It’s not yet winter and I have been plagued with chapped lips and dry hands. The is the one things about the fall and winter that I absolutely hate. To make things worse I have this annoying habit of randomly biting lips. This adds insult to injury and makes it even worse. To manage my dry chapped lips I have been using my fingers to apply my lip balm. Until recently, it hadn’t really occurred to me that I was potentially exposing myself to toxic bacteria. I am so so guilty of this. I make my own lip balm. I’m ashamed to say that I use my finger to apply it to my lips multiple times per day.
When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. In public spaces multiple people touch common surfaces such as door knobs, counters, bathrooms, and stair railings to name a few. Not everyone you encounter washes there hands after using the bathroom, and sneezing. The bacteria lies dormant on each surface until it is transferred to another surface. There is no way for us to consciously detect when we touch a bacteria infested surface. Unless we get into the practice of washing our hands every time we touch a public surface we are actively transferring bacteria from one surface to another. Every time we use our fingers to get lip balm we are depositing bacteria into the product and applying it to our lips. This can predispose us to cold viruses, the flu, and pneumonia.
In the winter months cold weather can really wreak havoc on your lips. The cold can cause the skin to lose moisture and become chapped. Especially your lips. Here are 5 tips you should use to apply lip balm.
1). If you prefer to use lip balm from a small container, use clean disposable applicators to apply it. Using a clean applicator reduces your chances of transferring bacteria from your fingers to your lips.
2) Use chapstick instead of lip balm. Be sure to use products that allow you to use it without the help of your fingers.
3). Apply lip balm at night before you go to bed. Applying it at night allows it to moisture your lips uninterrupted. Unlike the daytime, you are asleep. This removes the need to reapply due to eating and drinking.
4). Always check the quality of the balm before you use it. Inspect it for any signs of dirt and bacteria.
5) Check the expiration dates. Lip balm is not meant to last forever. Always check the expiration dates to make sure it has not expired.