Cold weather and dry air courtesy of your furnace can lead to dry, chapped lips, which can be painful and make applying lipstick a pain. Want lips that are just as soft this winter as they were during the warmer, more humid months? Follow these easy steps and make your pout completely kiss-worthy.
First, you need to remove that dry skin from the surface of your lips. Using an old, soft toothbrush can be a great way to give dry lips a gentle scrub and slough off dead skin. Lightly wet the toothbrush and scrub away, but make sure you clean the brush well afterwards and keep it for lip use only.
Another way to exfoliate is with a DIY or store-bought scrub. Mix one part honey (less than a teaspoon) with three parts brown sugar for a delicious and effective scrub that will also moisturize while it exfoliates. If you buy a lip exfoliant, look for one that replenishes moisture with ingredients like natural oils. Try: Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant, $16, sephora.com
While lip balm is of course a key element in maintaining soft lips, you’ll need something a little stronger if you’re dealing with very dry skin this winter. After exfoliating, consider slathering lips with coconut oil or a moisturizing lip repair product. The best of these types of products protect skin from environmental damage while attracting water so lips stay hydrated. These are best applied at night or first thing in the morning, so they have time to set before you put on makeup. Try: SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair, $39, skinceuticals.com
Obviously, we can’t all carry around miniature humidifiers so regularly applying lip balm will keep your lips moisturized all day, even when you’re being blasted by dry air in your car or at the office. Because there are so many lip balm formulas to choose from, it’s hard to choose just one that’s right for you, but there are a few guidelines to follow: avoid products with tingling menthol or exfoliating phenol or salicylic acid, which will only make lips drier. As mentioned above, exfoliating your lips should be a gentle process, no harsh acids allowed!
If your lips are really dry, go basic. Avoid fragrances and flavours and choose a lip balm that’s all natural. Ingredients to look for: shea butter, vitamin E, beeswax and natural oils like sunflower and coconut. Try: EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm in Sweet Mint, $3.29, evolutionofsmooth.ca; Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm, $4.89, burtsbees.ca
Try a Tinted Lip Balm
If your lips are really dry, you may want to skip lipstick and opt for tinted balms instead. Just as you would expect, a tinted balm will add colour to your pout with all of the moisturizing benefits of a lip balm. Or, if you’re a diehard lipstick wearer, invest in a formula that promises extra moisture. Lise Watier’s Rouge Fondant Suprême lipstick is infused with antioxidant Labrador Tea, which protects skin from free radicals and helps keep it moist, youthful and elastic. The lipstick feels like a lip balm but looks like a lipstick. Try: Lise Watier Rouge Fondant Suprême, $24, lisewatier.com; Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm, $19, clinique.ca
Lip care dos and don’ts
Do: Exfoliate at least once a week to slough off dry skin.
Don’t: Lick your lips. It’s so tempting but also so drying!
Do: Try using a humidifier at home. It will do wonders for your lips and the rest of your skin.
Don’t: Pick at the dry skin on your lips. Moisturize and try to remove it gently by exfoliating.
Do: Choose choose moisturizing ingredients like natural oils, shea butter and vitamin E.
Don’t: Use lip balms with ingredients like salicylic acid, phenol or menthol.