25 Genius Ways to Prevent and Cure Chapped Lips

Lips

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As the air starts to lose its moisture, our skin, hands, and lips follow suit. Sure, you should restock your desk, purse, and bedroom with Chapstick. But to score truly gorgeous, soft, touch-me lips, try one or all of these chapped lip killers.

1.  Before you wash your face, apply a balm to your lips. Your cleanser may actually be drying out your lips—both salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide disrupt your pH balance and can cause chapping.

2. Use almond oil. The hypoallergenic moisturizer pops up in Kiehl’s Lip Blam #1 ($7, kiehls.com), which also contains free radical-fighters vitamins A and E.

3. Turn on a humidifier at night—it helps keeps your lips (and skin) moisturized.

4. For chapped and sore lips, slice up a cucumber into thin pieces and leave them over lips for five minutes (try it while you’re watching TV). It helps rehydrates your lips, and feels fantastic.

5. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate. Use a lip exfoliator like ILIA Balmy Nights Lip Exfoliator ($24, iliabeauty.com) or make an at-home paste with sugar and honey. For very sensitive lips, use a clean, soft toothbrush and brush it back and forth.

6. Don’t lick your lips. We lick our dry lips to add some moisture, but it actually dries them out even more. Your saliva contains acids that break down food, but they also irritate your lips. Plus, continuously licking will remove any natural oils you have on your lips.

7. Breathe through your nose. Something as little as breathing through your mouth can actually dry out your lips.

8. Got lip flakes? Resist the urge to pick at them. Instead, soften them with lip balm, and exfoliate them off.

9. Use sunscreen to prevent burned, chapped lips. Already chapped? Skip the SPF so it doesn’t irritate the sensitive skin.

10. Another ingredient to look for: Shea butter, which nourishes and moisturizes. Try Eraclea Ever-moist Lip Balm ($16, eracleaskincare.com) which gives lips a silky smooth finish and subtle shine.

11. Chapped lips will heal best when they’re moist, so stick to lip balms and skip lip waxes.

12. On the flip side, if your lips are looking good, use a beeswax when you’re going to be outside for a while (beeswax works as a barrier against dehydration). Try Burt’s Bees Beeswax lip balm—it seals in moisture and has a nice peppermint taste.

13. Stick to lipsticks with conditioners like vitamin E, macadamia oil, and shea butter.

14. Take a pass on matte lip colors in favor of moisturizing lipsticks. If you must go matte (hey, it’s a hot trend this season!), apply a lip conditioner before. Our favorite—Estée Lauder Lip Conditioner ($18.50, esteelauder.com) with shea butter and vitamin E.

15. Drink water. Hydrating from the inside will help keep your lips from getting dry.

16. Use a toothpaste that doesn’t contain synthetic flavors (they can cause an allergic reaction, making your lips flaky). A great one is Squigle, a paste that’s free of ingredients that can irritate your skin.

17. If your lips are chapped, take a pass on drinking orange juice, eating grapefruit, and putting any other citrus fruits near your lips—they can cause more dryness.

18. Rub on aloe vera. It helps relieve the pain and heals small cuts that occur when your lips are chapped or burned.

19.  The oldest trick in the book—petroleum jelly. Vaseline Rich Conditioning Petroleum Jelly Cocoa Butter ($3.99, vaseline.us) is super moisturizing, plus it has a yummy chocolaty scent.

20. Since fragrances can cause allergic reactions, stick to balms without strong scents or flavors.

21.  Say goodbye to those hot wings for a while, because yes, spicy foods can dry out your lips.

22.  Ditto for salty treats.

23. Wear a scarf over your mouth—wind is a biggie when it comes to chapping.

24. Suffering from really bad chapping? Look for a treatment with ceramides, which help to restore the skin barrier.

25. Nothing working? You may be suffering from an allergic reaction. See your dermatologist to be sure.

Read more: How to Prevent Dry Skin Before the Cold Sets In

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