Is there anything worse than waking up with sore, chapped lips? OK, I’m sure there are worse things, but this definitely makes my personal Top 10 Peeves during the winter season. Between the whipping winds, chilly temperatures, and blasting the heat to stay warm, it’s easy for lips to find their way into the danger zone. Add in the fact that I am consistently losing my chapstick, and my lips tend to suffer. Aside from dousing your mouth in chapstick every single morning, noon, and night, there are a few other handy ways to keep your lips from chapping.
Whether you suffer from this horrible ailment during the winter, battle it year round, or try to be proactive and prevent your lips from drying out, the tips below will be sure to keep your lips smooth, supple, and satisfied. I spoke to makeup artist and facial specialist Megan Nichols to get her take on how to keep your lips from drying out. The best part about her lip care tips? They’re easy to manage, and they provide awesome results. I tried three of them last night, and my lips already feel more moisturized than they have in months. Read on to find out exactly what you should be doing to keep your lips feeling luscious.
1. Use A Humidifier
"Using a humidifier during the winter has so many benefits," Nichols says. "Simply turning it on can prevent dry skin, dry lips, and dry hair." She adds that you should be replacing the water in your humidifier daily to prevent the water from gathering bacteria and turning a beauty benefit into a disaster.
2. Balm Your Lips Before You Wash Your Face
"Your cleanser can be the culprit [of dry lips]," Nichols says. "More than a few ingredients popular in face washes can disrupt the pH balance of your skin, and cause your lips to dry out quickly." To remedy the situation, she recommends applying a simply lip balm before you wash your face to help prevent your lips from drying out.
3. Exfoliate Your Lips
The same way you treat dry skin, you treat dry lips. "Exfoliating your lips is important to keep the dead cells from piling up," Nichols says . "You can even make your own with brown sugar and coconut oil. It gets the job done, and it tastes delicious." If you have lip flakes, Nichols says not to pick them off, however tempting. "Apply a balm, and wait to get rid of them until you have time to exfoliate."
4. Treat Them With Cucumbers
I was under the impression that cucumbers were reserved for your eyes when it came to spa treatments, but Nichols informed me otherwise. "Putting a slice of cucumber on your lips for five to ten minutes will rehydrate your lips in a hurry," she says. "Try laying a few thin slices on your lips while you're watching television."
5. Stop Licking Your Lips
You would think that licking your lips when they're feeling a little parched would help moisturize them, right? Wrong. "Continuously licking your lips removes their natural oils, leaving them more dry than when you started," Nichols says.
6. Drink More Water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. "Drinking more water will help hydrate your skin and lips from the inside out," Nichols says. "The easiest way to prevent yourself from the winter dry-out is by drinking more water."
7. Use Vaseline
Whether you love it or hate it, Vaseline does the trick. "Petroleum jelly is great for locking moisture into your lips," Nichols says. "My mother and grandmother both swore by Vaseline, and so do I."
8. Avoid Certain Foods
If you're on the edge of chapped lips, there are a few foods to avoid. "Spicy foods, citrus, and salt," says Nichols. "They all pack an extra painful punch when you're suffering from chapped or cracked lips, and can dry your lips out even further."
9. Wear A Scarf
Protect your lips while looking stylish? I'll take it. "Wind is one of the worst culprits when it comes to chapped lips," Nichols says. "Bundling up with a scarf can easily help prevent your lips from drying out, and the rest of your face too!"
10. Use Moisturizing Lipstick
Matte lips may be super in right now, but they'll only add to your misery. "If you still want to wear color when you've got chapped lips, go for something with shea butter and extra vitamins," Nichols says . Her favorite? Smashbox Be Legendary Cream Lipstick, which comes in a variety of shades.
11. Keep It Fragrance Free
Did you know that most flavored lip balms have fragrance in them? Well, that's not doing your lips any good. According to Nichols, "the simpler the formula, the less likely it is to upset your lips." She also recommends keeping a lip balm on you at all times, as it's much easier to prevent chapped lips than to repair the damage.
Try one, try 'em all, and keep your lips looking (and feeling) great all year long!