With the holidays quickly approaching, your calendar is filled with parties, shopping for gifts and catching up with friends and family. You want to look your best, and it's hard to do that when you've got harmful elements such as harsh winds, frigid air, and dry indoor heating causing you to have chapped, sore lips! Keep your lips soft, supple, and completely kissable through mistletoe season and beyond by following these tips.
Moisturize From the Inside Out
Dry air can really do a number on your lips, so your first line of defense is to keep them moist. You can and should use external moisturizers (more on that later!), but keeping lips supple starts with good hydration.
Studies have found that healthy adults don't actually have to drink eight cups of water per day; instead of trying to stick to a number, pay attention to how you feel. If your lips are dry and you're feeling a bit thirsty, drink a glass of water. Thirst can also masquerade as hunger, so if you've eaten recently and you feel like snacking, sipping water instead can make your lips more kissable and help you keep those wintertime pounds off, too. In addition to drinking water, you can sip caffeine-free coffee or tea, enjoy fruit juices, or nibble on hydrating fresh fruits.
If you have dry skin on your lips, use a soft washcloth to exfoliate them very gently. Try using a sugar or salt-based scrub and apply in circular motions with a light touch; you don't want to irritate dry skin with hard rubbing. Do this once or twice per day when your lips are wet (when you're in the shower or washing your face), and you'll notice them feeling smoother and more supple in a matter of days.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
Using a good moisturizer before you apply lipstick can go a long way toward keeping your lips comfortable and soft. You can use any type of moisturizer marketed for lips. One caveat: Don't use medicated lip balms unless you actually need the medication (ask your dermatologist if you do), because they can have a rebound effect and cause additional dryness.
Protect Your Lips From the Sun and Wind
The natural elements are one of your lips' greatest enemies when it comes to keeping them kissable. Don't neglect the SPF on your lips (or anywhere else) just because it's chilly outside! Even on cloudy days, the sun can penetrate enough to cause skin and lip damage.
A scarf pulled up over your mouth will keep your lips protected from the cold. If you've forgotten your scarf, zip your coat all the way up and tuck your mouth and chin into the closed-up collar of your jacket. Your lips will thank you later!
Keep the Air Humid
During the summer, when it's humid outside, you don't have many issues with dry, chapped lips. This is because your thin, delicate lip skin soaks up the humidity in the air around you. In the winter this effect is the opposite: Running the heat or having a fire going in the house leaves the air very dry. Run a humidifier during these months to keep your lips and mucous membranes moist. Just be sure to clean it out properly to avoid mildew and associated health concerns.
When the holidays roll around and your special someone is waiting for you under the mistletoe, you won't have to feel ashamed of your scratchy, rough lips. Pucker up, because your lips will be absolutely kissable!