skin care

  • The Best Brown Girl-Approved Sunscreens That Don't Leave a White Cast

    At first squeeze, the richness of Farmacy's Green Defense Daily Mineral Sunscreen may be a bit scary. The formula is light enough to wear during the summer and still feels moisturizing in colder months.

  • 'Everyone should be able to participate in beauty': 8 black-owned beauty brands to shop in 2021

    From nude lipsticks that perfectly match deeper skin tones to shampoos you can trust to cleanse hair, these products are created by and for black women and men. 

  • Why The Corners Of Your Mouth Crack — & How To Fix It

    Just like chapped lips, it’s easy to associate the development of dry, crusty patches on the corners of our mouths with exposure to extreme cold and dryness: too many nights in arid Palm Springs, or too many days fighting frostbite in New York. But it turns out that those flaky patches of skin anchoring our smiles aren’t just an extension of dry, irritated lips gone rogue — and they’re not cold sores, either. Rather, they come courtesy of a condition called angular cheilitis, which can stick around for weeks when left to heal on its own. Not only are the scabs not particularly cute, but they turn things that should be pleasurable into painful tasks, like biting into a big, juicy burger or, uh, smiling. That’s not exactly the kind of thing we’re willing to put up with for weeks on end, so we talked to three experts — a dentist, a dermatologist, and a nutritionist — to help us understand how to shorten that hellish healing time, and prevent new outbreaks from happening in the first place. What is angular cheilitis? The first thing to know about angular cheilitis is that it’s perfectly normal. The condition is so common, in fact, it’s taught on day one of dermatology school, says S. Manjula Jegasothy, M.D., a Miami-based dermatologist. That’s because these annoying little sores stem from something as simple as drool (which, of course, is something we all do — and not just over the brothers Hemsworth). “Yeast is always present in the mouth and saliva, so when we drool in our sleep, it collects in the corners of the mouth, like rain in a gutter,” Dr. Jegasothy explains. This buildup of yeast causes dry, red flakes of skin to form. “Because the grooves in the corners of our mouth get deeper as we age, this can worsen the older we get,” she says. Why do we get angular cheilitis? Though these painful sores can be more likely to form in colder climates, the weather itself isn’t exactly to blame. For one, something as innocuous as dry indoor heating systems or a stuffy nose can cause us to sleep with our mouth open, Dr. Jegasothy says, making the corners of the mouth a perfect destination for traveling drool. As cosmetic dentist Brian Kantor, DDS, of New York’s Lowenberg, Lituchy & Kantor points out, overzealous lip licking can also lead to angular cheilitis (which makes us wonder if Cher or LL Cool J feel our pain, too?). “A person may lick their lips more in an attempt to soothe the pain or dryness of their lips,” he says. “This excess saliva will sit in the corners, which is the perfect warm environment for fungus like yeast to grow. Viruses and bacteria can also cause it to develop.” But that’s not all: Dr. Kantor also says those who regularly have oral thrush (also known as oral candidiasis, a yeast infection that develops on the inside of the mouth and tongue) or inflammatory illnesses, or take prescription drugs such as oral retinoids, corticosteroids, or antibiotics, are more susceptible to developing these corner sores. Those who wear wear braces or smoke, or live with anemia, diabetes, or cancer may also see the condition more frequently. Ditto for those who have an overhang of the upper lip, something that creates deeper angles at the corners of the lips. Diet can also play a part. “A nutritional deficiency of B2, B3, B6, and iron can increase the risk of developing angular cheilitis,” says Maya Feller, a New York-based registered dietitian and nutritionist who specializes in nutrition for chronic disease prevention. “High-carbohydrate diets, as well as glucose-rich diets, can also provide an environment where oral candidiasis can thrive.” How can you prevent angular cheilitis? If these raw, uncomfortable sores stem from yeast, wouldn’t the logical move be to simply blast the stuff from our saliva with some sort of super mouthwash? Not quite, says Dr. Kantor. “Candida is normal in the saliva and you don’t want to eradicate it completely, as it would disturb the normal flora of the mouth,” he says. “No mouthwash could or should be used to kill all of the candida in the mouth. Mouthwash also won’t help or hurt the angles of the mouth when you rinse.” To help keep our oral health and a yeast takeover in check, the dentist suggests maintaining good oral-hygiene habits: brushing twice a day, flossing, and rinsing with an antiseptic mouth rinse. As Feller notes, more common-sense self-care, like rounding out your diet, can also help balance healthy flora in the mouth — something that may lead to fewer instances of corner sores. “From a nutritional standpoint, I would recommend following a balanced diet that provides an abundance of whole and minimally-processed foods including both non-starchy and starchy vegetables, legumes, and fruits,” she says. “For those at risk, such as those with a B vitamin deficiency, anemia, or diabetes, it’s important to make sure that the gastrointestinal system is not compromised and that the body is absorbing all the foods and or supplements they are taking.” How do you treat angular cheilitis? If angular cheilitis rears its ugly head even in the face of best practices, Dr. Jegasothy has one last — and somewhat surprising — line of defense. “Any over-the-counter athlete’s foot cream with butenafine 2%, like Lotrimin Ultra, will help,” she says. Never mind that the stuff may be built for the body part furthest from your face: Twice daily (morning and night) application of the antifungal medicine can regulate and diminish the sore, she says. The reality is that drool happens — even for those who practice all the good sense dietary, oral, and skin-care habits in the world. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Everything You Want To Know About Butt Hair10 Hand Creams That Quench Extremely Dry Skin9 Vitamin C Serums Dermatologists Always Use

