There is a song with a hook that goes: “Kissing you is all that I’ve been thinking of…” That song is our grownup jam–our adult version of the playground lyrics that teased our elementary school crushes. Kissing is fun and sexy and essential for many of us but you’ve got to come to the table…or bed prepared to pucker up. In a week we will officially be into a new season and you know what that means. “More kissing!” you say? Actually it’s the start of dry, cracked and ashy lips season. A non-good look if there every was one. Some people notice a difference in their lips by the end of summer way before winter approaches so we’re cutting the flaky lip beast off at the ankles with these seven tips for how to get soft, smooth, kissable lips fast.
IN THE SHOWER OR AT THE SINK
Wet your face and lips with water. If you’re in the shower, allow the steam to soften up your face and lips while you lather up and bathe. Afterwards, using a soft toothbrush that has been dipped in olive, coconut or jojoba oil (any natural oil will do really), gently rub your lips in a circular motion until the dead skin starts to flake off. Do this until your lips are as smooth as they can be without removing any excess skin that is not ready to be removed (it may take a day or two to be able to remove all of your dead skin). Be gentle and don’t pull at the skin that won’t come up easily or you could cause your lips to become raw and start to bleed and make them worse.
MAKE YOUR OWN LIP SCRUB
A simple mixture of a teaspoon each of plain sugar, olive oil, and honey (optional) is another great way to exfoliate your lips after wetting them. Like the toothbrush method, scrub in a circular motion being careful not to over-exfoliate.
APPLY AN OIL OR BUTTER BASED LIP BALM WITH AT LEAST SPF 15 DURING THE DAY
After you exfoliate you need to seal your lips with a good lip balm that also has sunscreen as the sun can dry out your lips and burn them. Think of lip balm the way you would moisturizing hair products. The best ones have natural oils to seal in moisture instead of petroleum jelly. Be sure to read your ingredients labels. Our top moisturizing lip balm pick is L’Occitane Moisturizing Lip Balm which is formulated with 10 percent shea butter and is so worth the splurge. It may be the last balm you buy. Next up is Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 which is so good. Other contenders that we love are EOS Lemon Drop Smooth Sphere Lip Balm SPF 15 with shea butter and jojoba oil and Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm SPF 20 with aloe and honey. Be sure to reapply your balm as needed throughout the day especially after eating or working out.
APPLY MOISTURIZING LIPSTICK OR GLOSS
If you plan to also wear lip gloss or lipstick, look for brands with SPF and moisturizing ingredients like honey, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil shea and coco butter. Make sure you apply your SPF lip balm underneath your lipstick or gloss if there is no SPF in your gloss or lipstick. Moisturizing lipsticks that feel and work as good as a lip balm are Clinique Almost Lipstick which is so perfect for when you what something that’s barely there day or night, Ilia Lipstick which is a great organic brand, Revlon Color Burst Lip Butter, Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupt? Shine and Nars Satin Lipstick.
AVOID LICKING YOUR LIPS
Saliva dries out fast and is not as hydrating as water. If it was, all we’d need to do is swallow our spit to be hydrated. Licking your lips causes them to dry out so avoid this and keep your lips hydrated with your moisturizing lip balm.
MOISTURIZE YOUR LIPS OVERNIGHT WITH A LIP TREATMENT
Dry air in your home and licking your lips while you sleep can cause your lips to dry out overnight. Apply a layer of lip balm to your lips at night to help prevent them from drying out and so that your lips are soft and supple in the morning. Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment works great day and night and is an absolute lip saver for healing lips over night. Jose Maran Argan Lip Treatment is another good option. It’s an argan-infused lip-treatment balm that conditions, repairs, and protects dry, fragile lips and is great for filling fine lines around lips. This treatment can be used day or night. For the task of night lip protection we also don’t mind using petroleum or mineral oil based products and like Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Salve and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick as overnight options. However we found that using petroleum or mineral oil based products was best when our lips are already flake free and we just want to seal them.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER
They say the eyes are the key to the soul and if that’s the case, then the lips are the key to your water consumption. When someone is dehydrated, one of the first places it will show is on their lips. Come on ladies, drink up. At least eight tall glasses a day minimum. Add lemon if you need to, but get that water or it won’t just be your lips that pay the price.
To your softest kisses!