Help to protect and nourish your lips this winter

Help to protect and nourish your lips this winter

With cooler temperatures, less moisture in the air and biting winds, our skin is exposed to harsh environmental conditions during the winter months. For many of us, these seasonal changes can cause dry skin.

Cropped shot of an unrecognizable woman touching her lips

When caring for our skin in winter, it’s important to adapt our skincare regimen and pay extra attention to the face, particularly the lips. This is because the lips are covered by a thin layer of stratum corneum (the outer layer of the skin), so they don’t tend to retain moisture as well as other parts of the body. Further to this, the vermillion/border of the lip or ‘dry’ part of the lip doesn’t contain any sweat or labial/salivary glands so the usual protective layer – which consists of sweat and body oils – isn’t there to help keep the skin hydrated and smooth. Therefore, our lips are very susceptible to environmental and seasonal changes. In fact, many of us often find that our lips are the first part of the body to be affected by winter dehydration, which can lead to cracking, flaky or chapped lips.

One way to boost hydration and to help keep our lips nourished and soft while they are exposed to the elements is to use lip balm. Wearing a lip balm that does not contain common irritants and has an SPF of 30 or more, before going outdoors, is a great way to help care for and help protect dry, chapped lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays^4.  Lip balms with SPF should continue to be used in winter to help protect your lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays, even if it isn’t sunny. 

Try applying a fragrance free lip balm that contains sunscreen, regularly throughout the day. The SunSense Lip Balm SPF 50+ will help to moisturise and nourish the lips, while providing broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. The fragrance free ointment contains vitamin E and is suitable for all skin types. Better yet, it has an easy glide on application and is four hours water resistant. 

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.

¹ Ya-Xian Z, Suetake T, Tagami H. Number of cell layers of the stratum corneum in normal skin — relationship to the anatomical location on the body, age, sex and physical parameters. Arch Dermatol Res. 1999291:563–567. [Internet]. [cited 2020 June 17]; Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10552214/

² Kobayashi H, Tagami H. Functional properties of the surface of the vermilion border of the lips are distinct from those of the facial skin. Br J Dermatol. 2004;150:563–567. [Internet]. [cited 2020 June 17]; Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15030342/ 

³ Foutsizoglou S. Anatomy of the aging lip, the pmfa journal, Dec 1, 2016, [Internet]. [cited 2020 June 18]; Available from: https://www.thepmfajournal.com/features/post/anatomy-of-the-ageing-lip