If you feel like you’re applying lip balms and hydrating lipsticks non-stop at the moment, you’re not alone. It’s that time of year, plus add dehydrating face coverings into the mix and you've got a recipe for chapping. However, exfoliation can help you curb the habit, leaving your lips smoother, suppler and suitably prepped for a moisturising salve or a much-needed pop of colour.
As makeup artist Caroline Barnes highlights in a YouTube video of hers, it’s a must, and her kit bag comes equipped with a range of quick solutions ready to make a model’s parched pout picture-ready in an instant. They’re also the fixes she uses herself when her lips are feeling rougher than usual in the winter. Interestingly, she also highlights that their lack of moisture has been further amplified by her testing of F illerina’s hyaluronic-rich Lips and Mouth plumping product, £85: “Because the area that I’m in at the moment in London is very dry, the hyaluronic [acid] isn’t able to take and absorb the water from the atmosphere, so it’s taking it from my lips, making them a lot drier.”
There are other ingredients that can also be irritative in Caroline’s experience too. For example, tingly lip balms that contain alcohol in them can dry out lips, as can peppermint and even vitamin E for some people. Switching to something more neutral can prove to be a better alternative.
To get even more from your balm though, Caroline recommends extending your exfoliation routine to your lips - and there are a number of ways of doing so.
Caroline always carries a packet of Kiko Pure Clean Scrub and Peel Wipes , £4.19, in her kit bag. Enriched with alpha hydroxy acids, they lift away dead skin cells (when you use gentle circular motions). Remember to rinse the residue off though before popping your lip balm on top to finish. The result is that you won’t just be hydrating the dead skin cells that are sitting on top of the lips. Caroline also rates Alpha-H Liquid Gold , £33.50, which contains 5 per cent glycolic acid.
If you prefer physical exfoliation though, Caroline recommends trying Max Factor’s new Miracle Prep Lip Scrub , £9.99. Containing a nourishing and protective blend of coconut oil and vitamin E, its sugar granules help slough off flakes, creating a smooth surface to apply lipstick on.
For the cheapest option though, just put your finger into a wet towel or flannel and buff roughness away using gentle circular movements.
Boosting both the efficacy of your lip balm as well as the finish of your lipstick, weekly exfoliation could be the key to keeping flakiness at bay until spring.