Dry, chapped lips are something we all suffer from especially during the wintertime. Our lips are very sensitive, and because of this they need to be protected year-round, but, especially during the cold, winter months. The freezing weather, the wind, the sun, and the dry air (indoors and outdoors) can really affect our lips. It’s time to take charge and banish chapped lips for good!

Taking care of our lips is serious business. When our lips become affected by the cold they are zapped from their much-needed moisture. They can become flaky; they can crack and can even bleed. Not only is this unattractive, it can be incredibly uncomfortable and can even lead to infection. The lips are very different from other areas of our body. They don’t have the same outer layer of protective skin called the stratum corneum that we have most everywhere else. And, lips lack in sweat glands and oil glands leaving them highly susceptible to dehydration no matter what the weather conditions are.

So what can we do? Here are 5 Lip Tips to treat chapped lips

#1 Keep hydrated!

This first tip is the most obvious but it’s really important. Keep your lips moisturized at all time! There are many different kinds of lip balms, creams, and emollients on the market to give your lips that moisture they so desperately need. Look for ingredients like Cocoa Butter, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera and remember to apply, apply and reapply throughout the day. You’ll also want to stay hydrated on the inside as well so drink up! Drink lots of water or even green tea during the day. Chapped lips are an indicator that your body is dehydrated and needs water. So fill your glass full and drink up!

#2 Don’t lick your lips.

No matter how tempting it may seem don’t lick your lips. That tiny moment of instant gratification isn’t worth it in the long run. We usually start to lick our lips as they begin to dry out. And while this may give us a bit of temporary relief, the reality is it can worsen the condition. As our saliva quickly evaporates, our lips are left even drier than before. And then we go and lick them again creating a vicious cycle that we have to break. It’s difficult for sure but, try to resist the temptation and keep reapplying your lip product instead of licking your lips.

#3 Apply SPF.

The sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays are present even on cold and cloudy days. Don’t think because it’s dreary and cold outside that the sun’s rays aren’t lurking about. They can bounce and are reflected off of ice and snow. And, unfortunately, the lips are really affected by these rays. Choose a lip product that contains Sun Protection Factor (SPF) and whether you’re just walking to your car or skiing for the day – apply that SPF lip product! Or, cover your mouth with a fabulous scarf.

#4 Give lips a gentle scrubbing

If you notice your lips starting to flake, you may want to exfoliate. A gentle scrubbing will help remove the dead skin from the surface. This will not only improve the appearance of your lips it will also allow your lip balm to do its job better just by removing the dead skin barrier. You can make your own scrub with a little honey and sugar. Mix together and massage onto your lips. Just be gentle.

#5 Enjoy a healthy diet

Seriously, what does everything come down to these days? A healthy diet! Everything we put into our bodies has a direct reflection on our appearance, especially our skin. A diet that includes essential fatty acids is important for our lips. If we are deficient in essential fatty acids, chances are that our lips will be affected and not in a good way. This is an easy fix. Include fish, nuts, whole grains and olive oil into your diet. If a healthy diet isn’t a priority, then be sure to take a multivitamin. Vitamin deficiencies can affect our entire body – inside and out. And, these deficiencies can lead to chapped lips. Be sure to take a daily multivitamin that includes vitamins B, C and E to nurture your lips from the inside out.

Follow these 5 simple tips to treat chapped lips and enjoy healthy, happy, kissable lips all year long.