The shorter days and colder months are officially upon us, and we are feeling it in our skin, especially our lips.Compared to the warmer months, our skin loses more than 25 percent of its moisture during the winter. From artificially heated homes to harsh winter wind, the lack of moisture visibly takes a toll on the skin. However, regardless of the season, your lips can experience dryness and cracking.
The skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than anywhere else on your body, consisting of only three to five layers. This makes them more vulnerable to external aggressors such as sun, wind, etc. Additionally, your lips only produce a small amount of melanin, making them more sensitive to UV ray exposure, even in the winter. They also lack the oil glands needed to prevent moisture loss, which is why they dry out faster. These glands, found in other parts of your body, protect the skin and keep it hydrated. The plumpness in your lips is large in part due to the production of collagen. As you age, your body produces less of this protein and over time its volume reduces. For these reasons, our lips need extra help and attention from us.
So, what causes our lips to become dry and cracked?
The dryness and irritation of crisp temperatures can strip the skin of moisture, leading to dry, chapped skin that is prone to hardening and flaking, if you don’t protect it. The outdoor air combined with indoor central heating can dehydrate and dry out our skin, causing the lips to crack, peel and even bleed. Sun damage can also cause your lips to become dry and sore, even during the winter.
Dry and parched lips are, more often than not, a sign of dehydration. When you are not drinking enough fluids, it is not only problematic for your digestive system, but it is also harmful to your skin, and it is visibly noticeable on the surface.
- Underlying conditions
There are other factors aside from the weather and the environment that may cause sore lips. Dry or chapped lips can be a result of underlying conditions, allergies, and infections. If you notice more severe symptoms of extremely sore and cracked lips, particularly around the corners, consult with a medical professional before applying topical treatments.
The Fundamentals of Lip Care
Parched and sore lips? No thank you! Here are some of our simple tips and tricks you can incorporate into your daily routine to keep your lips plump, hydrated, and protected throughout the year.
- Stay Hydrated
When it comes to the health of our skin and taking care of it so much of it comes down to what we put inside our bodies. Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of fluids helps your skin to shine from within. Dry lips and hardened skin are first and foremost likely a sign of dehydration. Perhaps the simplest step to add to your daily routine to keep your lips hydrated and supple, especially through winter, is drinking at least 8 cups of water a day to keep dry lips at bay. Increasing your intake of water-dense foods like berries, cucumber, spinach and tomatoes, which are packed with skin-loving vitamins and minerals, is also true for preventing and healing dry, cracked lips by hydrating your skin from within and restoring moisture to your skin cells.
Think about investing in a reusable water bottle to carry around with you. A favourite of mine is the Ocean Bottle made from recycled stainless steel and ocean-bound plastic, in Forest Green of course. It keeps your cold drinks cold and your hot drinks hot. Sometimes in our busy lives we can forget to take care of ourselves and many of us need that extra push and reminder. I like to set an alarm on my phone to make sure I am hydrating on a regular basis.
- Avoid licking, biting, and picking your lips
The skin on your lips is thinner and more delicate than other parts of your body. Biting and picking at dry skin can irritate your lips, lead to cracks and cause bleeding and prevent healing. When lips feel dry, it might feel natural to wet and soothe your lips by licking them. However, excessive licking can further strip the lips of moisture as when the saliva evaporates, it makes your lips drier than before. Licking your lips can be a hard habit to break. When you catch yourself feeling the urge, pick up the Feeling Myself Lip Balm instead.
- Embrace a multi-tasking lip balm
Enter the holy grail of hydration and comfort. Our Feeling Myself Lip Balm has been formulated with the utmost thought and care for your lips. A considered cold-press balm, made with all your daily needs and concerns in mind, in a non-sticky texture that easily melts into chapped lips to soften hardened peeling skin and impart a vibrant shimmer for the perfect pucker all year round. Rich in skin-nourishing and comforting plant oils and butters that are high in the essential vitamins and minerals needed to soothe, smooth, condition and comfort. Powered by safou oil, Feeling Myself Lip Balm forms a natural barrier to protect your lips from harsh and changing weather conditions, as well as the toll of daily life. KOBA skincare offers a range of skincare products, including a hand cream to care for dry hands, a soap bar and a foot cream to get rid of cracked heels.
While the Feeling Myself Lip Balm improves the overall appearance of your lips, it also incorporates a gentle exfoliant of rice beads to tackle and heal cracked and peeling skin. To protect your lips post-scrub, Feeling Myself Lip Balm is high in lip-loving ingredients like vitamin E and almond oil which are known for both their hydrating and healing properties.
For best results apply a small amount in the morning and evening as part of your daily skincare routine and apply on the go as and when you need. A pro tip from our founder Therese, is to apply a thicker layer to lips as a mask treatment before bed and allow the beads to work their magic overnight. Our skin naturally does a lot of healing while we sleep, so applying an emollient rich (moisture locking) product infused with ingredients like shea butter, sunflower wax and sweet almond oil assists in locking in the properties of our nutrient-packed lip balm.
- Be conscious of what touches your lips
Make lip care the first step of your skincare and make-up routine. When applying products to your face it is very likely to seep over onto your lips, such as a setting spray. Other products can dry out your lips, so it’s important to shield them first by applying your lip balm before anything else.
Avoid holding items made of metal against your lips. Jewellery, keys, and other everyday products can irritate the skin on your lips, particularly if they are already sensitive.
- Plug in a humidifier at home
We all know and can immediately feel the effects central heating and air conditioning can do to our skin. Artificial air combined with the atmosphere outside can have a drying effect. Consider investing in a humidifier at home. A humidifier can help to sustain the moisture in your lips, and decrease the harsh impact dry winter air can have on them. They are particularly helpful if you breathe more through your mouth when you sleep.
From dry, parched lips to a va va voom pout
We are often more self-conscious about the parts of our body that are more exposed, and unlike those other parts, it is almost impossible to hide your lips from everyone to see. Dry, chapped and cracked lips aren’t likely to be repaired overnight, but, with a bit of discipline, patience and consistency, you can revive, revitalise, repair and protect your lips.