Dry, cracked, flaky lips can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and sometimes even really painful. While applying lipstick might seem like a good idea, most of the time you’ll probably discover that lipstick emphasizes the appearance of dry flakes instead of helping to disguise them, so what can you do?
Applying lip balm to dry lips will only help to a certain extent, as the balm will sink into and will moisturise any dry skin. Your lips will look better for a short period of time, but this will only last until the balm starts to wear off. To really moisturise your lips, you do need to exfoliate first, before applying any kind of ointment to soothe the skin.
Start by using a gentle lip scrub, like Lush Lip Scrub. If you don’t have a lip scrub, there are other items you could use; a damp wash cloth works well, just rub it lightly along your lips to remove any dry flakes of skin. A dry toothbrush also works, but be really gentle, as you don’t want to tear the delicate skin on your lips. You could also mix up your own sugar scrub, use about half a teaspoon of sugar and a drop or two of olive oil. Mix them together to create a paste and then apply this to your lips, gently massaging it in little circles before rinsing it off. If your lips are very dry, you may need to exfoliate a few days in a row, just remember to be gentle. Gently exfoliating over a few days is better then one harsh exfoliation that may end up doing more damage than good.
After you’ve exfoliated, you will need to apply lip balm or some kind of barrier cream (like Papaw Ointment, or a multi-purpose balm). This will need to be applied multiple times a day, for a few days, to help to soften any hard skin that wasn’t removed when you exfoliated, and it will also help to soothe and alleviate any discomfort associated with dry, cracked lips. To prevent any irritation or stinging, choose a lip balm or ointment with minimal fragrance, and avoid products containing menthol.
Once any cracks or painful areas have completely healed, you can start wearing lipstick, lip stains, and tinted lip balms. Just remember to exfoliate your lips at the first sign of dryness, and apply a lip balm immediately afterwards, to help keep them looking soft, smooth, and in perfect condition.