Having soft, pink lips is not only a sign of good health, but every girl's dream. With that being said, sometimes the weather can take it's toll leaving lips looking dry and unhealthy. My lips tend to suffer the most during hot weather - with the sun drying them out, whereas for many, winter tends to be the main culprit for causing dry, chapped lips. Over the years I've mastered a lip routine that makes sure my lips are always looking their best - after all, they're an important assest. Nobody wants to kiss you if your lips are looking dry and flaky.
Hands Off: When it comes to our lips, we're our own worst enemy. A lot of habits from licking your lips, to biting them can lead to dryness, soreness and irritation. Try to break the habit and your lips will soon thank you.
Choose the Right Lip Balm: Using a lip balm is important to keep your lips nourished, but using the wrong type will only end up having an adverse effect on your lips. Some balms can be decieving and contain ingredients that dry your lips out even more. Salicylic acid, the miracle worker in acne medication is one such culprit. Try to use balms that contain a base of beeswax or petroleum jelly - these seal in moisture and won't evaporate as quickly as thinner balms or glosses. I'm a huge fan of the Caudalie Lip Conditioner and buy it over and over again.
Exfoliate: It took me a long time to realise that lips need to be properley exfolatied, and regularly. I'd occasionally rub an old toothbrush over my lips when they were looking particularly dry and flaky and assume this would be adequate enough, but it turns out in order to really moisturise lips, you need to get rid of the dead skin cells before the balms can really be put to work. Lush do a great range of lip exfoliators, but alternatively you can make your own at home. Just mix a tablespoon of brown sugar with just enough honey (or olive oil) to get it to stick together. Once a week rub the scrub onto your lips, vigorously enough to loosen the dead skin, then wipe it off with a damp cloth. Remember to apply a lip balm after use.
Protect: As I mentioned, lips are susceptible to sun burn since they lack melanin, the pigment that helps shield the skin from the sun. As a result, it's important to apply a product that contains SPF daily (even if you don't live in a particularly warm climate), or look for a lipstick that includes an SPF in it's formula.
Matte vs Shine: Matte lipsticks can be extremely drying (which is what helps them stay put for so long) so for this reason you should use them sparingly, particularly when your lips are chapped. Instead, alternate them with hydrating lipsticks that contain vitamin E, or add a layer of moisturising balm underneath.
What are your top tips for keeping your lips in the best shape?