The Man Guide to Lip Protection

Ever lean in for a kiss only to find a cheek? Ever notice your co-workers paying more attention to your cracked lips, rather than your words? You simply can’t hide from lip issues. Dry, chapped lips and cold sores are not only distracting and painful, they can make us feel self-conscious at times.

There are numerous culprits: dry weather, overexposure to the sun, lip biting and sucking, riboflavin (vitamin B-2) deficiencies, hormones, stress and viruses. Fortunately, there are also solutions. Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know about lip protection:

  • Labels are important. Look for lip balms and moisturizers withtea tree oil (melaleuca), D-alpha (tocopherol), soybean oil (glycine soja) and palmitoyl oligopeptide (a protein). These are powerhouse ingredients that repair damaged lips and keep them clean, fresh and conditioned. The oligopeptide (protein) also helps with those lines that begin to creep up as we age.
  • Lip balm is pocket sized for a reason. Reapplication is key, especially if you are prone to chapped lips or live in dry conditions. Stick the tube in your pocket as reminder to reapply.
  • Nervous habits should be kicked. Do you bite or suck your lips? All the lip balm in the world won’t work if you lick it all off. Make a conscious effort to kick these habits.
  • Lips need sunscreen too. You know you should slather sunscreen on your face, but did you know your lips need added sun protection too? The skin on your lips is especially thin and more susceptible to sun damage than many other parts of your body. If you’re going to be out in the sun, look for lip protection with at least an SPF 15.
  • Drink water. Water consumption alone won’t solve your lip problems, but it will keep your body hydrated and in turn help keep lips from chapping. Chug it all day long.

Bottom line: take care of your lips. They are one of the first features most people notice about your face. Besides, we all know how irritating cracked lips and cold sores can be.