How To Keep Your Lips Hydrated & Soft This Winter

We've hit that ever-so-fun time of year where the one-two punch of dry air everywhere and plummeting temperatures turn your once hydrated pout into what feels like two pieces of sandpaper grating against each other every time you move your mouth.

Chapped, flaking, bleeding lips are no joke and they can happen to us all, no matter our age or skin type. That's because the skin on our lips is both very thin and has fewer oil glands, meaning it doesn't naturally moisturize itself. Couple that with the fact that you are constantly breathing, eating, and talking through them and you're left with a skin barrier that is weak and prone to dryness.

While the lips technically have the ability to moisturize themselves, when it's cold and dry out, they can't do an adequate job of it and you're left with the chapped, raw, flaky skin that feels like it's cracking every time you move your mouth.

Fortunately there are a plethora of lip products out there that can help re-hydrate — you just need to know which ones are best to get the job done. Below are a few of our faves that we always have handy to lube up our lips and keep them nourished in even the driest conditions. 

Best Lip Balms

Lucas Papaw Ointment
There's a reason this stuff is in every makeup artist and celebrity's bag — it's the categorical best, full stop. Unlike other heavy duty treatments, which are made with petroleum derivatives, this features only botanical extracts including Australian papaya. It's naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial and can be used on your cuticles or any other dry skin patches for a gentle-yet-ridiculously effective skin moisturizer. 

Lanolips Tinted Balm
A hybrid lip color and hydrating balm, it's made with naturally derived, cruelty free lanolin, shea butter, and natural oils that condition lips and leave behind a sheer fruity tint. It's a great option for when you want to wear makeup but your lips are too dry to layer on the lipstick.

Emilie Heath Lip R&R Exfoliating Lip Scrub
Just like your facial skin, your lips need exfoliation, too. The trick is to make sure you're not being too harsh and ripping dead skin off as that can damage your lips and cause bleeding and sensitivity. This genius product is equal parts gentle and effective — it features an exfoliating tip and features natural dissolving beads that melt into a balm texture that's meant to be left on the lips. It infuses lips with hydration using shea butter, squalane, jojoba, blueberry, and white tea for a plump, moisturized pout.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Lip Balm
When your lips have hit their literal breaking point, this is heavy hitter you turn to. It's made with every nourishing butter and oil you can think of — and then some. Shea butter, avocado, cacao butter, sunflower oil, vitamin E, and lanolin all work together to protect lips from dehydration, forming a barrier against dryness and the elements to lock in much-needed moisture. Put on a thick layer at night to create a restorative lip treatment that works while you sleep so you wake up with plump, pillowy soft lips.

Westman Atelier Lip Suede Palette
Once you've got your lips nice and moisturized, you can dress them up in one of the statement reds in this luxe palette. Because it's made with nourishing ingredients like cold-pressed cherry oil, marula oil, and biomimetic peptides, it keeps lips hydrated and healthy as it imparts deep, saturated pigments.

Keep one of these lip savers with you and protect your pout from whatever the winter weather throws your way.

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"Beauty is self care. And self care makes us feel beautiful."

-Athena Calderone