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How to prevent dry lips, according to a dermatologist

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 02/12/2019 Chloe Street
© Provided by Evening Standard

For many of us, the arrival of winter means the arrival of increasingly chapped lips.

Unlike the rest of your skin, lips don’t contain oil glands, which means they’re more susceptible to drying out and becoming chapped and even cracked.

The reduced humidity in the air in the winter months further exacerbates this, as do common colds, which tend to be inescapable at this time of year.

But what can you do to avoid chapped chops? We caught up with clinical dermatologist Dr Emma Wedgeworth to get her tips for protecting your pout in the winter months.

Getty © Getty Getty

Avoid lip licking

Saliva is actually a very active compound containing multiple enzymes and is alkaline, whereas our skin is naturally acidic. This means saliva can act as a potent irritant. Lip licking is one of the most frequent reasons we see dry, inflamed lips.

Choose cosmetics carefully

Lip cosmetics can be common cause of contact allergic reactions. Nickel in metal casings and pigments used to colour the lipsticks are some of the culprits we see. Lipstick formulations can also be drying, so if you have sensitive lips choose nourishing formulations. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid and castor oil can make a real difference to the product and how it looks on your lips. I like Clinique and Nars lipsticks.

a close up of a cosmetic: Nars Orgasm Satin Lipstick, £22. Shop it here © Provided by Evening Standard Nars Orgasm Satin Lipstick, £22. Shop it here

Avoid the lip area when applying active skincare

Be careful if you are using active ingredients like retinols or acids like glycolic or salicylic acid. Whilst you may not be putting these directly on the lips, active molecules can migrate away from where you directly apply them and the lips are very vulnerable. Avoid the lip area and use a lip product before you apply your skincare to act as a buffer.

Apply your lip balm regularly

In the depths of Winter, most of us will need a bit of help with our lip hydration. Using a carefully chosen lip balm will replenish lipids and hydration and compensate for the loss of moisture. Use regularly throughout the day. Ingredients to look for in a lip balm include lanolin, Shea butter and glycerin.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream SPF10, £2.69. Shop it here © Provided by Evening Standard Blistex Intensive Moisturiser Hydrating Lip Cream SPF10, £2.69. Shop it here

Blistex Intensive Moisturiser is a great choice to boost the natural moisturising factors in lips and also contains allantoin which is super soothing.

Regular use of a product will not just treat dry lips, but also prevent painful chapping and irritation.

Gallery: 15 everyday things you're doing that can ruin your skin [INSIDER]

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