We’ve all been there: The season just changed and your lips are already screaming for help. Yes, chapped lips are the worst! The good news is that there are some pretty easy-to-follow tips that can help you not only preventing them but also curing chapped, dry lips in record time.
1. Try a lip essence Just like the skin of your face, the skin of your lips can also benefit from an essence. You can get rid of chapped lips faster if you add a lip essence (like Too Cool For School‘s Maybe Baby Lip) to your routine—or even by applying your regular one (the same you put on your face) onto your lips. This has proven to be pretty effective especially if you’re facing dry patches here and there. I tested it myself and got rid of a stubborn dry patch in three days by adding a touch of COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence on my lips one minute before putting on my favorite lip balm or my lip mask at night—more on that below.
2. Add a lip mask to your routine Again, it feels like extending the TLC you put on your face to your lips. A good lip mask can be what’s separating you from soft lips and even from being able to put on a matte lipstick every day, no matter the season. You can try one like Skinfood’s Pomegranate Collagen Lip Mask to add moisture, or treat sensitive lips with Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask. This one is enriched with natural ingredients (like berry extracts and murumuru seed butter) and hyaluronic acid to moisturize and form a film that helps to lock in the hydration your lips need to recover and be protected. You can actually use the lip mask every day, especially if you’re dealing with chapped, flaky lips.
3. Gently exfoliate Speaking about flaky lips, we recommend you to exfoliate your lips about two to three times a week to help this sensitive skin to recover. Again, you can use the exfoliating side of Too Cool For School‘s Maybe Baby Lip, a brown-sugar exfoliating formula like Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish, or even a soft damp toothbrush to gently remove flakes. Then, cover them with a slick ointment—the oilier, the better, since oils help lock in moisture and prevent dehydration.
4. Avoid flavored balms We know how hard it is to resist to the delicious scent and flavor of our favorite lip balms. But that is exactly the problem with them—just think how hard it will be to resist the urge to lick your lips. When lips are moist on the surface from your saliva, they attract moisture from deep within the skin—which eventually evaporates into the dry air. Add to this the fact that the acids in your saliva can break down the skin, ouch!
5. Stay away from certain ingredients The formulation of some lip balms and treatments can actually cause your lips to feel drier, no matter how many times you reapply the product. For example, formulas that contain phenol, camphor, menthol, and salicylic acid can immediately soothe or exfoliate dead cells from the surface of your lips but, in the long term, they may be irritating to the lips. Instead, opt for hydrating ingredients like petrolatum, which is a soft wax.
6.Use a lip balm with SPF If you’ve experienced a level of chap that no amount of brown sugar, toothbrushes, balm, or water can rescue, the answer may be found in SPF (because yes, sun can still be the one to blame even during fall or winter). Your lips have the thinnest skin plus, they can’t hold moisture. Now combine with this the cold winds, dry air, and exposure to UV rays and you get the perfect environment for inflammation—which, by the way, makes cracking and chapping lips even worse.
7. Identify and treat inflammation If your lips are not only dry but swollen, chances are you have a lip inflammation. In this case, the best solution is to look for products that have cortisone (to sooth the irritation and swelling) combined with hydrating ingredients such as petroleum or beeswax—that will help treat chapping.