Beautiful, smooth and moisturised lips just need a little care and attention to stay that way at this time of year. The challenge for keeping your pout in tip top condition is not only the chilly weather outside, but the central heating and air conditioning indoors, which can sap moisture from your skin’s surface. It’s easily dealt with though. ‘Using a humidifier can help keep the room moist and stop further drying,’ advises Dr Anjali Mahto, consultant dermatologist at Cedars Dermatology clinic in London (cedarsderm.co.uk).
Keep them nourished
You can give your lips a helping hand with what you eat. ‘A healthy diet rich in fresh fruit, vegetables, seeds and nuts can be helpful for maintaining lip health and integrity. Lips require a good supply of vitamins B, C and E plus minerals such as zinc, selenium and copper,’ says Dr Mahto.
The next step is to find yourself a really good lip balm and use it regularly. ‘The key thing is to make sure your lips are adequately moisturised,’ says Dr Mahto. ‘While you could use your regular face or body moisturisers on your lips, the lack of sebaceous glands means lips benefit from much greasier agents rather than creams and lotions.’
The right ingredients
When it comes to choosing a nourishing balm or lip product, look for those that contain any of the following hydrating ingredients: beeswax, ceramides, which are fats that seal in moisture, glycerin and dimethicone – a blend of these two has been found to improve barrier function – lanolin, which is an emollient derived from sheep’s wool and cocoa butter. Make sure it has an SPF because your lips don’t contain melanin so they have no natural protection against ultraviolet light. It’s best to avoid those that contain parabens or are heavily fragranced as these can be irritants and you don’t want it to smell so good that you end up licking your lips as this will make them drier.