Smooth Lips for the Winter

Winter is here, or if you live in the south, then it’s kind of, sort of on the way. If you’re a beauty junkie, this is the time to wear all your dark matte lipsticks (even some of your pesky liquid lipsticks). We can all agree that dry, chapped lips are an eyesore, whether you’re wearing a bold lip or going au naturel. Here are some steps + tips to make chapped lips a thing of the past. You’ll want to do the majority of these steps as part of your nighttime skincare routine, this is so that you can see some results as early as the next morning, plus you’re more likely to have time to do all the steps at night, than you are to do them when you’re in a rush to get to work/school.

Exfoliate: To exfoliate, I start off with my e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator to manually scrub off any loose bits of skin on my lips, I scrub in circular motions until I feel like all those loose bits have been dislodged. I then go on to cleansing my face, I always take off my cleanser with a washcloth, so when I’m done with my face, I use the washcloth to give my lips another scrub just to get off any loose bits that may be left.

I follow up with chemical exfoliation, this does all the heavy duty work of breaking up the bonds that hold the dead skin cells to your skin. This will get off all the bits that you can’t get manually. This part I only do at night, I use whatever is left over on the cotton pad after applying it to my face, and I really work it into the lips, getting into all the areas of my lips including the lines and the corners (you do not want to use too much of the product on your lips, might burn, whatever is left on your still damp cotton pad is enough). I find that Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) are best for this, glycolic acid is my AHA of choice. I’ll either use my Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner, or my Sanitas Skincare Glycotoner 10%, I’ve written about both these toners here. If you’ve never used glycolic acid before, I suggest starting with a lower percentage, the Mario Badescu toner has 2% glycolic acid so it’s perfect for a beginner, then you can work your way up to 5% (the Sanitas Skincare Glycotoner comes in a 5%), 10%, and higher percentages.

Moisturize: The next step is to moisturize (this step, I do at least AM & PM), you want to moisturize your lips because this will prevent the lips from getting dry, and chapped, and you really want to nourish your lips after exfoliating to replenish them of any moisture that was lost during the process. I use the old formula of the Dermstore Lip Quench, which I have already reviewed, they have changed the formula now, but if you read the review and have any recommendations for other lip balms that are comparable, let me know in the comments. If you don’t have that, the Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith’s Strawberry Lip Balm is another favorite of mine, it’s not as thick and sticky as the Dermstore one, which means that you would have to reapply it more often, but it definitely moisturizes, and because it’s not thick and sticky, you can wear it under lipsticks and it doesn’t change their texture or make them less long wearing. The one bad thing about it is the jar packaging, it makes me feel icky about reapplying it on the go.

If you want to go a step further or you live in an area where the weather gets super cold, then this tip is Minnesota weather approved. After you’ve exfoliated, apply your most hydrating eye cream on your lips, the same way you would put on a lip balm, I use the Shikai Borage Therapy Eye Cream for this. Then go over the eye cream with a lip balm that contains petrolatum/mineral oil, the mineral oil will seal in the moisture from the eye cream. You’ll really see a difference in how long your lips stay hydrated. You can also do this in the daytime, just make sure to let it sink in before applying lipstick.

Protect: This is a very important step. I think that eyes, and lips are areas that people neglect to protect with SPF. You really want to protect your lips from the effects of sun damage. If I’m going out in the daytime, I wear a lip balm with SPF, I let it sit on my lips for at least 10 mins (or while I do the rest of my makeup) before going outside or putting on lipstick. Most times I use the Blistex Five Star Lip Protection, it has broad spectrum SPF 30. If I want the SPF, and lip color in one step, I go for the Blistex Lip Vibrance, it has a nice pink tint with some sheen to it, and SPF 15. Blistex does a good range of lips balms with SPF, and you can find one that works for you.

 Extra tips

  • When you’re doing your skincare routine, don’t neglect your lips, use products like masks, eye creams, serums, exfoliators, toners, moisturizers etc. around your lips, unless the instructions say to avoid the lips. (Don’t forget your neck & hands!)
  • When your lips are dry, and chapped (or on the verge of being both), and you have that urge to lick your lips, don’t give in. In my experience, licking your lips makes them feel dryer, and makes them hurt even more, plus you get those tiny bruises on the sides of your lips which take days to get rid of.
  • Avoid picking at the flaky bits of skin, it’s all fun and games till your lips start bleeding.
  • Save yourself the pain, and always have your lip balm, put one in every purse or clothing pocket you own if you have to.

What is your favorite lip balm? Let me know in the comments.

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