I saw a ChapStick ad this morning before a video on YouTube, and the girl in it said that our skin is thinnest on our lips.
I thought, yeah…maybe that’s why mine hurt so much every winter!
It’s always the same, too, every year. When winter rolls around, so much ouch. My lips get cracked and dry, and it hurts.
It gets worse for a few weeks after we visit my in-laws in Redding, which is a town near the Oregon border.
Weirdly, Oregon gets a ton of rain, but Redding, even though it’s close, does not. I swear, the air there gets drier than the inside of a hot oven.
But time has taught me a few things that help my perpetually parched pout. I hope they help yours too. 🙂
Exfoliate. It’s easier when my lips are soft and damp, like right after I get out of the shower.
Every once in a while I’ll mix a spoonful of sugar with a little honey or olive oil, and gently scrub (more like rub) that on my lips with an old toothbrush after I shower.
The Nimbus Microfine Regulars are awesome for this, by the way. Softest toothbrushes I’ve ever used.
They’re kind of hard to track down in stores… I’m not sure why, but here’s a five-pack on Amazon for $14. Highly recommended.
Brush your teeth (and your lips), kids! (And don’t forget to floss.)
If DIY doesn’t sound good, then you can use a regular lip exfoliator instead. Fresh Sugar Lip Polish ($22.50) is an excellent choice, as is Lush Mint Julips Lip Scrub.
2. A balm before bed
And keep it right on your nightstand, where it’ll be easy to remember (and reach).
I apply a thick layer of balm after I kiss El Hub and Tabs goodnight. It’s become part of my regular bedtime routine — 1) kiss El Hub, 2) kiss Tabs, 3) insert mouth guard, and 4) smear a thick layer of lip balm on my lips. Zzzz…
Nuxe Reve De Miel Ultra-Nourishing Lip Balm ($19) is the one on my nightstand now. It’s almost as thick as a paste and tastes and smells like honey.
The big glass jar isn’t super convenient to carry around during the day, but it’s purrfect for bedtime at night.
3. Guzzle water
For real though! Drink a sh*t-ton throughout the day. I notice a HUGE difference when I fall out of the habit of drinking enough water, and it’s not just that my lips get drier. My skin gets worse and less, I dunno…plump?
The difference is crystal clear, especially in winter. When I don’t drink enough water, my lips get tow up.
4. Lips need love (and prep) too
I keep little lip balms everywhere, including one with my primers to remind me to prep my lips when I start to apply my makeup. That way, the balm has time work its balmy magic while I work on the rest of my look.
By the time I get to the lip part of my makeup (which I usually do last), I blot the remaining balm with a tissue, and apply my lip liner, lipstick, etc. on top.
Ideally, I like slick, smooth, un-tinted balms for this, so they don’t interfere with anything else my lips are wearing.
Lately I’ve been prepping with Alba Botanica Hawaiian Lip Balm in Nourishing Coconut Cream ($2.99), which is super moisturizing and GREAT.
Shout-out to my mom-in-law in Redding for getting me hooked on it!
It tastes and smells a little like coconut, and it’s easy to layer other products on top of it, too.
5. MacGyver your way to more moisturizing lip color
I picked up this genius tip from a Wet Seal sales associate circa 1995. That girl was obviously wise beyond her years.
And here it is: create your own moisturizing lip color by lining and filling in your lips with your favorite lip pencil; then apply a layer of moisturizing balm on top.
Lately I like MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Staunchly Stylish (a gnarly nude peachy pink) with Hourglass No. 28 Lip Treatment Oil ($42) on top for this.
Yes, $42 is the most I’ve ever spent on a lip balm, but I kid you not — it’s more hydrating than Niagara Falls.
OK, I am kidding. 🙂 But it is incredibly moisturizing.
I like that it’s also a little sticky, so it lasts a long time, and the shiny finish makes it look like I’m wearing gloss. I usually stock up during the Sephora VIB sales.