Chapped, cracked and dry lips are the worst things about winter. Our lips lose moisture much faster than other parts of the body as there are no sweat or oil glands beneath the surface. "In winter, keeping the skin of the lips soft and smooth can present a problem due to lack of moisture and the effect of lip make-up," said beauty expert Shahnaz Husain. "But, before you move to expensive beauty salons for time consuming expert treatment, some home remedies like intake of sufficient quantity of fluids in form of soups, green tea, seasonal fruits, oil nourishment and intake of clean water can provide sufficient hydration and moisture to the body to get smooth lips in winters," she added. Husain further said that nutritional deficiencies can also lead to dry and chapped lips. Vitamins A, C and B2 are important for the lips. She recommends eating foods like citrus fruits, ripe papaya, tomatoes, carrots, green leafy vegetables, nuts, whole-grains, oats, and milk products. "Use glossy lipsticks and lip balms. Avoid soap and powder on lips. Remove lipstick with a cleansing cream or gel. Apply almond oil or cream at night and leave on," she added. Husain recommends the usage of argan and coconut oil to nourish the skin on the lips. Argon oil is actually native to Morocco, where it has been traditionally used for food purposes, as well as to treat skin and scalp problems. Today, it is being increasingly used to make cosmetics like moisturisers, creams, lotions, face packs, hair oils, hair conditioners, etc. Argan oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids and Vitamin E. Since it contains Vitamin E and antioxidants, it helps to delay the visible ageing sign and even rejuvenate the skin. It protects the youthful properties of the skin, like elasticity and resilience. As it is easily absorbed by the skin, it can be ideal for care of the lips. The fatty acids also nourish and soften the skin. The oil was used for medicinal purposes to cure skin problems and also heal and soothe burns. It nourishes the skin and improves skin texture. Coconut oil has also been valued for its nourishing and moisturizing ability. It has a great skin softening ability and helps to make the skin soft and smooth. It may be applied on the lips and is also said to protect the skin from the damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun. It is said to protect the skin better than cream. It also helps to heal cracks on the lips. In fact, it can be used to remove make-up from the face, including the lips. "Coconut oil may be applied on the lips and left on overnight. Or, it can be left on for 15 minutes and wiped off with moist cotton wool. The advantage is that unlike other preparations that may contain synthetic ingredients, coconut oil can be safely applied on the lips and even ingested. Another advantage is that unlike other oils, coconut oil does not become rancid," Husain said.
Natural garlic-derived compounds combined with flourine could be used as a potent drug therapy to block tumour growth and formation of blood clots, a study suggests. For centuries, garlic has been used as a natural medicine. Scientists have found that compounds in garlic serve as a natural antibiotic to prevent and fight various diseases and illnesses. In a study published in the journal Molecules, the researchers from the University at Albany in the US hypothesised that adding fluorine into natural garlic-derived compounds would enhance beneficial biological activity. Fluorine is one of the most reactive elements in the periodic table and widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. To test their hypothesis, the scientists modified several garlic compounds, replacing hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms. Once completed, they used 10-day-old chick embryo eggs to compare the effectiveness of the fluorine-modified compounds and unmodified compounds as anti-angiogenesis and antithrombotic agents. Anti-angiogenesis agents are used to fight against cancer by blocking tumour growth, while antithrombotic agents help reduce the formation of blood clots. The results showed that the modified compounds were superior in biological activity and should be considered in the development of future drug therapies. "Our results show evidence that new pharmaceuticals can involve modifying naturally-formed garlic compounds to enhance their beneficial biological activity," said Eric Block, from the University at Albany.