Slap Happy For Lip Chappy!

Lip Chappy

With the winter weather upon us I thought it was a good idea to re-visit the yearly issue of chapped lips.

Chapped lips are certainly the sign that winter is here for awhile.  The bitter cold and wind of outdoor weather and dry indoor heating really plays havoc on your skin, especially your lips having very few oil glands. The cracking, flaking, burning, and chapping are uncomfortable, unpretty and unwelcome. Preventing and treating parched and puckered chapped lips requires faithful dedication. Skip a day and your lips are right back where they started.

These soothing and softening sticks promise an end to tender lips stung by harsh, cold winter weather and arid climates by helping to seal in the lip’s moisture with emollients that are lubricating, repairing and protective. Keeping lips moist, hydrated, soft and protected is essential.

Slap happy for lip chappy. I’ve always advocated using a lip balm daily to both women and men. For women it paves the way for lipstick. For men it paves the way for kisses. Right after brushing your teeth use a warm, damp terry facecloth to slough off visible flaking skin. Lightly pat dry and immediately apply a good quality lip balm. This ritual keeps your lips smooth, soft and protected for the day. It only makes sense to carry and re-apply lip balm after meals and smooching. I have one stashed in every coat pocket and bag.

Choosing A Lip Balm: 

Choosing lip care products is challenging, as the market is flooded with tubes and pots of balms, salves, and ointments. Most are merely waxes in fancy packaging that don’t work.

  • Avoid balms labeled as medicated which contain camphor, menthol, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus. These trick you into believing that they are “working” by creating a new but different irritation. As pleasant as these medicinal salves smell they are actually skin irritants that burn and hurt, not heal and help chapped lips.

  • Look for a balm that is a super emollient with water binding agents like cocoa butter, lanolin, or Shea butter. Balms with mineral oil, natural plant oil (apricot, cocoa nut, corn, jojoba, macadamia, sun flower, or sweet almond oil), emu or squalene oil provides a protective coating from the elements while locking in moisture and treatment.

  • Avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or zinc oxides are also beneficial for sun protection of SPF 30 and much higher, SPF 60+ for skiers and outdoor workers.

  • Buy self-dispensing tubes or roll-up sticks not jars and pots, which are less hygienic.

  • Never share your balm unless it’s with the one you kiss.

  • Buy in bulk – stash one into every coat pocket and bag you use. Reapply after meals and smooching.

  • Persistently chapped and irritated lips are best treated by a qualified dermatologist/specialist.

Potato Chip Lips – occur when the lips have severe cracking, flaking skin and in some cases sores and bleeding which are usually caused from picking. This is where a lip exfoliating procedure comes into play. The best time to exfoliate lips (to remove dead skin cells) is after showering and brushing your teeth:

  1. Apply a coating of Vaseline to your lips and wait about five minutes for it to lubricate and loosen the flakes.

  2. Apply a warm wet terry facecloth as a compress to lips. Let it sit until it cools down. Use the cloth to rub off the now moistened flakes. Some people use their toothbrush in a gentle rotating buffing motion to remove the dead skin. I find it too abrasive and hard to do.

  3. Massage a drop of olive oil on your lips and allow it to soak in for 5 minutes. Blot excess away and apply lip balm to lock in moisture, sooth, soften and protect.

There are manual lip exfoliants available that are a bit grittier than the kinds you would use on your face. They are applied, left on for 10 minutes and removed with gently buffing to loosen and lift away flakes. There are also “pumice stick” versions of this approach for convenience.

*Make your own scrub by mixing baking soda, salt or sugar into a paste with warm water. Massage on and leave on for 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, pat dry and slather a thick coating of an emollient lip balm or Vaseline to moisturize and seal.

Don’t leave the house with a kisser full of Vaseline unless that’s how you really want to appear to the world. I am not a fan of shiny lips on men unless they’re in a dress. Blot off excess shine with a tissue to avoid this confusion.

Lip Make-Up Tips

  • For easy elegance, use a tinted lip balm or lip-gloss or a sheer, emollient lip crayon to gently colour and keep the lips conditioned and protected.