  • Here's How to Fix Parched, Dehydrated Skin

    Follow these steps to keep your skin from drying out.

  • At-home beauty: How to take care of your skin after wearing a face mask, according to dermatologists

    Dermatologists Tiffany J. Libby and Fatima Fahs give tips on how to best take care of your skin before and after wearing a protective face covering.

  • At-home beauty: 3 ways to incorporate grapefruit into your beauty routine

    With just one grapefruit from your pantry and a few simple ingredients, here are 3 different recipes you can make to get a natural, healthy glow.

  • The Best Sheet Masks Will Recharge Dull, Distressed Skin

    Slapping on one of these serum-soaked paper masks is more or less maximum skin care—but they don’t all do the same thing. Here’s your guide to the best hydrators, exfoliators, wrinkle reducers, and shine fighters.

  • This is How to Heal a Sunburn Fast

    We asked a real live doctor.

  • How to Layer Your Skin-Care Products in the Correct Order

    We asked dermatologists to break down the order in which to apply skin-care products for optimal use. Consider this your comprehensive guide.

  • SPF That’s Safe for Your Skin: The 10 Best Natural Sunscreens

    Get acquainted with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

  • Why You Keep Getting Ingrown Hairs From Waxing — and How to Get Rid of Them

    Wonder why you keep getting those annoying ingrown hairs after waxing, and what you can do to prevent them? Find out how to get rid of ingrown hairs with tips from a dermatologist.

  • Amazon shoppers are obsessed with this anti-aging moisturizer with over 5,600 near-perfect reviews

    Whether you want to hydrate dry skin or smooth fine lines and wrinkles, you'll want to snap up this incredible deal ASAP! Get it for just $18 while you can!

  • The best anti-aging vitamin C serums for every budget — starting at $18

    We took a closer look at ingredient labels and reviews to find the best vitamin C serums.

  • Amazon's best-selling beauty product is $9 and has more than 28,000 reviews — and here's why

    Here's what everyone is saying about the "world's most popular facial."

  • 'The holy grail of oils:' Over 11,000 shoppers swear by this oil for scars, stretch marks and dry skin—now 22 percent off

    If you haven’t heard of Bio-Oil yet, here's why you need this miracle beauty product—get it for just $28!

  • Dermatologists adore CeraVe — and now you can get your favorites for 40 percent off

    Time to stock up! If you buy one of CeraVe's iconic moisturizers, cleansers, or lotions, you'll snag 40 percent off a second.

  • This moisturizer for dry skin is one of the best new beauty products of 2020

    This super hydrator keeps skin healthy-looking by strengthening its moisture barrier and replenishing it with essential nutrients.  

  • One of Amazon's most popular anti-aging Vitamin C serums is a 'game changer' and it's on sale for $18

    From its low price to skin-transforming results, this wildly-popular LilyAna Naturals serum is a must-have.

  • 14 Moisturizers Derms Swear By For Sensitive Skin

    If your skin is so sensitive that you have to move out of the way when your desk neighbor starts spritzing her essential oil face mist, and a gentle sleeping mask leaves you red, itchy, and bumpy by morning, we understand how frustrating it is to go moisturizer shopping. Without guidance, an aisle full of creams can look like a straight shot to acne and irritation. That's why we called in the pros who know a thing or two about what to do — and what not to do — when it comes to skin sensitivity and allergens. It's important to start with clean skin to prevent transference of bacteria or other irritants before patting on light moisturizers geared toward sensitive skin, says dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD. For dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, it's all about picking your battles. She suggests avoiding chemical sunscreens, physical scrubs, fragrance, parabens, sulfates, dyes, and anything "hot and steamy" (which is code for saunas, hot water, or steam rooms). All of these could be abrasive to the skin barrier and end up causing inflammation. Ahead, check out the pros' picks for sensitive-skin moisturizers that won't break you out, cause rashes, or make your skin crawl (you know the feeling). If you're still experiencing discomfort, talk to your derm about getting a prescription for a clinical treatment. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?Beauty Products To Chill You Out — LiterallyThe Best Drugstore Moisturizer For Skin-Care SnobsSerum Is Better Than Moisturizer — Don't @ Me