I’ll admit it: I let myself go a little bit in the winter time. Despite my earnest moisturizing efforts, my hands and face are dry. I can’t remember the last time I had my nails done. I even started growing my bangs out, just to avoid getting a trim. The thought of going out in the cold for after work salon appointments when I can instead hurry home to my sweat pants and Netflix account…pass.
But when it comes to my lips, I never slack off. I can’t stand having dry, cracked lips. That’s why I volunteered to write today’s post in our winter skin care series. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, we’re sharing our best tips for getting beautiful, healthy and kissable lips. The best part (at least for those of us who get a little relaxed with our beauty routines this time of year): it doesn’t require much effort.
- Exfoliate. Remove dry, dead skin flakes by gently brushing your lips with a wet, soft toothbrush or washcloth. I do this about once a week, usually on a weekend morning when I’m not planning on going outside right away since it makes my lips a little sensitive.
- Hydrate. Unlike the rest of your skin, lips tend to dry out and become chapped easily since they do not contain oil glands. Drink lots of water to keep lips from drying out, and avoid licking your lips (it took me years to break the habit!) which also saps moisture.
- Protect and Moisturize. Lips receive a lot of sun exposure – particularly the bottom lip. That means they are a common spot for skin cancers. So it’s SUPER IMPORTANT that your daytime lip product includes an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen. At night I switch to a moisturizing product to help combat nighttime dryness.
- Reapply. Remember to reapply sun protective lip product every two hours, especially after eating or drinking. I find it helpful to keep my SPF lip balm in several places. I usually have one at my desk, in my purse, in my nightstand and in my bathroom, so I remember to apply right after I brush my teeth. The bonus of this system: you now have an excuse to experiment with different brands and products.
- Speaking of products: make sure you’re using the right ones. Look for lip products that have been awarded The Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation. The Seal is only awarded to sun-protective products that meet the standards of our Photobiology Committee (a group of top experts in how the sun interacts with skin), so you can be sure that if a product has our Seal, your lips will be soft and sun-safe.