  • Stay away from matte, dry textured and long-lasting lipstick formulations until your lips are in their best shape.

  • For more lip definition use the new waterproof lip liners out on the market. They are creamy and easy to use to line and colour the lips. It sets easily and stays-put without drying.

  • Wear alone or layer with lip-gloss or a creamy moisturizer.

Be sure to carry your lip essentials with you to refresh and repair your lips anywhere. Remember, oily food is your enemy when wearing any kind of lip product. Remove lip make-up completely before casual meals like barbecues. At fancier affairs, be aware of how you eat as to minimize damage to your lips, especially the outer perimeter. If it’s gone beyond the outer perimeter, it’s best to remove lips completely and reapply in the ladies room. Touch-ups are considered acceptable at the table as long as they are just that, a touch up. A major lip overhaul requires more privacy please.

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Recommendations available at Shoppers Drug Mart.

  • Chapstick The Lip Moisturizer with SPF15

  • Banana Boat Sport Performance

  • Vaseline with Shea Butter

  • Balea Lip Balm

  • EOS (Evolution of Smooth)

Winter’s Brilliant Little Multi-Tasker: 7 More Things You Can Do with Lip Balm

Dino Dilio Beauty Tips

When winter hits, lip balm is an unsung hero. After all, it’s the best companion to combat the ever-looming chapped lips syndrome—and much more. A quality lip balm will include emollients like Jojoba and Shea oils to moisturize and soften, plus waxes to lock in moisture; its price shouldn’t exceed the cost of 2 cheap cocktails or 2 fancy coffees. While applying balm to clean lips makes an ideal base for lipstick and gloss, this inexpensive beauty basic goes places way beyond just our lips!

  1. Massage into dry cuticles to soften and condition after washing and drying hands.

  2. Swipe balm lightly through eyebrows to add sheen, then use fingertip to groom hairs into place.

  3. Paint generously over palms of hands. Massage together, and then smooth over flyaway hairs to tame. Great trick for hat head.

  4. After a bath, massage olive oil onto dry elbows and heels and then lock in with a layer of lip balm.

  5. Swipe across exposed parts of the face in frigid weather for even more protection.

  6. Apply potted lip balms with clean lip brush, new cotton swab or freshly cleansed finger. (For maximum hygiene, carry a stick version of balm to use throughout the day.)

  7. Pick up balm with thumb and index finger and work into unruly moustache and sideburns to groom.

It’s Da Balm! Top 3 Lip Balms under $15

Dino Dilio Beauty - Paula's Choice Lip & Body Treatment Balm

Paula’s Choice Lip & Body Treatment Balm - This astoundingly concentrated formula offers on-the-spot relief upon application to dry, chapped lips as well as on elbows, cuticles, and nails. Tames unruly eye brows and fly away hairs. - $15US

Paula’s Choice Lip Balm with SPF 50 - Maximum lip sunscreen and protection for snow bunnies and water lovers. $10US

Chapstick The Moisturizer with SPF 12 – $10+

Keep an eye out for Cera Ve’s Healing Lip Balm Broad Spectrum 30 when shopping in the states. I’ll keep you posted when this little wonder makes its way to Canada.

Ask Dino- Vampire Lips to Luscious Lips

Dear Dino,
I have tried these long last, two-step lipsticks without much success. They are too drying and makes my lips look puckery and leathery. I like the idea of putting lipstick on once and forgetting about it for the day but all my girlfriends say I look like a vampire. Help!
Buffy, T.O.

Dear Buffy,
It sounds like you weren’t doing the second step of a two- step product and that’s why your lips look the way they do. It’s very important to use the balm/gloss after the colour sets to add moisture back to your lips and lend shine. The colour is delivered to the lips via alcohol, which evaporates after application leaving the colour to stain the lips. See the importance of the second step? But I have good news for you. Revlon has a new one-step long-lasting lipstick that is wonderful called “ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick”. You can use it lightly like a stain or layer it on for a very rich colour. It sets itself and keeps lips looking lovely. My favourite shades are: Perfect Peony, Miracle Mauve and Supreme Sienna. Let me know what you think.