If you're not familiar with myself or this brand then I’ll give you a quick run down. I grew up in Florida where it's perpetually summertime which means that humidity is always at least 50% but that's probably a conservative estimate. When I moved to Chicago almost 10 years ago the biggest shock wasn’t the cold, it was how incredibly dry the air is here. Yes, we get some snow and a blizzard every few years but for the most part the winter air is crisp and dry. Not only does the dryness affect your skin it also does damage to the sensitive skin on and around your lips.
After years of suffering from those dry, flaky, cracked, PAINFUL winter lips (You know if you know) I’ve learned a few tricks for keeping the dryness at bay . Here are my Top 5 tips and tricks for soft and supple lips all winter long.
If you live in a dry climate you might think the dryness ends when you walk in doors into the comfort of your home but think again. The dry air penetrates the indoors as well and when the heater is on 24/7 the dryness is exacerbated. This is where a humidifier comes in to save the day and your skin!
I like to keep 2 humidifiers in the house, one for the living room area and one for the bedroom so there is constant moisture in the air. However, If you don’t want to invest in two I would recommend getting one for the bedroom, having a humidifier on while you sleep will make a major impact on your dry lips.
When it comes to choosing a humidifier the simpler the better, I’ve tried fancy ones with modern designs but I always end up coming back to the Vicks brand. They are kind of bulking and not as aesthetically pleasing as others but they release a significant amount of moisture into the air that makes a real difference. They also hold a large amount of water so you don’t have to constantly re-fill them. These two are my ride or die.
Stop Lip Licking
I know I sound like a broken record with this one but if your lips are chronically chapped year round then it's probably less about the weather most likely because you're licking your lips. Lip licking is the main proponent of chapped lips. It does such damage because our Salvia includes the enzyme amylase which breaks down protein. This enzyme is great for digestion but is very harsh on the delicate skin on the lips.
This habit is so ingrained that you might not even notice that you're doing it but the first step in getting this under control is to become more mindful of your triggers. Do you lick your lips when they feel dry? Or when you smell something sweet?
For more tips check out our article with 6 Tips & Tricks to kick Your Lip Licking Habit.
Beware of harmful ingredients in lip balm
Does it feel like you’ve tried every lip balm on the market from Walgreens to Sephora and they always seem to make your lips feel worse? That’s because most mainstream lip balms contain harmful ingredients and chemicals that are doing more harm than good.
Most beauty products are the same product but put in different packaging and marketed differently. If you're looking for quality you’re gonna have to tune out the trendy marketing campaigns and get serious about ingredients. Make sure you’re reading the labels before purchasing.
Ingredients to avoid in lips balms are: Menthol, Silicones, Alcohol, Artificial Sweeteners, Peppermint, Essential Oils, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, and Humectants like Hyaluronic Acid or Glycerin.
If you are looking for a lip balm with lip loving ingredients check out our Kitsune Beauty Lanolin Lip Balm. I formulated this balm after years suffering from chapped lips and spending countless dollars on products that didn’t work.
Exfoliating lips is a necessary step in maintaining healthy soft lips. By removing the chapped, flaky, rough layers from the lips it allows for lip treatments to fully penetrate the skin and deliver their full benefits.
I have never been a fan of lip scrubs. I've tried many but for whatever reason they don’t do a great job of actually exfoliating. For that reason my favorite way to exfoliate my lips is simple. After a hot shower I take my bath towel and rub away the excess skin on my lips. The steam from the hot shower loosens the dead skin on the lips and makes it easy to rub away.
Just like your skin routine needs a final layer to lock in all the moisture a lip sleeping mask can be just as effective for dry lips. In the Pitts of winter when my lips are the driest I like to make my own lip treatment by applying a pure hydrating oil, my favorites are Avocado Oil or Squalene. I let my lips sock up the oil for a few minutes then I apply a thick occlusive layer or lip sleeping mask. When I wake up in the morning I find my lips are soft and supple. This would be a great step to do before exfoliating after a hot shower like I mentioned earlier.
I typically reach 100% Lanolin as my sleeping mask but if that's too heavy for you the Laneige lip sleeping mask is a cult classic for a reason!
I really hope these tips are useful to you this Fall and Winter season, Please comment below if you try any of these and let me know how they worked for you!