much of it but if it lasts longer than usual then this can be a sign of dehydration.
Water is the key to life when it all comes down to it, and without getting enough of it our bodies react in typical ways. We feel like we have less energy, our skin starts to look tired and our lips develop tough patches with white cracks that appear less than attractive.
Not only this, but painful sores or dry corners can indicate a vitamin deficiency which if not taken care of can get worse. The issue with these sorts of lip problems is most people think the solution is to pile balms or petroleum jelly onto their lips without delving a bit deeper into the actual problem and looking after their body as a whole.
Lip fillers may look perfect when done well, but they can also be the cause of issues and can lead to discolouration and extreme dryness in and around the mouth. Any kind of lip filler stretches the skin on the lips and inserts foreign bodies under the epidermis. The swelling can cause an inflammatory reaction and cause them to dry out.
If lip fillers are your choice this winter, the main thing is to make sure they are hydrated and looked after every single day to keep them looking and feeling great at the same time.
How do you Look After your Lips in the Winter?
When it comes to the cold season, you can’t ignore the health of your lips. With planned outdoor trips, New Year’s Eve parties and even walks in the snow afoot, one thing that is sure to try and ruin your activities is dry and sore lips.
So the best thing to do is to try and prevent it from happening in the first place, but even if winter gets to your lips first, there are remedies that will make sure the rest of your wintery walks don’t make them feel the full wrath of the cold.
Don’t Touch or Lick your Lips
When your lips get dry it can be the most tempting thing to lick them. It provides a seemingly instant relief and its harmless, right? Unfortunately, this is so wrong and actually does more harm than good. Saliva isn’t the same as water, and the way it dries into your lips causes more moisture to be lost in the long run.
While we’re talking about it, picking or biting your lips can also cause dryness and sores and when they’re already a bit chapped it will only prolong the healing process and make them look unsightly for the next few weeks. Applying lipstick will become a pain and will only highlight how uneven the skin is on them. No matter how tempted you are, reach for other remedies before trying to peel off dry skin on your lips this winter.
Work on a Healthy Diet
Eating healthily isn’t just good for your body but it’s necessary for your skin too. You skin serves as a protective layer against germs and bacteria and if it becomes damaged then infection can get in. Sore lips aren’t always caused by the bite of winter but the horrible bugs and illnesses that come along with it.
To keep yourself, your skin and your lips healthy you need to maintain a balanced and healthy diet with a vitamin and mineral intake being a priority. B Vitamins are what protects our skin from sun exposure and the elements, and they can be found in poultry, fish and beans. Omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon and seeds are good for keeping the lips healthy and plump.
There is a whole cocktail of ingredients that are bad for lips, especially in winter and assist with drying them out when they are already facing the cold climate for a few months. Caffeine, sugar, salt and alcohol should be avoided if your lips are having a bad time this winter, stick to water to keep them hydrated and silky instead of dry and sore.
Remove your Makeup with Care
Its all good and well thinking about winter and how much it can harm your lips, but the damage we can do to them with vigorous cleansing can be even worse. Applying makeup is all fun and games until it comes to removing it, especially when you’ve opted for some stay on lipstick that is designed not to move for 24 hours.
At the end of each day there comes the task of cleansing and it’s important at this stage to remember to be gentle. As I mentioned earlier, the skin on your lips is so thin that it can become damaged so easily that harsh cleansers and rough hands can make them sore.
This is the last thing you want is to step outside in the cool air and feel the rawness that you’ve inflicted on your poor lips. So, when cleansing stick to soft cloths or cotton pads, alcohol and fragrance-free cleansers or anything that can irritate the skin on your lips and go gently on them.
Repair your Lips with Balm
There are thousands of different balms out there that promise to keep your lips moist and hydrated year-round and it can be easy to reach for the first one because of its appeal. Fruit flavoured, added sparkles or colour are all additives that are designed to lure you in and keep you coming back for more.
The problem with great flavoured lip balms is they taste so good which as we talked about earlier, licking your lips is the worst thing you can do when they are already feeling dry. They also tend to contain ingredients that only work as a temporary measure and can be worse for your lips than just leaving them alone to begin with.
To really fight off the winds of winter, you should look into a repairing lip balm that doesn’t dry them out and keeps on working hours after its been applied. Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm by Xlash is a fantastic solution to winter worries as it sinks in deep meaning you only need to apply it once a day before going to bed and let it work its lip-fixing magic overnight.
The great thing about this balm is it isn’t sticky like most are so when you sleep it doesn’t end up sticking to your hair or your pillow, if you’re an active sleeper you’ll know what I’m on about!
For cracks and chaps, this intensive care lip balm works wonders in repairing them quickly. It isn’t scented and doesn’t contain any irritants or perfume so once its on, it just soaks in and leaves your lips silky smooth for the rest of the day. Keep this up through the cold months and enjoy a chap-free winter.
Keep them Plump the Easy Way
Its not just about how your lips feel but how they look and how you feel about them. Sometimes a little bit of confidence goes a long way in how healthy your lips are, and this may mean changing their physical appearance. Cosmetic treatments can be invasive and painful, and they also put a lot more pressure on you to look after them and keep them hydrated.
The craving for lips on the larger side started years ago, but with modern advancements in cosmetic procedures, it means that lip fillers or injections are widely available to everybody at semi-reasonable costs.
To a lot of people it is the cost of lip fillers that is off-putting, to others it is the pain, but if you are choosing to plump your lips this winter remember that the cost is a representation of the service you will receive as well as aftercare information. If you’re prepared to part with your pennies, then lip fillers may just be the choice for you.
The other option is to go for something a little less intrusive and a little more temporary but still with the aim of giving you the desired effect. Similar in ingredients to the Xlips EGF Intensive Care Lip Balm, Xlips Lip Plumping Balm is not also available and has a little added extra ingredient to promote collagen in you lips.
This stuff is great for a night out or a party as it lasts a few hours and keeps your lips looking puckered for as long as you keep applying it. It has a little tingle that feels minty fresh and is the perfect way to plump your lips this winter if you want something a little more short-term.
Treat yourself to New Lip Colour
No winter would be complete without a little treat for your lips and now that you have the self-care part down, it’s time to think about how you want to display those smooth lips to the world. And adding a little colour is the perfect way to do it.
Now for me, red is the sure winner every winter, it just has the right hue that stands out in dark nights and warms up any look. But it could be time to get experimental and try some stark corals or deep purples to really suit those winter nights.
Whatever your colour preference, make sure your lipstick has healthy ingredients that keep your lips hydrated and moisturised and as always, be sure to remove that makeup last thing at night.
Above all, don’t forget to moisturise them and put a little life back into your lips this winter.