Winter essentials: Lip Balm
Cold winter weather and indoor heating can be very drying for our skin and even worse for our lips. That’s because the skin on our lips is thinner and doesn’t have oil or sweat glands for lubrication and protection. The only source of natural moisture for our lips is saliva yet frequent moistening or licking of our lips can also be very drying. That’s why it’s a good idea to drink plenty of water and apply a good quality lip balm to stay hydrated and protect your lips against the elements.
The key to a good lip balm is healthy ingredients
It’s a good idea to try and avoid lip balms with petroleum-based ingredients like Parabens which can actually contribute to dryness and irritation and can be accidentally swallowed when you’re eating or drinking. While petrochemical-based lip balms can offer short term relief, the coating they leave on your lips can actually prevent healing moisture from binding to them. As the balm wears off it draws moisture away from your lips and can lead to the need to reapply frequently.
Always check the ingredients and look for a lip balm made with healthier ingredients like natural beeswax and sweet almond oil. These ingredients have nourishing properties that seal in moisture while creating a long lasting barrier against the elements.
Choosing a lip balm that’s right for you
Seek out a lip balm that has as few ingredients as possible and is free of unnecessary chemical additives like Parabens Parabens, Synthetic dyes or Synthetic flavours.
Lipstick can also affect the health of your lips
Avoid matte lipsticks during winter and switch to creamier, less drying types. Even though some lipsticks contain moisturising ingredients it’s still important to research and understand the ingredients used in them. According to a recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives some lipsticks and glosses may contain potentially harmful levels of metals including Cadmium, Chromium and Aluminium which can be ingested in small amounts of up to 87 milligrams per day depending on how often you reapply your lipstick.
Five tips for healthier, luscious-looking lips:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Use a natural lip balm to moisturise and protect your lips
- If you wear lipstick often then make sure you also have lipstick-free days
- Don’t let children play with your lipstick - they can end up ingesting it and are more vulnerable to any harmful ingredients.
- Look for healthier lipsticks which don’t test on animals and avoid metals if you can.