Your lips can become chapped,cracked,sore and dry when they’re exposed to the sun, wind or cold air. A lip balm containing petroleum or beeswax will provide a barrier and help seal in moisture.
More moisture is lost through the lips than through any other part of the face or body.
When the lips lose moisture, the skin covering them can become tight and start to split.
What not to do
It’s very tempting to pick and bite off flakes of dried skin, but this will only make your lips bleed and heal more slowly. Irritating the skin around your mouth may also trigger a cold sore if you’re prone to getting them.
It’s also tempting to keep licking dry or cracked lips. But this will only dry your lips more, as the saliva evaporates and the repeated licking or wetting “washes” the natural grease off the skin.
How to treat dry or sore lips
The best thing to do if you have dry or sore lips is to regularly apply a lip balm containing petroleum or beeswax. You may need to try a few different products before you find one that works for you.
For example, you may be sensitive to fragranced products, in which case non-fragranced lip balms are available.
If you’re going to be spending time outdoors in the sun, choose a lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to help protect your lips.
Lip balm acts as a shield to protect your lips against the sun, wind and cold or dry air. It will trap moisture and seal cracks against infection.
Avoid lip balms in pots – repeatedly dipping your finger into the balm can introduce germs.
Covering your lips with a scarf when you’re outside during the winter can also help prevent dry lips.