Dry, cracked lips are very common this time of year. With Valentine’s Day practically here, now’s a good time to up your lip care game. We talked one-on-one with Dr. Leslie Baumann, world-renowned dermatologist, author, researcher, and natural redhead, to get her tips on the proper way to care for your lips.

Listen to Dr. Baumann on Episode 3 of the How to be a Redhead Podcast 

H2BAR: What ingredients should you avoid in a lip balm? 

DB: Those experiencing acne: Avoid Isopropyl myristate and coconut oil.

Those highly allergic: Avoid essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender and calendula.

Those who experience perioral dermatitis (A facial rash that tends to occur around the mouth): Cinnamon oil and peppermint oil.

H2BAR: What are some of your favorite lip balms?

DB: I am a big fan of Burt’s Bees. They use all natural ingredients –– some have color, some have SPF. For patients with rashes, I like the FixMySkin brand. Their products contain hydrocortisone, which is great for those on Accutane.

H2BAR: How can you treat a cold sore?

DB: Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus. It lives in your nerve endings. Once you are exposed to them, they recur when your immune system is weakened and cannot keep it under control. It is called a cold sore because people often get them when they have a cold. Stress, excess sun and anything else that lowers your immune system can make you susceptible. It is best to ask your doctor for a prescription for an antiviral medication called Valtrex. There is a prescription topical acyclovir that helps but the pills kill the virus the fastest.

Important tip: Never try on lipsticks at a makeup counter. That is a great way to get the HSV virus.

H2BAR: How about super chapped lips? How can you treat dry, cracked lips? 

DB: Drink lots of water and keep them covered with a good lip balm. Other great lip blam brands are Aquaphor and Vaseline.

H2BAR: Can you put sunscreen directly on your lips for extra protection? 

DB: You can but an SPF continuing lip balm is better. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Sunscreen SPF 15 and COOLA Suncare Liplux Sport Lip Treatment SPF 30 are two great ‘redhead friendly’ options.

Want to learn more about the science behind your lips? Head to Skin Type Solutions Instagram

Listen to Dr. Baumann on Episode 3 of the How to be a Redhead Podcast 

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