How to Protect Lips & Delicate Areas in Winter

Featured image courtesy the very talented Krista Dragomer

Dear BY&TM,

Every winter, my lips get incredibly dry, to the point where they crack and sometimes bleed. My nose and my hands also tend to get very dry, raw and flakey. It’s gotten especially worse now that the temperature has dropped and the heat is blasting non-stop in my apartment. I’ve been putting oils and balms on my hands and skin but that doesn’t seem to be helping. What can I do?


Dried Out in New York

Dear Dried Out,

The first thing we need to remember about balms is that there is no such thing as a moisturizing balm. Balms are occlusive, protective layers that don’t let water in or out. This is why using a balm on your lips and hands may feel good short term, but only makes it worse long term. In fact, using a balm in this manner, just like trying to use an oil by itself in place of a moisturizer, can create barrier damage by not allowing the skin to function properly. We’ll actually be going into this further in an upcoming blog post.

The key to preventing this is to make sure to provide ample lubrication and hydration under the balm before you head out into the cold. Our choice: either your Moisture Duo (If you are experiencing painful and flakey areas or if you are prone to cold sores, try Cow Fart Juice + a Mineral Mist or your regular Nourish & Replenish + the Mineral Mist that you’re already using).

For Dry Lips
Be sure to include your lips each night when you oil cleanse by gently massaging your lips with NO EVIL and a little water. Follow this with your Moisture Duo, making sure to also apply it to your lips (morning and night). In the morning, let your Moisture Duo sink in (about 2-3 minutes) before applying a balm, like Bumble Balm for normal skin, Honey Balm for those who tend towards peeling skin or Cow Fart Goo if you tend toward cold sores or things don’t heal well on you in general.

If there is chapped, flakey skin build-up on your lips, add a little salt to a few drops of NO EVIL and gently apply to the lips. Hold a steamy, warm washcloth over the paste for a few moments before you massage your lips in a circular motion.  Remove the paste with your washcloth after you have rinsed it again in clean water. This is best done at night before bed and without applying a balm afterwards.

For The Face

NO EVIL is a superior membrane protector that is also suited for the face, shielding your delicate areas from cold winds of winter and the dry heat inside your home. To use in this way, massage your Moisture Duo into your skin as you usually would (3 drops Nourish & Replenish Oil and 6 pumps of your Mineral Mist, for the winter and if you are prone to dehydration, then dab 2-4 drops of NO EVIL on areas that tend to become dry and flakey: around the nose, ears, and lips.

Pore Refining Clay Mask is a soothing way to bring overall relief to dry winter skin. Mix 3 tbsp water into 2 tbsp dry powder and let sit. Apply over clean skin that has been gently massaged with a few drops of Nourish & Replenish Oil or Cow Fart Juice. Relax with this mask on your face for 5-10 minutes, preferably with a warm, wet, towel on top to prevent the mask from drying out. Remove by pressing the towel firmly into the mask and pausing for a moment to dampen the clay before gently wiping away.

For The Hands
Scoop out 1 tsp Ancient Secrets Body Scrub and place it in your palm. Rub hands together. Now run your water kind of hot, but not burning or boiling. Put your hands under the running water and massage for another 30 seconds. Remove hands from the water and towel dry.

If you don’t want to use salt, drip 10 drops of No Evil and two drops of Cow Fart Juice into your palm-especially if you tends towards open skin (or just go ahead and use 12 drops of your favorite skin-friendly oil). Follow directions as above.


Sledding scene courtesy Pohl Pálma [CC BY-SA 3.0] via Wikimedia Commons