Photo Credit: Alison Chew
By Alexandra Augustak
With the winter season coming along, you may notice changes in your skin’s texture. The cold and dry air associated with the winter season causes sensitivity and irritation in your skin to become even more evident. Your lips, especially, are prone to irritation as they are delicate and thin compared to normal skin. The cold weather naturally causes you to lick your licks for more comfort, which in essence, is what’s causing the lips to dry up even more. When licking your lips, your saliva strips away the natural oils produced by your body that keep your skin protected, leaving them dry and cracked.
Lip balms are a convenient and popular way of dealing with irritated skin, but what the lip balm corporations don’t want you to know is that sometimes the most common ingredients in any lip balm on the market can irritate your lips even more. Here are some important things to remember the next time you’re purchasing a lip balm product:
Avoid flavored or scented lip balms
Your best bet for buying a lip balm that does not irritate your lips is buying one which has no added scents or flavors. Scents or flavors actually causes even more licking of the lips, sometimes subconsciously, which in the end causes the lips to dry up.
Avoid lip balms with methanol as an ingredient
Methanol is an alcohol which is used in lip balms to give a cooling sensation. In reality, what is producing that sensation is the act of methanol penetrating your skin and stripping away protective layers of dead skin which in the end may cause even more irritation and dryness.
Get lip balms with sunscreen
Excess moisture from lip balms often causes the outside protective layer of your lips to degenerate, leaving them more vulnerable to ultra violet rays from the sun. Lip balms with sunscreen help protect your lips from these harmful rays and keep them healthy.
Other ingredients to avoid that may cause irritation
Lanolin, camphor, paraben, phenol, salicylic acid
Easy alternatives for lip balms
If you can’t find a lip balm that will not irritate your lips, simple remedies such as Vaseline or olive oil can help keep lips moisturized without the superfluities of scents or flavors that actually increase irritation.