Since it's winter, you've most likely been experiencing chapped lips. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can attest to that. It doesn't help that I drink a lot of teas and caffeinated beverages either, which can also contribute to having parched puckers. However, that's not what's damaging my pout the most. If you're experiencing the same chapped lips that I am, there is one thing you should never do to your lips: pick or peel them.
I know, this may be tempting and hard to avoid, but it can be extremely damaging to those precious lips of yours. And even though they may be already dried, dead skin cells that you think are harmless to peel off, they can actually make your lip condition even worse. Bottom line: picking and peeling your lips will only damage your lips more and make your lips more chapped.
Cosmetic chemist Vince Spinnato told Today that peeling off your skin "not only removes the natural skin protection, it can lead to cracking or open sores that may invite infection." If for some reason you like peeling your lips, it might be an indication of a more serious issue. According to SkinPick, lip picking can be an aspect of OCD behavior. Eek!
Regardless of why you pick your lips, the one lesson to learn is to not do it, no matter what. Having cracked lips is already bad as it is — why make it more painful and deal with bleeding cracks and sores? That heightened irritation can be easily avoided, so just save yourself from that drama and stop picking your lips once and for all.
Instead, try these alternatives to make sure that you aren't tempted to ever pick your lips again:
Exfoliate Your Lips
Instead of peeling off the dried skin off your lips, try exfoliating instead. This is a much better way of getting rid of those dead skin cells. Not only does it give you a good clean feeling, it also helps your lips feel brand new, soft, and moisturized.
Moisturize Your Pucker
Making sure your lips are hydrated throughout the day is extremely important. Instead of using lip balms, which can prevent moisture from being absorbed, use natural oils to keep your lips staying smooth.
In general, drinking more water can make a lot of changes to your body. It's always a great thing to make sure you're getting the proper amount of water to keep your skin clear and your body healthy, your lips included! When you drink more water, it'll help keep your lips hydrated. Dr. Mauro C. Romita, an aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery specialist also told Today, "Keeping yourself healthy and hydrated will help to keep your lips looking fresh."
Make Sure You're Getting Enough Vitamins
Another big reason you could be getting chapped lips is because you might not be getting the proper nutrients. Make sure you are getting enough vitamin B and fatty oils to prevent your lips from breaking. An easy and natural way to incorporate vitamins into your diet is to eat more leafy vegetables and dark greens.
Whatever you decide to do to help your lips, just remember: do not pick. You'll thank me later.
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Images: Courtesy of Brands