‘Tis the season of blustery, windy, and chilly. It’s a welcome reprieve after a long, scorching summer. And it’ll gear you up for all those PSLs you’re sure to be drinking, too. But there’s a downside, a crackly, peely, ouchy downside: we’re talking dried and chapped lips, of course.
While there are some serious medical conditions that can cause chapped lips, it’s most often weather-related and nothing more than a seasonal nuisance. Going from cold outdoor air to indoor heat and sipping way more hot beverages instead of pure old H2O can all lead to chapping, dry, and flaky lips.
Not only are chapped lips annoying and often painful, but they’re unsightly and a major buzzkill for Netflix and chill time.
But fear not! You can protect your pout with a few simple steps.
- Moisturize: Lips, like the rest of the body, need good moisturizing on the reg—especially when the weather turns chilly. But don’t opt for the petroleum-based Carmex and the like. Look for truly moisturizing ingredients like shea or cocoa butters, oils, and even beeswax. Put a good coat of balm on at night before sleep and re-apply throughout the day.
- Exfoliate: Not recommended when your lips are already cracked and ragged, but as a preventative, there’s not much else on par with a good lip scrub. You don’t have to spend a ton of dough to get this going on either: head into your kitchen and mix a bit of brown sugar with some coconut oil and gently massage into lips….a few times.
- Drink water: One of the biggest contributing factor in chapped lips is not being properly hydrated. Crazy, right? But it makes sense: the weather is cooler so we’re not chugging water like we do all summer. Simple fix: set an alarm a few times a day between meals to go and drink a big tall glass of water—whether you feel thirsty or not.
- Turn the heat down: While you can’t control the office temperature (unless you’re the one person who has the almighty power!), you can control it at home. And, yes, turning it up to 90 degrees may feel super good, it’s not the best for your lips (or your electric bill). Keep the thermostat set to a reasonable temperature—about 67 degrees F—and you won’t be blasting your lips with hot, dry air. If you’re bold enough, you can even turn it down more at night.
- Eat your fats: Nothing helps keep skin and lips soft and hydrated like getting enough omega-fatty acids into the diet. Hemp seeds, flax seeds, avocados, and pumpkin spice’s underrated sibling, pumpkin seeds, all help to give the body ample fats to do the work of keeping lubricated as well as fighting inflammation, making fats exceptionally helpful once chapping has set in, too.