This month, Dr Georgia Lee, medical director of the TLC Lifestyle Practice Clinic, explains how to deal with sensitive skin and chapped lips.
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I use lip balms regularly and keep myself hydrated, but my lips dry out every few hours. How can I prevent this? Samantha N.
Do you have a habit of licking your lips? If you do, that could be the cause of the dryness. Reapply your lip balm every time you catch yourself licking your lips – the balm forms a barrier to protect them from saliva, which can be drying. Since the lips have no oil glands, you should pick an occlusive product, such as a petroleum-based balm, that will prevent moisture loss.
At what age should women start using anti-ageing skincare? Melissa Lam
Do older members of your immediate family show signs of prematurely ageing skin? If they do, you can consider using anti-ageing skincare in your early 20s. Also, if you have dry skin, you should get into the habit of moisturising (both the face and the body) as early on as possible, as dry skin is more prone to fine lines and wrinkles than oily skin. Sunscreen should also be applied daily, ideally starting from your teenage years, as most sun damage starts then.
I have sensitive, combination skin and often get red patches on my face. Moisturisers don’t seem to help. Any advice? Koh Lee Heah
The bad news is, those with sensitive skin can experience irritation even with the use of moisturisers. And worse yet, environmental factors, such as pollution and extreme changes in weather, as well as lifestyle factors, such as fatigue and frequent exposure to drying environments (think flight cabins and air-conditioned rooms), can aggravate skin sensitivity.
I suggest that you keep to the basics – a cleanser and a moisturiser – when it comes to skincare. To prevent further irritation, wash your face – especially important after prolonged outdoor exposure – gently and with room-temperature water, and choose products that are fragrance-free.
Once your skin is less sensitive, add a physical sunblock (one with mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide) to your routine – this is less likely to cause irritation compared to one that has chemical filters .
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