February is the month to kiss lip damage goodbye and pucker up for your Valentine. There are a few things you can do right now to prepare your lips for that perfect smooch. And we’ve included some tips you'll want to keep in mind for a healthy pout all year round.
A Pretty Pout
Kissable lips come down to hydration, and that's hard to come by during the dry months of winter. There’s less moisture in the air now than during the summer months. Compensate for dryness by restoring your moisture balance—from the inside out.
Drink lots of hydrating fluids every day, especially water. Also, foods high in water content like fruits and veggies are helpful. In addition, use a humidifier to add as much moisture as possible back into the air around you.
- Don't lick your lips because saliva is acidic and dries your lips.
- Gently exfoliate your lips once or twice a week with a lip scrub.
Chapstick and Lip Balm
Unlike the rest of your skin, your lips do not have oil glands so, it is up to you to keep them moisturized. Your lips suffer when their moisture barrier (the outer layer of skin) is compromised, which causes them to crack, and chap. Avoid this by wearing a moisturizing balm daily during the winter.
Ingredients to Look For
There are some great chapstick and balm options online and over the counter. Avoid drying ingredients like fragrance, salicylic acid, menthol, and camphor. You'll want to look for hydrating and protecting ingredients like:
- Cocoa butter
- Shea butter
Let's Talk SPF
Did you know that the risk of sunburn on your lips is higher than the rest of your skin? That's because it doesn't have the same top layer of protection called the stratum corneum that the rest of your skin has. This makes your lips softer than the surrounding skin (on the plus side). But it also makes them more susceptible to sun damage. That's why you need to wear lip balms and chapsticks with SPF.
If You Need Lip Repair
What should you do if your lips are damaged? We recommend SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair restorative treatment if you need lip repair help. It's perfect for injured or aging lips because it helps attract and retain water. This product rejuvenates, reshapes, and replenishes your lip tissue.
When to See a Doctor
Sometimes, the worst happens despite our best efforts to care for our lips. Anyone can develop lip cancer. You're especially at risk if you have had a lifetime of long, ongoing sun exposure.
Know The Warning Signs of Lip Cancer
Lip cancer comes with warning signs that include pain, swelling, and rough patches that are red or white. In addition, the following are warning signs of lip cancer:
- A bump on the lip
- Numbness or tingling
- Lips that bleed easily
- Sores that don't heal
- Chronically chapped lips that bleed
Lips Ready For Valentine's Day And Beyond 💋
This is the month to pucker up and kiss lip damage goodbye. There are things you can do right now to prepare for that perfect Valentine's Day kiss, like getting lots of hydration and running a humidifier. Also, balms and chapsticks are a great way to add softness to your lips. Remember to choose those with SPF so your delicate lip skin will be protected from sun damage. We are giving away FREE West Dermatology chapstick all month long (while supplies last and at participating locations). Come see us for a visit!