Some things are meant to be dry – like firewood, the desert sand, and a certain kind of sarcasm. Your lips should not be on that list. Your lips should be on Hall & Oates’ list of the best things in life – or wait – was that your kiss? Well, now that we’re recalling classic songs with such fondness, we should also remember that Prince wanted your extra time and your kiss, and Faith Hill couldn’t stop talking about This Kiss, so no, it’s not just you who’s worried about perfecting that pout for the perfect moment. Or, stated in a slightly less dramatic way, you’re not the only one wanting to moisturize your mouth and sport a smile without seeing cracks.
So press pause on that pout for a moment, because we have some ideas about combating cracked and dry lips. Some tips are easier to follow than others, but if you peruse through this list of the best ways to moisturize dry lips, you might just pick up some new healthy habits.
1. Chug, Chug, Chug! (Water, that is.)
Refill, Refresh & Recharge. Refill your water often and recharge your body with the much-needed hydration H20 provides. You are what you eat…and also what you drink! You might wonder if it really makes a difference, or if that’s just something people say. Well, here’s a question: What would we do without water? Here’s an answer: Nothing. Literally nothing. All of the cells, tissues, and organs in your body require water to function properly. That includes those luscious lips of yours!
We all know we need water to survive, and the truth is, most of us could use a little more of it to really thrive. The exact amount depends on your diet, size, and other factors, but in general, 8-10 glasses a day is a good goal. It’s hard to monitor the amount you intake, but there are several ideas to be sure you ingest a healthy amount of H2O. One idea is to grab yourself a glass of water after every bathroom break you take. Another trick is to add a little flavor (without adding unwanted sugar, of course). Slice some cucumber or toss some strawberries into a pitcher with cold, filtered water, and pour yourself a cup whenever you’re parched. It’s delightfully refreshing and won’t feel like a chore at all. And, if you’re really someone who is bored by the plain stuff, remember that herbal tea is always an option. There are, of course, other liquids that help you hydrate, but just try to save those sugary or alcoholic drinks for a special occasion. And if every day is a special occasion for you, perhaps you can try to down a drink of water before you embibe your celebratory libations.
If you still have trouble drinking enough water during the day, well, as with almost everything these days, there’s an app for that! If you’re already looking at your phone 20 times a day, it might as well be for a good reason, right? There are several apps to help you down your daily dose of water, such as Drink Water Reminder, Aqualert, or Water Coach. So go ahead, ignore the advice of TLC and do go chasing waterfalls.
2. 5-6-7-8 First You Must Exfoliate!
Pardon the cheesy cheer, but we’ll do whatever works when it comes to helping you remember this important tidbit. You wouldn’t start painting a house before sanding the wood, would you? Or if you have, then you’ve seen the sub-par results. Well, the same can be said for your lips. You don’t want to smother them with lipstick before giving them a good little scrub. It’s important to start with a smooth surface. You need to slough off that dead skin to really allow the emollients, balms, and moisturizing glosses to get to work. Sugar, sugar, honey, honey. It’s not just a catchy tune by the Archies from the 1950s, but it’s also a great way to exfoliate and heal lips. An excellent way to remove unwanted dry or dead skin on your lips is by using a sugar scrub. There are plenty of sweet (pun intended) sugar scrubs out there that also have nourishing and softening ingredients like vitamin E, honey, and shea butter. Vitamin E promotes cell regeneration, and works to prevent further irritation. And that’s the goal.
In addition to sugar, there are other options to scrub away that dry lip skin. In fact, there’s something you already know and probably love that is good for more than just helping you wake up each morning – coffee! Just back up a bit before you brew it all, and save some grounds for a good scrub down. It’s the best of both worlds. You can drink your coffee and wear it, too. There are plenty of lip scrubs to purchase, or you can try making one on your own. Just mix coffee grounds with honey and an oil like grapeseed, coconut, or one of your choosing. You’ll have an excellent scrub with an aroma that makes your mouth water. As a bonus, honey has anti-bacterial properties that are derived from a protein called defensin-1, which bees make and add to the honey. It’s also a natural humectant, which means it attracts moisture. Pretty sweet, right?
If you have a little time on your hands, or prefer to do-it-yourself whenever you can, there are several DIY recipes out there. Below is just one of many examples of a lip scrub recipe, so take a look to get some ideas and then create a recipe that suits you best.
Many lip scrub mixes include both sugar and coffee, so if you are one who doesn’t like decisions, don’t worry. Do it al! Whatever combo you concoct, it needs to contain something for the purpose of scrubbing, and another ingredient for nourishing. So, moral of the story…scrub a dub dub, give those lips a rub.
