You’ve probably dealt with dry lips as the seasons shift. Most people experience chapped lips every once in a while, and cool winter temperatures can bring them about—just as cold weather can lead to dry skin. Of course, dry lips don’t have to be a forgone conclusion. With the right lip care routine, you can learn how to make your lips soft and hydrated. As it turns out, there’s more for you to do than slather your pout with a lip balm (although that’s important, too). One aspect of lip care you may not have considered is paying attention to what ingredients are good for your lips. Two of our top recommendations are squalane and coconut oil. The former is a moisturizing, emollient oil that’s safe for dry, sensitive skin. And the latter is an occlusive moisturizer that protects against moisture loss. Here, we’re breaking down seven key steps to care for your lips, including using formulas with both of these ingredients.
How To Make Your Lips Soft and Hydrated
1. Be Diligent About Daily Lip Balm Use
A lip balm can help smooth, soften, and moisturize lips. Using a one throughout the day can help replenish moisture and help prevent lips from becoming dry in the first place. This means you shouldn’t wait for your pout to get parched before picking up a tube. Make using lip balm part of your everyday routine. The same way your face needs to be hydrated with a face moisturizer and your under-eye area calls for an eye cream, your lips necessitate daily moisture, too. Keep your lip conditioner with the rest of your skincare products and apply it as your last step, and also throw a tube in your bag or pocket for on-the-go application.
For your everyday lip balm, we recommend Lip Balm #1. This Kiehl’s classic has been around since the 1960s, which should tell you something. The moisturizing formula with squalane, aloe vera, and vitamin E smooths and hydrates lips. It also helps shield them from the drying effects of wind and cold weather. In addition to the original, fragrance-free formula, the balm also comes in three customer-favorite scents: cranberry, mint, and mango. Apply liberally, and reapply as needed to help moisturize and soften your lips.
Facial Fuel No-Shine Moisturizing Lip Balm is another top lip balm pick. This option is part of our men’s Facial Fuel line and is uniquely formulated for the gents. What sets it apart is its finish; the balm has a no-shine formula that leaves your lips matte. As for why it’s a lip care essential, the balm refuels and moisturizes lips, leaving them soft and smooth.
2. Address Chapped Lips Before They Get Worse
If your lips are more than just dry and are actually chapped, make sure you’re taking action. You certainly don’t want to wait for winter to pass in the hopes that your lips will go back to normal next season. Look for lip treatments that are formulated with ingredients known to heal dry, chapped lips. These include shea butter, mineral oil, and castor seed oil. You don’t want to use formulas or ingredients that may irritate your lips. (That may seem obvious, but you might assume that burning or tingling is a sign your lip moisturizers and treatments are working, when actually they’re irritating your lips.)
One of our favorite lip treatments, Butterstick Lip Treatment, contains shea butter. The balm, which is also formulated with lemon butter and fairly traded coconut oil, instantly melts onto lips to help soften and moisturize them.
3. Indulge Your Pout With a Lip Mask
Face masks have become a skincare staple, and now that clay masks and sheet masks are household names, the types of masks available are getting even more specific. These include lip masks. A lip mask is an intensive treatment that helps replenish and moisturize dry lips. Many lip masks can be used overnight as a hydrating treatment while you sleep, while some can also be applied as a moisturizing treatment before makeup.
You can help lips feel and appear hydrated and restored with a layer of our hydrating lip mask: Buttermask For Lips. The overnight lip treatment is formulated with coconut oil and wild mango butter to help reveal softer, more supple lips by morning. Apply a generous layer at bedtime and in the morning before your favorite lipstick. While it is considered a nighttime lip moisturizer, you can also reapply the mask throughout the day as desired. Pamper your pout as much as it needs.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: Prep lips for a night out by applying Buttermask For Lips for 10 to 15 minutes to soften your lips while you are getting ready. Don’t you love to multitask? Once time is up, wipe it off with a tissue and apply your lip color as per usual before heading out. We love this trick because it doesn’t tack any extra time onto your routine, and a dose of moisture can help your lipstick apply more smoothly.
4. Don’t Forget To Exfoliate
Finding the best lip balm is important, but your dry lips need more than just moisture to become their softest. Exfoliating should be part of any lip care routine. Over time, dry, dead skin cells build up on your lips, and they should be sloughed away. A lip scrub is one of the best ways to do so. Apply a small amount onto your fingertip, then rub it over cleansed lips. Wash off the residue, then follow with the lip moisturizer or balm of your choosing.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: If you don’t have a lip scrub on hand, you can get creative with what you do have. Gently rub your lips with a toothbrush (one that’s completely clean of toothpaste residue), and they’ll be perfectly prepped for your lip balm.
5. Always Wear SPF
Lip sunscreen may not be part of your vernacular in the way that face and body sunscreen are, but it’s just as important. No matter the time of year, you should protect your lips from the sun. They can get burnt and be damaged just like the skin on any other spot that’s exposed to UV rays. Make sure to use a lip balm with an SPF value of 30 or higher every day and reapply it at least every two hours when outdoors. Try the Butterstick Lip Treatment SPF 30, which comes in five colors, plus clear. The lip treatment offers instant, long-lasting moisture and broad-spectrum SPF protection.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: We know a way to make your beauty routine that much easier, not to mention, color-coordinated. Try warming a little bit of tinted Butterstick between your fingertips and apply the same hue you have on your lips as a cheek color.
6. Stop Bad Lip Habits
Some people pick at their cuticles, others absent-mindedly twirl their hair or mess with split ends. These bad beauty habits can be hard to break, but it’s worth trying. The same is true if you lick or bite your lips. If you have dry lips, licking them may seem like it can help, but science shows that as your saliva evaporates, your lips will actually get drier. This creates a (nearly) never-ending cycle where you’re always licking your lips. Biting (or picking) at your lips can also be irritating and impede healing, which may make chapped lips worse and take away from your lip care efforts.
7. Drink More Water
It might seem as if drinking more water is the answer to everything, but there really is research supporting that staying hydrated is key if you want your lips to be hydrated, too. Start toting around a water bottle and keep a glass on your desk and nightstand to make sure you drink enough water every day.
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: You can also introduce more hydration with the help of a humidifier. Sleep with one by your bed to put extra moisture into the air while you sleep. This is good not just for your lips, but for your skin overall as well.
Bonus: Top Things Off With Color and Shine
While glossing up your lips won’t heal them, adding a little shine to your pout can help it look less dry (and make your lips look fuller, too!). Complete your beauty look using a lip oil that offers plenty of glow and a hint of color. Love Oil For Lips provides the shine of a gloss with the replenishment of an oil. The glow-infusing oil is formulated with a blend of coconut oil, moringa oil, and acerola cherry extract, making for a lightweight lip treatment that improves the overall appearance of lips. The nourishing oil helps lips feel softer and look smoother with continued use. For the best results, spread the oil lightly across your lips and don’t apply more than you need (avoid rubbing lips together, as this will push the formula outside of the lip area).
Kiehl’s Expert Tip: Love Oil For Lips can be used alone or layered over lipstick for nourishing, non-sticky shine.
Next: Discover How To Get Glowing Skin to complement your high-shine lips.