SEAL THAT KISS

IT’S PROB­A­BLY ON HIGH RO­TA­TION AT THE MO­MENT, BUT YOUR LIP BALM COULD BE DO­ING MORE HARM THAN GOOD

South Burnett Times - - YOU - WORDS: AM­BER MACPHER­SON

Ev­ery win­ter with­out fail, chapped lips let me down. I haven’t kept an of­fi­cial tally, but I’ve no doubt I coat them in paw paw oint­ment at least 20 times a day dur­ing the cold, dry sea­son.

While you may not think twice about turn­ing to your go-to lip balm for re­lief, when you’re rub­bing a sooth­ing so­lu­tion on to one of the most sen­si­tive parts of your body so of­ten, it’s im­por­tant to put your money where your mouth is.

P’ure Pa­pay­acare natur­opath Melissa Ar­giro says most lip-sooth­ing prod­ucts are pe­tro­leum-based and, while they of­fer quick re­lief from the el­e­ments, they do lit­tle to mois­turise the area.

“Balms can con­tain as much as 96 per cent pe­tro­leum jelly,” she says. “It’s pro­cessed, but it’s still a de­riv­a­tive of the petrol. All it’s do­ing is pro­tect­ing from the out­side el­e­ments rather than pro­vid­ing nour­ish­ment.”

Melissa says this can be par­tic­u­larly bad as we in­gest a small amount of what goes on our lips ev­ery time we ap­ply a prod­uct.

“If you’re putting on some­thing to soothe your lips many times a day, it can build up to be quite a sig­nif­i­cant amount (that’s be­ing in­gested),” Melissa says.

“If it’s a bit of lip­stick on a Satur­day night, that’s not too bad, but our bod­ies don’t have the en­zymes to break down the pe­tro­leum we’re putting on them many times a day.”

Melissa rec­om­mends seek­ing out a nat­u­ral prod­uct with mois­tur­is­ing and heal­ing in­gre­di­ents, such as P’ure Pa­paya Lips oint­ment. “We use mostly food-grade in­gre­di­ents. We use the whole fruit of the pa­paya as it has a re­ally nice bal­ance of nu­tri­ents. It ac­tu­ally works to nour­ish and pro­tect your lips,” she says.

If you’re suf­fer­ing from wind­burn or a raw up­per lip from a case of the snif­fles, opt for an oint­ment or balm with honey as it fights bac­te­ria. Melissa says it’s also im­por­tant to look at your life­style to find out what else could be caus­ing your dry lips.

“De­hy­dra­tion is a huge fac­tor and so is drink­ing a lot of cof­fee, lip lick­ing and mouth breath­ing,” Melissa says.

“Then there can be other causes — nu­tri­tional de­fi­cien­cies, med­i­ca­tion. Make sure you have a bal­anced diet and you don’t have any al­ler­gies.”

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