3. Choose an Emollient that Melts on your Mouth
As you may have noticed, the skin on your lips is more delicate than the skin that covers most of your body. The lips don’t produce their own moisture since they lack sweat glands and oil glands. This is where natural moisturizers can come to the rescue. However, beware when balms boast about a cooling sensation. Many of those might contain menthol or camphor, which can feel fresh and minty for a moment, but might lead to more chapping and irritation. Play it safe with ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, as well as coconut, almond, and other natural oils which work to moisturize and soften the skin.
A product like Vivianne Woodard’s Hyaluronic Smoothing Lip Balm does double duty. The hyaluronic acid acts as a renewal agent that optimizes skin cell turnover, while the jojoba seed oil and shea butter soften and moisturize the skin. As an added bonus, all of the products at Vivianne Woodard are cruelty-free and vegan, so you can pat yourself on the back as you go about your beauty routine.
Whichever balm you decide to buy or DIY, you should feel free to apply it liberally. Your lips will benefit from a healthy application in the morning and evening, and whenever you feel the need throughout the day. If you want to combine a couple of the tips we’re touting, down a tall drink of water right before you put on your balm. Cheers to a moisturized mouth and goodbye to chapped lips!
4. Don’t Lick Your Lips
Sometimes a list of DOs must come with a DON’T. This is a tip that’s easier said than done, but we’ll say it anyway. Don’t lick your lips. And then we’ll say it again! Don’t lick your lips! And please don’t peel the skin off of your lips when they are dry or cracked. This can lead to major discomfort and wicked lip wounds – and not Wicked in the wonderful Broadway musical sensation sense of the word – wicked painful!
Licking your lips can dry them out because saliva has enzymes that can wear down the already sensitive skin. This exposes lips to environmental factors that can dry them out further. Then, in an attempt to alleviate the dryness, the urge to lick your lips returns, leading to a rather unhelpful cycle that’s sometimes hard to stop.
When you’re busy going about your day, it can be hard to take a minute and find a moisturizing lip balm or go get a glass of water, but listen: licking your lips is not the alternative you’re looking for. You will take a moment to moisturize now. Did the Jedi mind-trick work? Let the force be strong in you and take two minutes to follow steps 1-3 above instead of slipping into old habits. All joking aside, licking lips is seriously not the solution. We all do it now and then, but if you can do it a little less, then that’s a start.
Make sure your work station (or your Netflix and chill station, or wherever you spend your time) has a water source and some sort of lip-loving balm nearby. Don’t leave your lips high and dry. And remember, if you have it nearby, you will apply!
5. Control the Elements like the Goddess You Are
Okay, so maybe you can’t control the sun and the rain, or paint with all the colors of the wind, but you can control how much sun exposure your lips receive and how you decide to protect them from the elements in general.
Take care, and take cover. You don’t have to be on your way to the Kentucky Derby to rock an over-the-top hat. Who says you can’t look fabulous as you frolic around the neighborhood? Creating a little intrigue can be considered a perk of protecting your lovely lips. But if you’re not a hat person, just remember to apply a lip balm or lip protectant with some SPF. (Quick aside: why aren’t you a hat person? It means you get to keep playing dress-up as a grown-up! Consider reconsidering.)
The thin skin on your lips is more vulnerable to damage from UV rays. There are some lip balms or lipsticks that contain SPF, but in order to play it safe, remember to check that label. If there’s no mention of sun protection, then be sure to layer your lips with a product that does have some SPF before spreading on other colors, tints, or balms – especially if you plan to spend any length of time outdoors.
A dry climate can be as aggravating to the skin as too much sun exposure. And since not all of us can live in a tropical paradise, we must make due with where we are. However, there’s no rule that says you can’t make minor adjustments. If you live where it’s dry, that doesn’t mean you are destined to be a dessicated tumbleweed rolling across the desert sand. It means you might want to dust yourself off and buy a humidifier. There are multiple benefits to your health, including the alleviation of headaches, coughing, allergies, and cracked lips. Air that is cool and dry causes moisture to evaporate from the skin, but humidifiers can counteract this. Make sure you add pure, clean water, and follow instructions on how to empty and sanitize it as directed. As mentioned above, there are additional benefits to having a humidifier, so you can breathe easy and know that you’re moisturizing your mouth while you sleep. After a while, that kiss goodnight will be even sweeter and softer than it was before.
Doesn’t it always feel better after you smooth some soothing face cream on a freshly-washed face? Girl, you know it’s true. So make sure your morning and evening moisturizing routine doesn’t discount your lips. You have a lot of important things to say, or sing, or shout, so don’t let dry lips slow you down. Treat that marvelous mouth of yours to some moisture. Drink that water in and smooth some balm on. Then, (since we’re on a musical kick), seal it with a kiss. Or keep your lips sealed, like the Go-Go’s.
For over 60 years, Viviane Woodard has represented “The Purity of Skincare”. We are the leading beauty brand for water-based skin care products and promote the importance of good skin hydration. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for skin care tips, product discounts and more.