Natural Lip Balms Kent WA
South Colby, WA
Protecting Your Lips from Winter
By Linda Formichelli
Another winter, another season of dry, chapped lips. The culprits: age and the environment. “As we age, we start to lose moisture in our cells, so many people suffer from chronic dry lips at least in the winter,” says Merrideth Wile, an esthetician at Holistic Health, a healing center in Frederick, Maryland. The solution: lip balm.
Because you slather lip balm on—you guessed it—your lips, you end up swallowing much of the product you apply. Since most conventional lip balms contain chemical ingredients like parabens and petroleum, choose ingredients carefully. Parabens may impair fertility and raise cancer risk, according to the Environmental Working Group. Petroleum, says Wile, doesn’t penetrate the skin; instead, it sits on top of the lips, sealing in any baddies—like bacteria. That’s why some people tend to get breakouts in the lip area.
Natural lip balms use safer ingredients that still take the sting out of cold days. Look for:
∗ Hempseed oil naturally lubricates lips with good-for-you fatty acids. “Fatty acids can have a hydrating effect and also help to both seal and coat the lip skin,” says David E. Bank, MD, director of the Center for Dermatology in Mount Kisco, New York. “They can also help repair some of the bonds in between the cells to help make the barrier function of the lip skin stronger, healthier, and more resistant to the things that assault it during the day, from the sun to everything we eat and drink.”
∗ Aloe vera heals and soothes sun-damaged or wind-burned lips, eases pain, and reduces inflammation.
∗ Menthol has a slight numbing effect, which can help ease the pain of chapped lips.
∗ Green tea is an excellent source of antioxidants, which protect the skin cells from damage by environmental factors like UV radiation, cigarette smoke, and pollution.
∗ Vitamin E works as an antioxidant. “It also helps regenerate vitamin C in the skin cells,” says Bank. “Vitamin C is an important antioxidant itself, and it helps form fresh, new collagen.”
∗ Sweet almond oil also has antioxidant properties, is a nice moisturizer, and is an anti-inflammatory that can help soothe chapped, irritated lips.
∗ Shea butter moisturizes and contains vitamin A, which helps slough off dead skin cells and maintain healthy ones, says Bank.
∗ Essential oils have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Many of them, such as tea tree, sweet orange, rosemary, and peppermint, also have antibacterial properties.
When shopping for a lip balm, choose a product with just a few ingredients, says Hema A. Sundaram, MD, a dermatologist and author of Face Value: The Truth about Beauty—and a Guilt-Free Guide to Finding It (Rodale Books, 2003). Effective lip balm shouldn’t require a laundry list of chemicals, and the fewer items on the label, the less likely you’ll suffer from an allergic reaction to an ingredient.
Linda Formichelli is a freelance writer in...
Author: Linda Formichelli
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