The colder months can wreak havoc on your skin, your hair, and even your hands and nails, but many people don’t realize how much cooler temperatures can also affect your lips. Dry lips can lead to irritation, peeling, and even sores, so your lips need a special routine as the seasons change, just like the rest of your beauty routine.
The good news is that there are many ways to keep your lips hydrated — a combination of some key products and lifestyle changes will keep your peckers moisturized during the entire winter season. Here’s what you need to know about creating a winter lip care routine, as well as what to avoid.
What Can Cause Lip Dehydration?
When you’re trying to encourage hydration, it’s important to avoid anything that may dehydrate your lips even further, especially as you’ll soon be battling the windy and cold conditions of winter. Avoiding or minimizing your exposure to products like matte liquid lipsticks will help, and even some lip liners can be irritating.
You may also be surprised to hear that you might be unconsciously causing dryness by licking or picking at your lips. While saliva is hydrating for the inside of your mouth, on your lips it actually further dries them out, and picking can cause even more flakes and lesions. To be safe, avoid touching your mouth and the rest of your face, and actively combat excessive lip licking by using masks and balms regularly.
Drinking enough water is also important. Hydration starts from the inside out, and drinking an appropriate amount of water for your activity level (check with your doctor) will ensure every part of your body, including your lips, stays hydrated. If you have problems remembering to drink up, a reminder on your phone or a marked water bottle can help ensure you’re staying on top of your water intake.
A Three-Step Lip Routine to Keep Your Lips Hydrated
1. Exfoliate With a Scrub
While it may seem counterintuitive to exfoliate when you’re trying to promote hydration, removing the dead skin from your lips will allow the lip care products you follow with to really penetrate and moisturize your lips.
A scrub like the L’Oréal Paris Pure-Sugar Resurface & Energize Kona Coffee Scrub offers both a gentle but firm exfoliating experience to smooth and refine your skin — lips included. Take a small amount of the scrub and apply it to your mouth using dry fingers. Then, wet your fingers or a washcloth and massage over your lips for a minute or two before rinsing with warm water.
Scrubs can be used as needed, but making them part of your regular routine (about three times a week) will help to combat any dryness or flakiness as winter progresses.
2. Apply a Lip Mask
Lip masks work by providing concentrated hydration and moisturization, and they come in a number of different formulations. You can opt for a sheet, cream, or clay option, but for maximum penetration and hydration your best bet will probably be a cream.
Make sure to follow the packaging instructions, as some masks are meant to be used overnight while others should be kept on for shorter periods. When time is up, gently remove the sheet, cream, or clay with a cotton round or washcloth.
3. Finish With a Lip Balm or Lip Oil
A lip balm is key to locking in moisture while also providing a hydration boost and protecting the delicate skin on your lips. A product like the L’Oreal Paris Glow Paradise Lip Balm-in-Gloss Pomegranate Extract will offer the conditioning power of a balm with the color payoff of a lip gloss, plus the infusion of pomegranate extract and hyaluronic acid for all-day hydration.
If you’re dealing with extreme dehydration or dryness, a lip oil will provide even more hydration. Lip oils can come as gels, glosses, and balms, and depending on the consistency, you can use them with another lip product or on their own. Want to keep things simple? Good old petroleum jelly can also work to seal in moisture.
Written By: Témi Adebowale, Photography: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate, Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Digital Tech: Paul Yem, Photo Assistant: Matt Licari, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Alexis Badiyi, Wardrobe Assistant: Jazmine Alzado, Model: Michael Cota