Heal dry or flaky lips with natural ingredients and easy tweaks to your routine. Dry, flaky lips can strike in every season, and that’s no surprise: lips are one of the most sensitive places on your face.
That’s because they lack the oil glands that provide natural moisture to the rest of your skin, and are therefore more prone to drying out. Not surprisingly, they deserve extra TLC in your skin-care routine such as their own routine, for starters. And, better yet, you can care for them naturally, without parabens or harsh ingredients. Here’show to keep your lips healthy looking and smooth.
Choose Your Toothpaste Wisely
While a peppermint flavor in your toothpaste might deliver minty-fresh breath and add some zing to your daily routine, it may not be doing any favors for your lips. Certain flavors, such as cinnamon and menthol, can irritate dry lips, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.If you think your toothpaste may be to blame for your flaky lips, try switching to a natural toothpaste with more gentle ingredients.
Don’t Lick Your Lips
Saliva is not moisturizing, though it may feel that way for a few seconds. But as soon as it evaporates, it can leave your lips even drier than before, worsening the problem. Break the cycle with a moisturizing lip balm, which will actually add hydration to the lips.
Apply Balm Whenever You Remember
Just as you go to apply hand cream when you notice the backs of your hands looking dry, you should swipe on a lip balm every time your lips start to feel dry or flaky. For a natural, paraben-free option, try ChapStick Total Hydration 100% Natural lip balm. Infused with nourishing argan oil and avocado butter, the balm smooths and moisturizes lips on the spot, leaving them looking healthier and softer.
Chug Some Water
Hydrate from the inside out with water. Your skin (including your lips) typically needs two forms of moisture: oil and water. So, while a good lip balm delivers those oils that your lips are missing, drinking plenty of water is a good way to replenish from within.
Avoid Lip-Plumping Glosses
Remember those lip glosses that promised full, puffy lips? They do work but not in a good way. Rather, they add fullness by irritating the lips with ingredients like menthol and cinnamon, which also contributed to their signature tingle. And even if your lips aren’t dry and irritated right now, these could still leave them that way so they’re best avoided altogether.
Make a DIY Lip Scrub
Want to get natural exfoliation for flaky lips? You can find tons of DIY lip scrubs online, most often with sugar and other pantry ingredients. (So long as you’re using ingredients you can also eat, like honey or coconut oil, you should be all good.) Another alternative? Repurpose an old toothbrush as a manual exfoliant. Gently rub it over damp lips for a few seconds, then follow with a nourishing balm. In removing flakes and dead skin from the surface of the lips, exfoliating will allow the balm ingredients to better penetrate so it’s a win-win.
Originally published on Shape.com/Strive.