Beautiful, luscious lips are always on the top of the list when it comes to beauty trends. This fall season was no different, with many designers like Chanel, Derek Lam and Emanuel Ungaro pairing models with neutral, pretty lips (
check out the hottest lip colours for fall and winter here). The only problem is, the harsh Canadian winters don’t exactly make it easy to maintain a soft, supple pout. As the air gets colder and moisture levels plummet, the water in your skin is drawn out. The result? Chapped lips (even cracked lips) that can be hard to heal. To get back your once smooth lips, try these five moisture-restorative lip care products.
1. Ditch drying formulas
Matte and long-wear lipstick formulas tend to dry out lips. If you can’t go without a little colour on your pout, opt for a tinted lip balm, reapplying as often as you like throughout the day. Sun exposure is another factor that can suck moisture out of lips. This is because the area is very sensitive and doesn’t have much melanin, a natural protector against the sun’s damaging rays. So, if you plan on being outdoors for long periods of time, slather on a product with an SPF to help prevent chapped lips.
Try: Fresh Sugar Passion Tinted Lip Treatment SPF 15 ($22.50), available at Sephora.
2. Choose the right balm
Finding the right lip balm is crucial in helping to get rid of chapped lips. You want to find one that’s viscous to really penetrate the cracks on your mouth. Lip care formulas with ingredients like shea butter, hyaluronic acid, or dimethicone are all great at restoring moisture. Natural waxes are good too, plus they add shine and slip to the surface. Look for things like beeswax, as well as cadelilla, and carnauba, which are plant-derived.
Try: EOS Organic Lip Balm ($3.50), available at drugstores.
3. Add a soothing oil
Besides wax, oil is an alternative ingredient that also helps to restore moisture to dry skin. Olive oil, vegetable oil, cocoa butter, and jojoba oil are all great options and are commonly found in many lip products. However, the latest oil to hit the markets that has garnered a lot of attention for its reparative abilities is argan oil. The oil is produced from argan trees in the semi deserts of Morocco. The oil is rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids, which have anti-aging properties, and is known to help and prevent dehydration, inflammation, hyper pigmentation, and sebum production.
Try: Josie Maran Argan Lip Treatment ($18), available at Sephora.
Banish dry lips with more lip care products on the next page …
4. Go fragrance-free
For some women, ingredients that are normally found in lip balms can actually make chapping worse. Anyone with eczema should make sure the balm they’re using doesn’t contain lanolin, because it can cause a reaction. Also, since fragrance is the number one skin allergen, those that have very sensitive skin should stay away from heavily scented or flavored balms that can cause irritation.
Try: C.O. Bigelow My Favorite Lip Balm ($7.50), available at Bath & Body Works.
5. Eliminate flakes
If you have large, pesky flakes on the surface of your lips, it’s a good idea to slough them off. Just make sure to do it gently, so you don’t further inflame the area. Avoid any scrubs that have large grains or washcloths, since these are too harsh for the delicate skin on your mouth. Instead, look for a lip scrub that contains sugar, a natural exfoliator that won’t dry out skin like salt will.
Try: Smashbox Emulsion Lip Exfoliant ($18), available at Sephora.
One final shopping tip is to stay clear of any products containing alcohol, a major drying agent. Over time this ingredient, usually found in lipstick, will dry out your skin, causing it to crack. You also want to avoid menthol. While the ingredient gives lips a nice tingling sensation, it’s another type of alcohol that will strip your pout of moisture.
Combating chapped, dry lips shouldn’t be an impossible feat this winter. Instead, it’s just a matter of taking the time to look at the ingredients in your lip balm and making sure what you’re applying to your pout won’t actually make it worse.
So, put these products to the test and you’ll have kissable lips in no time.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's bi-weekly newsletter