|Not my lips FYI!|
I suffer from this malady and to make matters worse when I get stressed I have a terrible habit of peeling the skin on my lips.
Now, did you know that the skin on your lips is WAAYYYYY thinner than the rest of the skin on your body. In fact the rest of your skin has about 16 cellular layers where as your lips only have 3 -5 so its really important that they get a little bit more TLC.
Things that can hurt lips and irritate them can range from the harsh winter weather, too much heating in doors, licking lips, allergies and skin conditions. Pile onto that cold sores, bacterial infections and other problems which are more likely to surface if you lips are already chapped and sore.
The Golden Rules for Lip Maintenance:
1. Don't lick or peel your lips. It may make them feel better temporarily but in the end you are only doing more damage. Licking has the same drying effect as washing your hands, the repeated exposure to water STEALS moisture rather than adds it. And peeling just takes off one of the very few layers of skin that is already there.
2. Use a lip balm. Be aware of the type of lip balm that you use - some lip balms can actually make things worse - well in my experience anyway. I've tended to stay away from brands like Blistex, and Nivea as I find they actually make me feel more dry. I think they may contain sulphates although I don't have a pack on hand to read the labels.
I have recently discovered Clinique Chubby Sticks - which are a blend of a lip balm and lip stick - this is not a gloss and doesn't have a sticky feeling, but rather a balm feeling which is a nice change as sometimes if my lips are dry I really don't feel like putting sticky gloss on them.
However this is mainly for the ladies... I'm just saying. Boys if you wanna wear it I don't judge. I mean I do, but go ahead anyway.
The chubby stick has mango and uses shea butter which is always a treat and comes in heaps of easy matching colours.
If you are on a tight budget go for the Vaseline however...my weapon of lip horridness destruction is Lucas' Paw Paw ointment. In fact this amazing product can be used to soften cuticles, help with psoriasis, heal wounds ( even 3rd degree burns from boiling water), burns in general, blisters and itchy bites (and wasp stings). It comes in three container sizes : a handy travel tube for the purse and a tub for the bathroom.
I cannot go enough about how awesome this product is - I can't believe more people don't know about it!!! In NZD it is about $20 for a 75g tub and the tube is about $12, not sure what the large tub is.
Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment Website.
3. Wear sunscreen. Like any skin the lips can be sunburnt so be aware of this when you go out. Try to get a balm with sunscreen but you can also just pop a little sunscreen on when you put it on your face in the mornings - which you Kiwis should definitely be doing given the lack of ozone layer over the country. More often in summer I carry a travel tube of sunscreen around and just pop it on every now and again.
4. Toothpaste. I know - bizarre right? But think about it, unless you are one of those picture perfect people in the toothpaste commercials you tend to get the foamy stuff on your lips as you brush. Lets hope you brush twice a day - that's a bit for the tender lip skin and as we move to more whitening products, etc and think about the toothpaste that is right for our teeth we've probably never considered what is right for our lips too.
It might be that you have an allergy to your toothpaste or mouthwash which could be giving you the rough, red skin your lips - men - just an FYI here , as women we would like to kiss nice lips too so pay attention - your dry arse flakey something somethings just won't cut it.
Red Seal do a really good natural toothpaste and a bonus is that they are a NZ company!
So try switching brands, most supermarkets will also have natural toothpaste alternatives, which also come in whitening and maybe skip the mouthwash for a few days to see if it clears up. Also remember to rinse well after brushing to clear up anything left over.
5. Watch what you put in your mouth. No dirty jokes please! But you will all know that when your lips are chapped or burnt they are definitely more sensitive. Try staying away from foods like pepper, mustard, BBQ sauce or ketchup, orange juice and alcohol.
OK maybe not the last one - *giggles* - as if any of you would by-pass the booze (that's why I love you!), but perhaps try a straw. When you drink through a straw though be aware that you may get a bit tipsier faster as the straw helps the alcohol more directly into the blood stream.
Go forth and don't get the big kiss off from that special someone you want to puck around with.