8 Simple Ways to Help Prevent Chapped Lips
Everyone and their mother has dealt with parched, chapped lips at some point. Not only does it feel incredibly uncomfortable, they can also take awhile to go back to their previously supple selves. Luckily, there are a handful of steps you can take to help prevent your pout from chapping in the first place. Below, tips on how to keep dryness at bay to restore soft, supple, kiss-ready lips.
STOP LICKING YOUR LIPS
Think licking your lips adds moisture to them? Think again. You might notice some very temporary relief, but the act actually causes your lips to dry out more, according to the Mayo Clinic, since saliva evaporates quickly. Fight all the urges to lick, bite, and pick at your lips. If you’re an aggressive lip-licker, consider coating your lips in a balm that has a particularly bad taste. Hey, you never know what might work.
BREATHE THROUGH YOUR NOSE
Did you know that something so routine as breathing through your mouth can dry out your lips? Try breathing through your nose instead. It might take some getting used to, but your lips will thank you.
EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE, EXFOLIATE
When dead skin cells are stuck on the surface of your lips, it’ll prevent any conditioners from fully penetrating the delicate skin. Reach for a gentle lip exfoliator, like The Body Shop Lip Scuff, that’ll help eliminate lip flakes and add much-needed moisture. If you’d rather whip up your own exfoliating lip scrub, follow this DIY recipe.
APPLY LIP BALM
Immediately after you exfoliate your lips, you should apply a hydrating lip balm with nourishing oils. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1—one of our all-time faves—is formulated with soothing emollients like squalanea, lanolin, wheat germ oil, and vitamin E. Coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, and almond oil are also good options to apply liberally as needed.
DON’T FORGET SUNSCREEN
Just like the sun can dry out (and burn!) our facial and body skin, so too can it cause cracked, painful skin on our puckers. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the SPF. Swap your favorite lip balm for one with SPF benefits, like The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Care Stick SPF 15.
USE A CONDITIONING LIPSTICK
Matte lipsticks are all the rage right now, but they might also be causing your lips to be drier than normal, so seek out a creamier lipstick. We love L'Oréal Paris Colour Riche Lipcolor since its formula boasts vitamin E, argan oil, and omega 3 to condition and soften the lips. There’s also 46 shades—yes, you read that correctly—to choose from so we never stick to just one. If you must go matte (we get it, it’s trendy), apply a lip conditioner first.
You hear it all the time: Hydrate your skin from the inside out. In addition to your lip balms and moisturizing lipsticks, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Invest in a humidifier, too, if the air in your home is lacking moisture.
Coating your lips with irritants or allergens—think: fragrances or dyes—is a surefire way to dry out your lips. If you’re sensitive, pass on a scented or flavored balm and stick to one without a laundry list of ingredients.
Still can’t find any relief? Pay a visit to a dermatologist for more aggressive treatment if your lips are severely chapped.