You’re really not imagining things: Lips really do get more chapped in the winter, or a low humidity environment like the desert. As the air’s moisture levels plummet, the water in your skin is drawn out, and the result is tiny fissures on the lips that can be hard to heal.
*Get Slick: It’s a myth that some moisturizers leave your lips needing more balm, but there are some formulas that are better than others. Ingredients such as shea butter, hyaluronic acid, and dimethicone are all good at restoring moisture. The most important thing is to use a balm that is VISCOUS, not waxy, so ingredients are able to penetrate fissures more effectively. If you have chronic chapping, look for a lip treatment that contains ceramides, which help restore the skin’s barrier.
*Stay Pure: There are some ingredients that can make chapping worse. Anyone with eczema should make sure that the balm they are using doesn’t contain lanolin. Since fragrance is the #1 allergen, stay away from heavily scented or flavored balms; ingredients such as cinnamon and peppermint can be particularly irritating. However, Menthol can actually soothe itching.
*Watch Your Mouth: Besides dehydration, the other main cause of chapped lips is a disruption in the pH balance of skin, which needs to be slightly acidic in moist areas like the mouth. Toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin cleansers can alter this balance, so apply balm to your lips after you brush your teeth or wash your face.