5 ways to soothe dry winter eyelids and lips, according to dermatologists


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  • Dry eyelids and flaky lips are common winter skin symptoms.
  • Check the ingredients in your eye cream and lip balm and toss ones that have drying agents like retinol, dermatologists say.
  • Swap out drying ingredients for emollients like Vaseline or petroleum jelly.

Dermatologists recommend switching your skincare routine each season to prevent dry skin as the weather changes. It’s important to incorporate moisturizing eye creme and lip balm into your regimen to protect the sensitive skin on your eyelids and lips too, experts say.

“The cold weather has a significant effect on our body, and that includes our lips,” dermatologist Dr. Melissa Piliang told the Cleveland Clinic.

Check the ingredient list of the products you use on your eyelids and lips and identify the ones that contain drying ingredients like retinol and menthol, experts recommend. Dermatologists say replacing drying agents with simple emollients, like Vaseline, along with drinking plenty of water, can help reduce flakiness.

Check your eye cream for retinol, which can be drying

Retinol is a common skincare ingredient found in serums, eye creams, and moisturizers and is used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. However, dermatologist Dr. Kenneth Mark previously told Insider retinol can also be drying for people with sensitive skin, especially during the winter.

Mark said check your eye cream for retinol and cut it out of your routine if you are experiencing dry eyelids.

Don’t use lip balms that contain camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol

Lip balms can moisturize your lips, but some contain ingredients that irritate dry skin in the winter.

Piliang told the Cleveland Clinic people should check their lip balm for camphor, eucalyptus, and menthol, which can soothe lips at first, and then dry them out.

Exfoliate your lips

Dry lips can quickly accumulate dry skin. Dr. Mary L. Stevenson, a board-certified dermatologist, told NBC News people should regularly exfoliate their lips to remove the dry skin.

“You want to be extremely gentle with exfoliation and not scrub your lips raw,” Stevenson said. “Use a scrub with sugar or a warm washcloth. Just don’t scrub it so hard that it can cause redness.”

Apply Vaseline on your eyelids and lips

Vaseline or petroleum jelly can repair your cracked eyelids and lips, Dr. Muneeb Shah previously told Insider.

He said people with dry skin should try “slugging,” which means applying a thick emollient — or ingredients that soften the skin and hold in moisture — like petroleum jelly or Vaseline to your skin.

Replacing eye and lip products with basic emollients can soften and heal dry skin and lock in moisture, according to Muneeb.

Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly

Products aside, Dr. Nava Greenfield, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, previously told Insider you should drink plenty of water to properly hydrate your skin.

This will keep your skin balanced and less likely to flake during the winter, including your delicate eyelids and lips, she said.

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