Our lips are one of the most expressive, attractive features on our faces. Think about it: we use them to speak, show emotion and drink through straws—all the important stuff.
Unfortunately, with such a heavy workload and fickle humidity and temperatures, we can often end up with sore, cracked lips. In order to figure out how to remedy this, we have to look at the causes of dry lips.
If you want to keep your mouth looking healthy, it’s worthwhile investing some time in your pampering routine, diet and lifestyle. With some minor tweaks you could have a major positive impact on your lips’ health.
So, let’s get this out of the way first. A lack of water is the cause of a whole host of conditions, but people tend to scoff at this solution. Surely I’m in need of medication? This may be the case, but you should try increasing your water intake first.
Unlike skin, our lips don’t contain sebaceous glands to produce oil. This protective oil would work to keep moisture locked in, but in lieu of this, we must make sure we stay hydrated.
Drinking the standard recommended 8 cups of water a day should be enough to keep you functioning optimally. Although not set in stone, these guidelines are helpful.
Although medicine cabinets filled with too many artificial ingredients and harmful chemicals can wreak havoc with your health, it’s simple toothpaste that can spell disaster for your lips.
The harmful ingredient—lauryl sulphate—is also found in shampoo and face wash. As a lathering ingredient, its job is to improve the texture of its host. Unfortunately, it also has an uncanny ability to cause dryness and irritation, particularly on the lips.
Although toothpaste is the main suspect, you should be wary all products. Look for high quality brands who emphasise their natural ingredients. Nature will always work more sensitively with our bodies. Sore, cracked lips could just be the result of something cheap and nasty lurking in your bathroom.
Lack of dietary fats
If you’ve devoted any serious time to researching skin conditions, ‘fat’ and ‘healthy skin’ should now be synonymously linked in your brain. Writers harp on and on about the benefits of essential fatty acids for anything related to beauty—skin, hair, eyes, teeth..etc.
Is this just hype? Not at all. Dietary fat is absolutely essential for maintaining good health, particularly if you’re suffering from skin complaints.
Dry, peeling lips are one of the telltale symptoms of fat deficiency. We call them ‘essential fatty acids’ because our bodies need them and can’t produce their own. Try to include more of the following:
- Flaxseed (the best non-animal source of omega 3)
- Salmon (omega 3)
- Avocado (full of vitamin E)
The weather can be a real burden for our lips. From the dry, cold winter winds to the hot, sunny summer breezes, nature seems determined to assault your health from the skies. Okay, this might be an exaggeration, but weather damage is one of the leading causes of damage. To cure chapped lips, it’s worth taking preventative steps.
Firstly, a chemical-free sun cream should be your first port of call during the sunnier months. For the colder periods, try a lip balm to stave off the dryness.
Good lip butter/balm will help moisturise your skin just like standard creams. By using an emollient to seal in liquid, you can stop moisture-loss to dry, cold air (high concentrations of water will move into low concentrations—sapping vitality).
Make changes and you’ll reap the benefits. Not only will your lips thank you, but your health in general should improve. The body is a complex, interconnected series of organs and vessels. Diet, health care and hygiene can solve pretty much all of our problems (provided they revolve around hair and beauty).