Beauty Solutions: Give Dry, Winter Lips Some Love

by Sonja on January 29, 2009

Lips, lips, poor winter lips. It’s easy to irritate and dehydrate the thin, delicate skin of lips in winter, especially since they’re regularly exposed to the elements and aren’t protected by oil glands like the rest of the face. Without proper care, they’re quick to get dry, flaky, and cracked, which also makes it difficult to create the look of gorgeous red and nude lips that I wrote about last week. But there are several easy things we can do to keep lips looking and feeling good.

Kick the Bad Habits

Avoid biting on flaky skin, to avoid further irritation and potentially tearing fragile skin. Also avoid licking lips, which causes moisture to evaporate. I’m totally guilty of these things and am working on it. sigh.

Hydrate From Within

Drink plenty of water to maintain moisture in the skin. My health coach Christine Gonzalez, an expert in nutrition and a holistic approach to health, says this is a bigger challenge than usual in winter, because we don’t feel as thirsty and tend to drink less, since we aren’t sweating as much. This is definitely a challenge for me so I make extra efforts to get the recommended 64 ounces of water a day. Considering that a typical water glass holds 12 to 16 ounces, I make sure I’m chugging four or five glasses of water a day.


Exfoliating the lips is something that many people don’t think of. But it’s something everyone can benefit from, because it wipes out dry, dead, flaky skin and leaves behind soft, supple lips. It also helps moisturizers work better, because they’re no longer just sitting on top of dead skin. If you want to go DIY, gently buff with a paste of sugar and honey. If you want something more convenient, get some Sara Happ Lip Scrub ($24). She’s created what I consider to be the best, easiest-to-use formula around. It also comes in six yummy flavors, like vanilla bean and cocoa.

Regardless of what you use, scrub lips a few times a week or as needed. I do this about every other day this time of year. But go easy. You can overdo it and irritate lips more.


Everyday Care
Most of us moisturize our lips. I’m picky with balms, because so many are waxy, tacky, and heavy, which I’m not fond of. Here are three I adore for everyday…

Weleda Everon Lip Balm ($5) has a light feel that really moisturizes and stays on well. It contains wax but doesn’t feel heavy and waxy. It also contains organic shea butter and jojoba oil to moisturize, and rose extract, which is said to promote cell regeneration. It’s free of synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and colors. And it’s light enough to use before applying lipstick.
Ren Biomimetic Perfect Lip Honey ($19) feels wonderfully smooth and totally multitasks. Along with moisturizing, it’s touted to naturally stimulate collagen production, plump, heal, strengthen, retain moisture, and reduce oxidative damage from the environment. It contains no petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens, synthetic fragrance, and other nasties. It’s great during the day and as an overnight treatment.
Sara Happ Lip Slip ($24) is especially good as a night treatment, because it’s  super moisturizing, thick, and stays put. This also works really well as a moisturizing gloss.

Before Lipstick
Before applying lipstick, I skip most balms. Instead I use something lighter to add moisture so color goes on smoothly, but without so much moisture that the color slides off. As I mentioned above, the Weleda balm works well, because it has a lighter feel than most balms. Here are two more products work really well…

Aveda Renewing Lip Treatment ($15). This is light, minty fresh, moisturizing, smoothing, and plumps the lips without any irritation. It moisturizes with many natural oils and waxes, like pomegranate seed oil and raspberry leaf wax. It also contains anti-oxidant rich bilberry to protect skin from the environment.
It Cosmetics Reversible Lip Liner ($18). This is actually meant to be applied around the lips to prevent feathering. But I’ve found that it works well as a lip primer, particularly because it contains shea butter, which helps seal in moisture.

Do Tell

So how do your lips fare in the winter? Have you found something that keeps your lips smooth and pretty or are you still looking? Do tell.

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Marketa January 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

I LOVE everything by Ren skin care. Have not tried their Lip Honey, but will now.

Kate January 29, 2009 at 8:21 am

When it comes to keeping my lips in top shape.. all year round… it really is all about Lucas Paw Paw Ointment for me (and about a million others who have tried & sworn by the stuff). It truly is the only thing you need… brilliant stuff! (& it lasts AGES)

Vanessa January 29, 2009 at 10:05 am

I use my Ocean Salt from LUSH to scrub my lips, then follow up with a super moisturizing lip balm (usually Burt’s Bees with pomegranate oil).

I’m still working on the getting water thing.

Eunice January 29, 2009 at 11:41 am

I haven’t tried Sara Happ Lip Scrub (the cocoa flavor sounds really yum), but I’m an avid user of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment and good o’ Aquaphor.

jennine January 29, 2009 at 12:12 pm

dude… i so need this… i’ve gone through a whole tube of burts bees chapstick thing… seriously!

meligrosa January 29, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Its almost like you read my mind Sonja!!! I was reading about some of these products just last night. My lips behave badly in the not even cold ‘winter’
Had no idea aveda makes something liek that, it is one of my fave brands. Im trying that lip scrubb soon
thanks <3

Sonja January 29, 2009 at 6:21 pm

❤ Marketa, you definitely should. It’s wonderful! I’m a big fan of Ren, too. They make such great goodies.
❤ Kate, thanks for the tip. I’ve never heard of that. Is it available in the US?
❤ Vanessa, two outta three ain’t bad. ;) I’m definitely working on the water thing myself. I’m finding it to be a bigger challenge than I expected. Thanks for sharing your faves!
❤ Eunice, the flavors are a lovely bonus. I’ve never tried Fresh’s Lip Treatment. I’ll have to look into it. What is Aquaphor?
❤ Jennine, wow! A whole tube?! Frankfurt is brutalizing your skin!
❤ Meligrosa, I do try to read readers’ minds as much as possible to bring you relevant posts. ha!ha! Glad you found the info helpful! Let me know how it goes.

City Girl DC January 29, 2009 at 7:28 pm

I use Lip Scuff by the Body Shop. It really takes dead skin off well. But thanks for the info on Before Lipstick treatments. I’ll have to try the Aveda product.

V January 30, 2009 at 11:17 am

As much as I hate sharing this (since it’s already hard to find!) I am obsessed with the Jack Black lip balm that you find at Sephora in the men’s skincare section. It is the only thing that works for my super-sensitive skin and continues to work long after I have licked it all off. Better than Khiel’s… can’t live without it.

Sonja January 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm

❤ City Girl DC, thanks for the great tip! Let us know what you think if you try the Aveda treatment.
❤ V, thanks for sharing your secret! I’ll have to check it out. But I won’t tell anyone. ;)

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