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How to Prevent Chapped Lips

Say So Long to Dry, Flaky Lips This Winter

We've all seen it, and we've all been victims of it: dry, cracked lips. Between cold air and the moisture-sucking effects of indoor heating, the delicate skin of your lips can get chapped fast in the Winter. You can keep your lips hydrated and supple all season with these helpful tips.

1. Stop licking: The first rule of preventing chapped lips is to stop the lick. Your lips naturally have a very thin layer of protective oils, but excessive licking can cause it to deteriorate, which will only worsen chapped lips.

2. Use lip balm correctly: Occlusive ingredients like waxes and petroleum jelly seal in moisture and prevent it from escaping, but they do not necessarily give the boost of hydration your lips need. So be sure to use a hydrating lip balm, like Nivea A Kiss of Moisture ($3), which has a creamy texture that penetrates already-dry lips. Then, seal that in with a more waxy product if you prefer.

3. Add in a lip scrub: A little exfoliation can help get rid of dry, flaky patches on your lips before they get cracked. Tarte's Maracuja Lip Exfoliant ($16) uses sugar crystals to gently slough away dry skin, while the maracuja oil helps to replenish moisture. Just be sure to not exfoliate already broken skin.

4. Try a medicated balm: When your lips have entered the dark side, and none of the above seem like a doable option, your next best bet is a medicated lip balm like FixMySkin Healing Lip Balm in Vanilla with 1% Hydrocortisone ($8). The formula is hydrating with a pleasant flavor, and it has just enough active ingredients to fix seriously chapped lips.

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