End winter chapped lips once and for all


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Get soft and smooth lips

(Photo: Getty Images)

The all-knowing beauty professionals were asked: "I get the worst chapped lips in the winter. What remedy will stop this once and for all?"

The dermatologist says:

"The thin skin on your mouth loses moisture faster than any other area--especially when it's cold. Your instinct may be to buff off the flakes, but don't: This can leave the skin raw and allow bacteria in. Instead, focus on hydration. By keeping the skin nourished and protected, it'll repair itself quickly and stay soft."

Nivea SPF 30

(Courtesy of Nivea)

If you're going to be outdoors for the day, swipe on a lip balm that contains SPF 30, since the delicate skin on your lips is especially vulnerable to UV rays. (Try Nivea A Kiss Of Protection Lip Care SPF 30, $2.99; drugstore.com.) And watch out for triggers that can aggravate dryness, such as acidic juices like orange and grapefruit, toothpaste that contains guaiazulene or sodium lauryl sulfate (it'll say so on the label), and fragranced lipsticks and glosses.

"Avoid all these for a bit and your lips will heal much faster." -- Jennifer M. Segal, M.D., fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and consulting dermatologist for Simple Skincare.

(See also: 22 makeup shades that look good on every skin tone)

Vaseline lip therapy

(Photo courtesy of Vaseline)

The cosmetic chemist says:

"To soothe and prevent chapped lips, try doubling up on products. During the day you want a balm that contains a rich emollient like shea or mango butter--they're loaded with fatty acids and lipids that help repair skin--and reapply it often. It's a myth that you can become addicted to lip balm, so don't worry!" (Try Aquaphor Lip Repair, $4.59; amazon.com.)

"Then, before bed, slather on a thick ointment that contains petrolatum, lanolin, or mineral oil to seal in moisture." A good choice is Vaseline Lip Therapy Mini Original, $2.36; amazon.com, which is pure petroleum jelly.

What's not ideal for chapped lips, though, are those "medicated" balms that contain tingly ingredients like camphor, menthol, eucalyptus, and peppermint oil: "Their cooling effect may feel good, but sometimes they can further irritate chapped lips."

-- Ni'Kita Wilson, vice president of product development at Englewood Lab in Englewood, NJ.

Korres Lip Butters

(Photo courtesy of Korres)

The makeup artist says:

"Very pale or very bold lip colors will make a dry mouth look even more scaly, so stick with soft, natural shades like rose or, for darker skin, a subtle, reddish berry. If you wear lipstick, make sure it's a creamy formula--the matte or long-wearing ones can be drying. Or switch to a tinted lip balm until chapping heals."

Korres Lip Butters, $12 each; sephora.com, offer a nice range of colors; try (from top) Quince on dark skin, Jasmine for fair skin, or Pomegranate on olive skin.

If you're a lipgloss-lover, first swipe on a clear lip balm and give it a minute to sink in before you apply your favorite product. "Otherwise, the shade can separate and show all the little cracks in your skin." (This trick works under lipstick, too!)

-- Rebecca Restrepo, global makeup artist for Elizabeth Arden who works with Claire Danes.

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