The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping, and the air is getting drier which can only mean it's that time of the year again: lip balm season.

The harsh weather around this time of year is going to wreak havoc on your skin and hair and your lips are no exception. In fact, they're going to be more susceptible to the harsh winter elements because your lips lack the tough, outer barrier called the stratum corneum that the rest of your skin has. This layer works to keep moisture in your skin so without it, your lips are hung out to dry - literally.

Lip balms are essential because they do the job of the stratum corneum by sealing in the moisture in your lips but they're not necessarily going to cure your chapped lips. Balms aren't designed to penetrate your skin the way lotions do but instead just sit over your lips and protect them from the elements.

Your best chance for actually curing and preventing chapped lips is by following these tips.

 

Don’t lick your lips. Your saliva contains enzymes that help break down food and unfortunately they don't know the difference between food and lips which means they're also going to break down your skin. As tempting as it is to lick your lips when they're starting to feel dry, it's actually going to do more harm in the long run so try to get out of the habit of doing it and reach for some lip balm instead.

 

Exfoliate. Just like the rest of your skin, your lips can benefit from a regular exfoliating. Go with a lip scrub or gently rub them with a toothbrush to get rid of dry skin. We recommend scrubs made for lips because they're usually designed to be more gentle than scrubs made for regular skin.

 

Go with glossy lips. You don't need us to tell you that as cute as a matte lip is, that matte lipstick is going to dry your lips out like nobody's business. Consider switching over to a glossy or satin color instead which are much less drying.

 

Choose your lip balm wisely. Speaking of lip products, pay attention to the products in your lip balm because they're not all created equal. Some may have ingredients that are actually further drying or irritating to your lips such as menthol, parabens, or phthalates. Avoid these products and go with balms that have the least amount of ingredients as possible. Here's some DIY lip balm tutorials for all the naturalistas out there:

 

 

 

Stay hydrated. Lastly, your lips tend to be one of the first things to dry out if you're not properly hydrated so drink plenty of water. Remember, your lips will only be as healthy and hydrated as you are! If you struggle to get in that H2O, check out these tips for how to stay hydrated.