Some skin issues are seasonal, and you’re probably prepared for most of them—you’ve got a rich face cream for winter, a light face oil for spring, and an oil-free moisturizer come summer. But some skin issues are present year round, and one issue that never gets enough attention is chapped lips.
Since cold air, dry air, and too much time in the sun can all cause them, it’s a problem that can plague you 365 days a year. Luckily, the solution is surprisingly simple: Just look beyond your usual lip care with these easy additions.
Avoid Licking Your Lips
Licking your lips may temporarily moisten them, providing some instant comfort, but it’ll only make matters worse in the end. Saliva evaporates very quickly and can leave your lips feeling more dry.
Don’t Forget Sun Protection
Like the rest of the skin on your body, your lips need protection from the sun too. Prevent sunny days from causing chapped lips by avoiding excessive sun exposure, and make sure to protect them with a lip balm containing sunscreen while you’re outside.
Use a Medicated Lip Balm
Your average lip balm may do the trick most of the time, but it can fall short when it comes to treating chapped lips—even if you reapply it ten times a day. (A+ for effort, though.) Chapped lips require a little TLC and comfort in the form of certain soothing ingredients, which you can find in a medicated formula.
Invest in a Humidifier
Dry air equals dry lips, and it’s a problem that may plague you year-round if you don’t live in an area that gets humid (or if you’re stuck in a dry-aired office all day). But restoring moisture to air with the help of a cool-mist humidifier can tweak that equation and keep your lips from drying out without you having to do anything (besides, of course, cleaning and filling your humidifier on a regular basis).
Whether you prefer sparkling water with lemon or hot green tea, keep the fluids coming. Hydration starts from within, and even the best humidifier won’t work if your skin is inherently lacking vital moisture.
Switch Your Toothpaste
That cinnamon-flavored toothpaste may spice things up when you’re brushing your teeth, but it’s not doing any favors for chapped lips. In fact, it could be doing the opposite. Certain toothpaste flavors and ingredients may contain irritants that only exacerbate flaky lips, causing pain and undoing any efforts to heal them.
Originally published on Health.com/Strive.