It's Winter, so sooner or later your lips are more than likely to become dried out, chapped and generally weather beaten. If like myself you have not only a habit of chewing your lips but perhaps also more than enjoy matte lipsticks, you may on the look out for a few products and tips to keep your lips in the best condition possible? Worry not I have your back with five easy steps...
1, Repair and Moisturise
So let's say your lips are not only dried out and flaky, they are also cracked and painful - what's a gal/guy to do? Slather on a medicated lip balm that's what! A typical lip balm will only moisturise the skin, you need a repairing formulation to soothe, calm, reduce pain/inflammation and heal the broken/chapped skin. I will go on record saying that the best medicated lip balm I have ever used is Blistex Medicated Lip Balm, this not only smells like bubblegum and contains an SPF of 15 but does all it says on the tin: comforts, heals and moistures. The only downside is that it is pretty difficult to source here in the UK, I have found it via Amazon in a value pack (£7 for 3 balms) - link. I also fully rate Carmex Original Lip Balms (find it here via Boots -link), they are: cheap, cheerful and really easy to source both home and abroad, not to mention it does heal and calm aggravated lips with next to no effort.
Once and only once your lips have mended - otherwise you will only further irritate and damage the skin, make it a priority to gently exfoliate your lips once or twice a week. There are a few ways to make light work of shifting, dried out skin: you can of course resort to old school methods and gently buff your lips with a soft, clean, toothbrush. If you are a little more crafty than I, you could mix a little finely granulated sugar and olive oil to create an at home lip scrub. I personally prefer to use a ready formulated lip exfoliate (mainly because I'm lazy) - typically one of Lush's Lip Scrubs, at the moment I have the Popcorn variant but I'm not particularly fussed by the scent/flavour (yep flavour as the Lush Lip Scrubs are safe to lick, eat, nibble). A new product I'm only getting to grips with is the Clinique Sweet Pots (£15.99 via Debenhams - link) which feature both a moisturising lip balm and pocket sized lip scrub - ideal for those on the go.
Whatever method you choose, by regularly ridding your lips of dry and dead skin, you are not only creating a soft, lipstick ready base but lowering the chances of your lips chapping. Well worth putting aside 5 minutes a week for huh?
3, Moisturise Some More
Pop a lip balm in every coat pocket you own, stash some in your car glove box and of course allow a few to roll around the bottom of your hand bag - that way you have no excuse to allow your lips to dry out. A lot like hand cream if you have a lip balm to hand, there is a higher chance you will use it; you'll thank yourself later for your forward planning and flake free lips.
As a side note, or additional tip if you will, I can not recommend applying a generous layer of Nuxe Rève Miel Lip Balm (£9.50 via Feel Unique - link) - the thick, almost waxy texture acts like an overnight mask and will gently re-hydrate even the driest of lips while you sleep. If you take one thing away from this post, let it be this tip - I swear by it.
4, Give Your Lips a Break
I know the vast majority of my matte lipstick collection will lead to dry and less than photogenic lips but does that stop me from using them? In a word, no. I do however ensure that a few days a week, I slick on a nourishing and hydrating tinted lip balm in place of my usual lip liner or liquid lipstick. I find the odd day off from drying lip products really does prevent my lips from cracking and generally looking worse for wear.
For those looking for a little tinted lip balm inspiration, my favourite picks have to be: Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Honey Nectar (£8 via Beauty Bay - link) - a beautifully nourishing balm that is gently tinted with the most perfect hint of nude pink. I also really enjoy the Lanolips Lip Ointment with Colour (£8.16 via Look Fantastic - link), I find myself reaching for the shade Rhubarb most days as the mid toned-almost-berry pink suits just about every occasion. Lastly I can not recommend the Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Balms (£19 via Fresh - link) enough, they are easily one of the most comfortable lip products I own, come in the most natural yet lip enhancing shades and are loaded with skin healing and plumping benefits. You need one.
5, Don't Forget SPF
In the middle of Winter it may seem odd to recommend applying SPF to your lips but believe it or not, the Winter sun can still damage the skin. Be it a stand alone lip SPF such as Superdrug Solait Moisturising Lip Protection Balm SPF30 (great for Skiing and a snip at just £2.50 - link), or an everyday lip balm with added SPF (pretty much all of my suggestions within this post contain SPF), make sure you protect your lips as you would the rest of the skin on your face. As a side note the skin on our lips is thinner than elsewhere on your face, making it subject to environmental damage and premature ageing. Slap on lip SPF and enjoy youthful lips for longer.
Now if only I could stop biting and picking at my lips, I'm sure my lips would be in much better shape in general. What are your go to lip saving products or tips for that matter?