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Chapped lips aren’t just a winter concern—unfortunately, this uncomfortable condition occurs in the summer, too. While cold weather is the culprit for dry lips during the winter months, it’s the sun that causes damage and dryness during the summer season. There’s nothing worse than spending a glorious day at the beach or hanging out poolside only to have it lead to painful, cracking and flaky lips later. So, we’re sharing the dos and don'ts of caring for your lips this summer to ensure they’re in prime, hydrated condition when you finally take your mask off
Just like your skin needs to be protected from the damaging effects of the sun, so do your lips. Excessive sun exposure can cause your lips to experience discomfort, dryness and sunburn. The AAD recommends protecting your lips by applying SPF of 30 or more. They also state that physical sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the least irritating sun protection ingredients for the lips.
If there’s one habit you should nix in order to remedy your chapped lips this summer, it’s licking and picking at your lips. While licking your lips may offer some temporary relief for dryness (and may serve as your best lip flirtation tool), when the saliva evaporates, it actually causes the lips to become drier, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). Not sexy! Picking your lips to rid yourself of the dead skin can also cause irritation or damage, so opt for a lip scrub rather to properly exfoliate.
Speaking of exfoliating, your lips are skin too, so they need to be exfoliated just like the skin on your face does. Exfoliating your lips not only removes the uncomfortable buildup of dead skin cells, but it allows for lip balms and treatments to more effectively penetrate the lips. To exfoliate your lips, reach for a lip scrub and gently massage it in for around 30 seconds up to three times per week. If you prefer something extra gentle, grab a damp, soft wash cloth and gently rub it in circular motions on your lips to remove the dead skin.
According to the AAD, ingredients like ceramides, dimethicone, petrolatum, shea butter and white petroleum jelly are recommended by dermatologists to help heal chapped lips. On the other hand, ingredients like eucalyptus, mint and citrus flavoring, fragrance, lanolin, and menthol can be irritating to the lips when you’re experiencing dryness, cracking or irritation. Now there’s serious debate around whether or not petroleum jelly is hydrating. What we do know is that it’s amazing at creating a healing barrier. So, we recommend applying a hydrating lip balm with moisturizing ingredients to your lips first, and then locking it in with a light layer of petroleum jelly.
While a matte lip is definitely a classic look, ultra-matte lip products don’t typically bode well for chapped lips. Instead, opt for lippies that won’t dry out your lips. Pick lip colors in hydrating formulas like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Shine Lipstick or the L’Oréal Paris Infallible 8 Hour Pro Lip Gloss, hydrating finish. If you’re a loyal matte lipstick lover, wait until your lips are in healthy condition to go back to your faves. And even then, be sure to choose a hydrating formula like the L’Oréal Paris Colour Riche Creamy Matte Lipstick, Rich Hydration, made with moisturizing oils to prevent dryness and chapping.
You’ve probably been told time and time again to up your water intake if you want glowing, hydrated skin. As the AAD explains it, chapped lips are dry lips. By giving your body the water it needs, especially during the warmer months, your skin (lips included) will benefit.
Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
Next: 10 Lip Products Everyone Should Have In Their Makeup Bag
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