This past winter was really tough on my skin. Between freezing winds coming off the lake and the dry air, I was left with cracked, painful lips and flaky skin. I finally got my skincare routine down, but my lips were a little bit tougher to deal with. And on top of that, I thought the dead of winter would be a fine time to do a 30 Day Lipstick Challenge (post coming soon!) which beat my poor lips up even more.
So to make it up to my skin, I rounded up some of my favorite products and tricks to heal dry lips. Below are my favorites.
Your lips need gentle exfoliation just like the rest of the skin on your face before they can absorb any moisture. To gently get rid of flakes, I use a sugar scrub after cleansing. I recommend Fresh’s Sugar Lip Polish if you want to go the store-bought route, but homemade scrubs are equally as effective (my trick is brown sugar, white sugar, and olive oil in a 1:1:2 ratio).
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish, $24
Sheet masks are great for intensely hydrating your skin, and the same goes for your lips. These small, lip-shaped sheets lay over your lips for 5-15 minutes to deliver a shot of hydration. Some also gently exfoliate flakes as they moisturize.
Patchology Lip Renewal FlashPatch 5-Minute Hydrogels, $50 for 24
Cherry Lip Gel Patch, $3.30
Obviously, the key to healthy lips is moisturizing. I tend to shy away from balms and Chapsticks unless I’m just wearing them under a lipstick, as I find that they act as a barrier to wind more than they actually moisturize. Instead, I reach for Rosebud Salve. This salve is lightweight but super moisturizing and makes my lips look and feel instantly less dry.
Rosebud Salve, $6
4. Seal the deal
When I went on Accutane a few years ago to deal with my acne, my dermatologist sent me home with ten tiny tubes of Aquaphor. This stuff saved my lips from the havoc that Accutane wreaked (it did clear up my nonresponsive acne, though, so that was nice). Aquaphor’s main ingredients are petroleum and mineral oil, which, while moisturizing, act even better as sealants for the Rosebud Salve I’ve just applied, since Aquaphor doesn’t work as well on flakes. I tend to use it the way you might use a night cream to seal in and protect the rest of the products you’ve just applied to your face.
Aquaphor Healing Skin Ointment, $5.99
This time, I’m talking about water. You can apply moisturizers and masks to your heart’s content, but the other half of healthy lips is hydrating from the inside out. I try to drink 3 liters of water each day (about 100oz), but the consensus is at least 64oz per day.