More than words escape from lips on a regular basis. Moisture can also bolt from that delicate top layer of skin, especially after exposure to cold and sun. These elements can leave those smoochers dry, chapped and cracked, which means its time to switch out some products and update your beauty regimen.
The most effective prevention and solution for chapped lips remains effective moisturizing products. Invest in a lip balm with vitamin E, shea butter, coconut oil or lanolin. Opt for an unscented and unflavored lip balm, since many of those additives dry out sensitive skin and might also tempt you to lick your lips, another major cause of dry lips.
If you are going to be in the sun, apply a moisturizing balm with SPF to keep the sun's drying rays at bay. Apply the product regularly throughout the day, especially after eating, brushing your teeth or drinking coffee or juice. Focus a little extra product on the corners of your mouth and the edges of your lips, where chapping can become painful or severe.
Switch out your toothpaste and mouthwash for natural formulas, since many of these products have drying agents. Also avoid lipsticks, foundations and beauty products with fragrances or additives that can spur on chapping.
If you are going to be out in dry, windy conditions and your lips do not have any major cracks or cuts, apply a wax-based balm. It creates a barrier between the dry air and your skin to prevent future chapping.
Severely chapped lips often come with uncomfortable flakes of dried skin. As enticing as they are to pick off, avoid the temptation. Instead, gently exfoliate your lips with a small, soft toothbrush after you have brushed your teeth and before bed.
If you'd prefer to skip the balm, apply a pea-sized amount of coconut oil to the toothbrush and gently sweep it over your chapped lips to gently take off any flakes. Alternatively, apply the coconut oil directly to your lips and massage them with a damp wash cloth in gentle circular motions. Follow up the exfoliation with some petroleum jelly. Apply a dab of rich eye cream at the corners of the mouth for lasting hydration.
Avoid exfoliating your lips if they are cut or have open wounds. They can be further opened, damaged or infected if the wounds are rubbed. Instead, stick to gently washing your lips and applying a rich moisturizer. See a doctor if you experience persistent cracking.
If your lips are chapped but have no abrasions or soreness, you can make an at-home exfoliation treatment in minutes. Mix together a couple tablespoons of honey with a teaspoon of sugar. Apply the mixture to your lips and gently work the product into your lips in circular motions. Avoid rubbing into the skin with harsh back-and-forth motions.
Rinse the honey mixture off of your lips and immediately follow up with a shea-butter balm, petroleum jelly or coconut oil. Only apply this kind of exfoliation treatment once a week at most.
Drink water regularly and sleep with a humidifier at night to increase your body's moisture and to help prevent chapping.