We’re all susceptible to dry lips. Especially as the weather gets colder and windier, our lips lack moisture and get more chapped. Habitually licking our lips and a lack of humidity are a couple causes of chapped lips, shares dermatologist Patricia Wexler, MD. She suggests protecting your lips. “It’s easier than treating,” says Wexler. How? For starters, don’t lick lips, which is irritating and dehydrating. Other recommendations include drinking ample amounts of water, exfoliating gently, and lesser-known tips like opting for balms with ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil instead of petroleum jelly.
What’s more, our lips are one of the first areas to show signs of aging shares Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Soko Glam and The Klog. That’s because the skin on our lips is the thinnest skin on our body, even thinner than the skin around our eyes and neck, she explains. To learn how to protect and treat our lips from cracking and peelings, and to learn about anti-aging remedies you can do immediately, keep reading. Ahead, experts share their number one tips for the perfect pout.
APPLY ESSENCE TO YOUR LIPS
Lips are one of the first areas to show signs of aging, explains Cho. Her recommendation is to add essence steps to your daily skincare routine. She suggests applying the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence over the lips as well for added hydration. “Then lock in the moisture with the Missha Essential Care Lip Treatment With SPF 15, a balm that is infused with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and sun protection, throughout the day to protect lips,” she says. “Just as it is important to hydrate, protect your lips with balms that contain SPF so that you block sun rays that can cause lasting damage and premature aging of the lips.”
CHOOSE A LIP BALM WITH UV PROTECTION
“It’s easy to forget that our lips are exposed to the sun and the skin around the mouth should be treated the same way,” shares Kirsten Carriol, Lanolips founder. “Always ensure you are taking your day cream, night cream, and serum down to your lips. That goes for sunscreen too. Always use a treatment with an SPF, and apply lip balms and lipsticks on top to prevent UV damage, which is a key cause of premature aging.”
“People don’t always think that their lip balm needs UV ray protection, but it does,” says Ronda Nofal, founder of Blue Medi Spa. “Sun and environmental protection are key to keeping signs of aging at bay for lips.” At Blue Medi Spa, Nofal provides all patients with a super-emollient SPF 15 lip protector. She suggests looking for ingredients like shea butter or natural coconut or almond oils. Nofal also urges to avoid lip balm with menthol, mint, or cinnamon, which can irritate or exacerbate dry lips.
REACH FOR PRODUCTS WITH ANTIOXIDANTS
“As we age, lips get thinner and less defined, lose volume, and get fine lines and wrinkles. Moisture is lost, and the tendency is to get dry, and even cracked,” says Wexler. Yikes! Below, she recommends incorporating products containing SPF and antioxidants into our daily routine to prevent free radical damage and stimulate new collagen production.
Try Dr. Macren’s 37 Actives High Performance Anti-Aging and Filler Lip Treatment. “It’s packed with ceramides, hyaluronic acids, peptides, and over 20 antioxidants and intense hydrators like coconut oil to leave lips smooth and plump,” says Wexler, adding, “Hourglass No 28 Lip Treatment Oil contains 14 oil extracts, vitamins A, B5, C, and E. This treatment moisturizes and replenishes softening and volume to the lip, as well as reducing wrinkling.”
AVOID PURSING YOUR LIPS
Pro tip: Try not to purse your lips when applying lip products as this can increase the development of fine lines, Carriol explains.
Also, skip the straw and drink from the glass to avoid the repetitive pursing motion that can cause lines and wrinkles, shares Nurse Jamie. Added bonus: Using fewer straws is environmentally friendly.
DRY LIP REMEDIES
“The lips are one of the first areas to be affected by dehydration,” says John Layke, DO, a Beverly Hills–based cosmetic and plastic surgeon. “Think movie images of a man walking in the desert with dry, chapped lips.” Layke recommends drinking eight 12-ounce glasses of water daily, and four more if you drink alcohol.
LIMIT SALT INTAKE
One reason lips are susceptible to dryness and chapping is that they are composed of thin mucosa that is constantly being dried out by the salt in saliva, from eating, drinking, or even licking our lips, explains Layke. He suggests sticking to the daily-recommended dose of salt, which is no more than 1500 to 2300 milligrams per day.
“During the colder months, lips will become dry, cracked and fragile due to a lack of moisture, heating, and dry air,” says Carriol. “We are often tempted to use a harsh scrub on our lips. However, this will damage them and make them worse. Instead, once a day I suggest using a citric acid (like Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid) to naturally break down dead skin. It’s an ultra-rich, creamy, whipped lanolin lip treatment that hydrates while the citric acid in organic lemon oil naturally breaks down dead skin and smoothly exfoliates.”
“Do this daily,” suggests celebrity makeup artist Katey Denno. “Take a muslin cloth
or washcloth with a fine knit with you into the shower, and after you’ve been in for at least five minutes, trace gentle circles on your lips, focusing on the inner bottom lip to get the scruffy dry skin off.”
Before applying red lipstick, celebrity makeup artist Monika Blunder makes a DIY exfoliant. “All you need is brown sugar and your favorite lip moisturizer,” says Blunder, who prefers La Mer The Lip Balm and By Terry Baume de Rose.
APPLY OINTMENT OVERNIGHT
“For ultra-soft, hydrated, and fresh lips all winter, apply a thick layer of Lanolips 101 Ointment before bed every night,” shares Carriol, who suggests avoiding any petroleum-based lip treatments. “Petroleum works by creating a protective barrier over the skin to seal in moisture, but since petroleum jelly is a water-repellent and not water-soluble, it makes it hard for the skin to breathe which in turn means it cannot hydrate the lips.”
Pro tip: Keep a lip balm beside your toothbrush or bedside table so that you make sure to slather your lips every night before bed, says Denno. Her favorites
include Juice Beauty USDA Organic Lip Moisturizer in a squeeze tube, Ilia Balmy Days, and Smoothing Eye & Lip Balm Jar by True Botanicals.
AVOID MOUTHWASH CONTAINING ALCOHOL
What’s your go-to remedy for dry, chapped lips? What steps do you take for anti-aging?