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Pro Advice to Stop Dry Lips & Prep Them For Lipstick

Dry skin and winter go hand in hand — and the same goes for our lips. The skin on our lips is thin and lacks oil glands, according to board-certified dermatologist Jessie Cheung, MD, making it more prone to getting dry and chapped. When the weather is colder in the wintertime, the issue can worsen. "Chapped lips are often seasonal because cold air, brisk winds, and low humidity will cause the skin to lose more moisture," adds NYC-based Hadley King, MD, FAAD. "This can also contribute to seasonal flares of eczema." Furthermore, if left untreated, Dr. Cheung says dry, chapped lips can start to peel. Thankfully, there are things we can do to keep our lips moisturized during the colder months.

Below, Dr. Cheung and Dr. King spill their top tips on how to stop lips from peeling.

“I recommend extremely light pressure with a gentle product that has a moisturizing base to protect the skin barrier…”

3. Avoid triggers

Dr. King points to allergens and irritants in foods, as well as topical products, as other causes. For this reason, she recommends taking note of foods you ate or products you used before the lip peeling started to help identify any triggers. If an allergy is suspected, an allergist can also perform a patch test to confirm. The cold weather and wind can also trigger peeling lips, so Dr. King recommends protecting your lips by covering them with a mask or scarf when you're outside.

4. Slather on lip moisturizers 

The secret for how to stop peeling lips comes down to nourishing them with moisturizing lip products. Specifically, Dr. King recommends using lip balms that contain humectants such as hyaluronic acid and glycerin to hydrate the lips, emollients like ceramides to support the skin barrier, and occlusives (like bee's wax or coconut oil) to help lock in the moisturize. Apply the lip balm after you exfoliate and anytime your lips feel dry, likely at least four times per day, she instructs.

“...the skin of the lips is very delicate and thin, so it's important that this is done very, very gently.”

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