Lips are likely to become chapped and cracked during the winter when it’s dry and cold outside. Extreme heat or wind can also trigger chapping. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help keep your lips soft and smooth. This lip care routine will help your lips stay in tip-top shape — no matter the season. Whether it’s a tried-and-true skin care regimen, how often you wash your hair, or the cosmetics you’re curious about, beauty is personal.
That’s why we rely on a diverse group of writers, educators, and other experts to share their tips on everything from the way product application varies to the best sheet mask for your individual needs. We only recommend something we genuinely love, so if you see a shop link to a specific product or brand, know that it’s been thoroughly researched by our team.
How to take care of your lips ?
Unlike the skin on the rest of your body, lips don’t have sebaceous glands. These microscopic glands open into hair follicles. They’re responsible for producing the oil that keeps skin soft and moisturized, explains Nina Desai, MD, a board certified dermatologist in California.
While you might instinctively lick your lips to keep them moisturized, doing so actually leads to more dryness, Desai explains.
Licking can also cause yeast to build up on the lips. This may lead to a condition known as angular cheilitis, or painful inflammation at the corners of the lips.
The key to healthy lips is using a moisturizing product every day. If your lips are very dry, you may also want to exfoliate your lips 1–2 times per week.
“If you have healthy lips, exfoliation isn’t necessary,” says Suzanne Friedler, MD, a board certified dermatologist with Advanced Dermatology PC in New York. “However, if your lips tend to be dry and flaky, gentle exfoliation can smooth out rough spots, so that lip cosmetics apply more uniformly.”
Step-by-step daily lip care routine ?
There are two parts to a lip care routine: hydration and exfoliation. You’ll only need to exfoliate if your lips are prone to chapping and cracking.
- “Any time your lips feel dry is an appropriate time to use a lip balm,” Friedler says. Here’s how:
- Use an applicator or your fingers to apply moisturizing balm liberally over lips, including at the corners.
- If you’re spending time outside and your lip moisturizer doesn’t contain sunscreen, follow up with an SPF 30+ lip balm.
- Reapply as necessary at regular intervals throughout the day. Desai recommends using a hydrating lip product 2–4 times per day. You may need to use more if you have very dry lips or eczema.
- “Exfoliating your lips can help eliminate some dry, flaking skin that builds up and restore the [shininess], softness, and smoothness that we all want,” Desai says.
- She recommends exfoliating 1–2 times per week as a part of your nighttime routine:
- Apply a small amount of exfoliating scrub to your fingertips.
- Gently rub over the lips in small circular motions for no more than 30 seconds.
- Leave mixture on lips for 10 minutes, allowing the nourishing oils to soak in.
- Rinse with warm water.
- Pat skin dry with a clean towel.
- Apply a protective balm to lock in moisture and soothe lips.
- To boost your lip health, stay hydrated and avoid picking or biting your lips, Desai adds.
- It’s also important to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 anytime you’re in the sun. This can be either in your lip product or in addition to it.
- “The lips are a common spot of precancerous lesions and need to be protected from the sun,” Desai explains.
Lip care home remedies
These DIY recipes can support your lip care routine.
To make a simple lip scrub at home, Desai recommends combining 2 teaspoons of a naturally abrasive ingredient, like salt or sugar, with 1 tablespoon of a nourishing ingredient.
Nourishing ingredients can include:
- coconut oil
- jojoba oil
- avocado oil
- pure petrolatum
- almond oil
- shea butter
- Add more oil if you want a looser mixture.
- Lip balm
You can use the same nourishing ingredients without the sugar or salt to make a lip balm at home.
- 2 tbsp. shea butter
- 4 tbsp. liquid oil, such as coconut, almond, or olive oil
- 3 tbsp. beeswax pellets
- Melt all ingredients in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Stir together.
- Keep microwaving and mixing until the ingredients are well-blended.
- Pour mixture into pots or tubes, and let it cool.
- “Just be sure to avoid the facial skin, where oils can cause acne breakouts.”