Winterize Your Lips

By Erin Quinn

The cold temps and strong winds of winter can seemingly suck every molecule of moisture out of your lips. Here’s how to keep your lips kissably soft all season:

Gently exfoliate. Rubbing lips with a washcloth or toothbrush can help remove dry skin from your pout. “The secret is to avoid being too abrasive,” says Alan Logan, ND. “Overexfoliating will just make lips drier.” Clearing your lips of dead skin cells not only makes them look better, but it also preps them for a lip balm or gloss.

Stop licking. A quick lick may give parched lips temporary relief, but it will actually make them drier in the long run. Lips don’t have oil glands, and licking them “strips away good oils that migrate to the lips from the surrounding facial tissue,” says Logan. “Also saliva isn’t a barrier against the air like a balm or gloss, and the acids it contains may inflame cracks.”

Pick the right balm. Beeswax and aloe are the classic soothing and barrier ingredients in lip balms. But Logan says manufacturers are infusing new products with even better components: Green tea and pomegranate oil contain antioxidants that prevent lips from drying out and cracking; primrose oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil contain essential fatty acids that keep lips feeling and looking supple. And just because it isn’t sunny out doesn’t mean you can skip sunscreen. Pick a stick with an SPF of at least 15.