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Cracked and chapped lips are the bane of every woman’s life as winter approaches but now one online beauty retailer has put together their ten top tips to keep your smackers looking healthy and pout-ready. The beauty experts at online hair and beauty retailer Hairtrade.com have come up with the tips to keep lips looking and feeling soft and plump all throughout the chilly months.

The skin of the lip, with three to five layers, is very thin compared to skin on the face, for example, which has up to 16 layers. Lips have no oil or sweating glands either, and no hairy coverage to protect them from the elements.

Coupled with the fact that lips are replete with nerve endings, this means our smackers are incredibly sensitive to temperature and touch which can be very problematic, particularly during winter. Yet ironically, whilst we go to extreme lengths to make sure every other inch of our bodies is covered up and warm, our lips are often one of the only parts left bare to brave the elements in the face of winter. Luckily, following these top ten lip tips will help you to ward off unsightly smackers over winter.

Don’t Lick Your Lips

Naturally, when your lips start to become dry and chapped, your instinct is to lick them. But this actually has the opposite effect, as once you put saliva on your lips, it dries out, in turn making your lips even drier! Plus, the enzymes that are in saliva which digest food are irritating to sensitive lip skin.

Exfoliate Your Lips

Invest in a quality lip scrub and use it once or twice a week to remove dry, dead or chapped skin cells from your lips. Many lip scrubs on the market have a range of fruity flavours, so will taste delicious too. Otherwise, simply mix honey and brown sugar for a tasty, natural exfoliator. After exfoliating, your lips will look fresher and smoother.

Treat Cracked Lips Right Away

Don’t think you can simply leave them to get better on their own, as they will usually get worse and cracked lips can possibly get infected or lead to an unsightly cold sore. There are some great creams and balms on the high street that will soothe cracked lips and help to heal raw, broken skin.

Keep Hydrated

Quite often your dry, flaky lips are simply a result of dehydration. Increase your fluid intake with water, coconut water or herbal teas to give your lips a boost all year round.

Apply lip balm before you go to bed
Slathering your lips with a generous coat of your favourite lip balm or a nourishing oil (olive oil, almond oil, coconut oil) before you go to sleep is a great way to moisturise and protect your lips during the cold nights.

Use An Ointment-Based Lip Balm

This will lock in moisture and help to heal cracks and splits in the skin. Jojoba oil, glycerine, beeswax, shea butter and aloe vera are also good alternatives for lip balm bases. Avoid lip balms containing camphor, eucalyptus and menthol. These ingredients actually dry out your lips, so will only make the problem worse.

Don’t Neglect SPF

It can be hard to believe when we’re travelling to and from work in the dark, but the sun still rises every day – even if it is somewhat clouded over! So, opt for lip balms with an SPF factor of at least 15 to protect the skin on your lips from sun damage.

Cover Your Lips From The Elements

When venturing outside, try to cover your lips with a warm, woolly scarf so that the harsh winter air has a tougher time reaching and damaging your lips. Some winter coat hoods also have Velcro or button snaps that secure around the bottom part of your face, so use them!

Use A Humidifier

Air can become dry in your home during the winter as a result of having your heating turned up, which may contribute to dry, chapped lips. Using a humidifier to keep the humidity levels in your home between 30%-50% could help prevent this.

Danielle Mead