Think of your lips as a sponge. “When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up.
When dehydrated, they dry out and shrink,” explains Bruce Bart, M.D., a dermatologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. And, because they’re always exposed, they’re prone to dehydration, particularly during the cold, windy winter months.
The skin on the lips is also unlike skin anywhere else on the body: It’s thinner (allowing the blood vessels to be visible, making the lips look red) and has no oil glands (oil acts as a barrier for skin, helping to protect it from the elements).
The result can be red, rough (and sometimes painful), chapped lips that couldn’t hold lipstick color if you spray-painted it on.
Get Better-Looking Lips-Fast
With a little loving care, your lips can be perfect in no time. Just follow these seven steps-and then pucker up!
Take a water bottle with you wherever you go. Drinking enough water (the equivalent of at least 9 cups of fluids daily) will keep the body, skin, and lips hydrated.
Know thy balms. Look for hydrating ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, vitamin E and almond, jojoba, or coconut oils. Good old petroleum jelly (think: Vaseline) works well too.
If you have sensitive skin, use camphor-based medicated lip balms sparingly. (They can be irritating.) Instead, opt for the camphor-free Aésop Rosehip Seed Lip Treatment with shea butter.
But if you have hearty skin, try ChapStick Medicated lip balm with camphor and menthol.