They're dry, cracked and peeling, and we can't stop picking them. The good new is that your pout can return to its soft and supple status with a few steps of extra care. StyleList consulted skincare expert Leah Chavie, a licensed medical esthetician, who shared her tips for treating and preventing chapped lips.
Avoid Irritation: Natural lip balm is the way to go. "Avoid petroleum and Carmex, they can inhibit moisture and make your lips crave for more," says Chavie. Instead of products containing ingredients that dry out the lips, try a more natural approach like Jane Iredale's Lip Drink, a macadamia nut base with lemon peel and zinc oxide for a hydrating treatment with sun protection.
Protection: Before venturing outdoors, it's essential to protect your lips with products that help fight external irritation. Layer on a balm, gloss or treatment to stymie the moisture loss that's exacerbated by wind and cold temperatures. And always choose a product with SPF, as winter sun can be very strong, especially if it's reflecting off the snow, or if you're at a high altitude. UV exposure will only damage and dry out lips further. Chavie recommends Bio Kiss. "Bio Kiss protects your smile from the effects of aging and from external aggression while softening the texture," she says.
Exfoliation: It may seem like the last thing dry lips need is exfoliation, but that's a myth, says Chavie. She recommends using the Oprah favorite Clarisonic Classic Skin Cleansing System to lambast dead skin cells and pave the way for better product absorption. "Focus on the lip area in a figure-eight motion and then apply your serums and skin specific creams," she explains.
Seal the Deal: Last but not least, treat the area with Vitamin C, (Try Philosophy Hope in a Tube) and antioxidant that will help soothe irritation and help the lips look younger. "Vitamin C Serum is an amazing antioxidant that with protect your lips from free radicals in the environment," Chavie says. It also helps protect the collagen in the lips to stave off fine lines and wrinkles.