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Winter Skin Care Tips: Safe Alternatives to Soothing Cracked Skin

by Kara McNabb, N.H.E.

‘Tis the season for dry skin and chapped lips. What are you doing to keep your kisser soft? If you’re using a lip balm product, check the ingredients. You could be putting gasoline on your lips! If you see petroleum listed, it’s time to toss it. This ingredient is actually adding to the problem, as it’s very drying.

We’ve got safer options for you at herbs etc. Try out the Zum stick, which can work for lips, hands or anything chapped. Keeki’s Pure & Natural also comes in yummy flavors and is great for kids. If you’re into making it yourself, check out our DIY Corner for a homemade recipe.

Why do lips get chapped in the first place? Dry weather and wind is one contributor, but fats, oils and hydration are also key. At a minimum, you should be getting two tablespoons per day of unheated, healthy fats, like coconut oil, sesame oil or butter. A great rule of thumb for staying hydrated is to drink half your body weight in ounces in water or herbal teas. Coffee, juice and soda doesn’t count, as these beverages actually deplete your body of water.

As the season changes, so does our vitamin D levels. With cloudier skies and less time outdoors, we’re no longer exposed to as much sunshine. When we process vitamin D properly, we can better make use of fat-soluble vitamins like E and A which keeps us from cracking and drying out.

Our lips can also be a sign of internal health. Where you’re cracked or chapped can provide clues about what’s happening inside. Take a look at the lip chart to determine which internal areas could use support.

Are your hands cracked? Use the cell salt Kali Sulph, as these minerals are the fat and oil distributors. Add two additional tablespoons of fats or oils to your daily routine, for a total of four.

For men who work outside or in grease, try one of the several natural hand salves available at herbs etc. They’re made by Naturopathic Institute grads and Mt. Pleasant locals.

Whatever you do, avoid the Vaseline!

What your lips reveal
Even your lips contain a map to internal health. Discoloration of various areas of the lips may indicate a disorder of the respective organ.