You can bundle yourself up in the colder months from head to toe, but your precious pucker may still be vulnerable to the elements. Frigid temperatures, wind, sun and dry heat can cause chapped lips, rough texture and, in the worst case, painful cracks. Though the cosmetic aisle offers lots of lip products, there are some you should avoid during this time. “Deep pigmented lipsticks, and matte lipsticks in particular, contain stronger pigments that can irritate lips and cause peeling,” explains cosmetic dermatologist Paul Jarrod Frank. “If you want to wear color, glosses and balms are good options because they’re more emollient, as is a moisturizing lipstick.” It's also important to remove dry flakes beforehand so moisturizers penetrate better. We've tracked down a plethora of soothing solutions, from exfoliators to full-on lip kits, to keep your kisser safeguarded in winter.
BEST LIP EXFOLIATORS Glo Minerals Exfoliating Lip Wand($15.50) is a stick balm with tiny crystals to exfoliate dry skin, making it the perfect way to prep lips for color. At the same time, its waxy, jojoba base moisturizes your mouth.
Fresh Sugar Lip Polish($22.50) conditions your pucker while exfoliating it, thanks to real brown sugar crystals (almost good enough to eat!), grapeseed oils, shea butter and meadowfoam seed. It tastes yummy while leaving lips super supple.
The Lip Scrub by Sara Happ ($24) de-flakes dry lips with lots of flavor. Available in easy-to-tote pots, this cult favorite comes in peppermint, vanilla bean, brown sugar, green apple, red velvet, crème brûlée, black velvet cherry and limited-edition blood orange.
BEST NON-TINTED LIP BALMS Kiehl’s Lip Balm # 1 ($7) has been around over 40 years. As its name implies, this basic lip balm is the brand's best seller. And for good reason: it softens your pucker with almond oil, vitamins A and E and lanolin without being sticky.
The Body Shop Vitamin E Lip Care Stick SPF 15 ($8) is a must for every winter coat pocket. It wards off chapped skin with vitamin E and the sun’s burning rays with SPF 15. The vanilla flavor makes it delicious when worn either alone or under a lip color.
La Roche-Posay Nutritic Lips ($15.95) is an essential option for extra-dry, super-chapped lips. It glides on effortlessly to soothe painful, sensitive skin and leave it instantly comforted.
BEST TINTED LIP BALMS Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm($3.99) takes you back to your teen years when fruity balms were all the rage. Mouthwatering shades, like Cherry Me, Grape Vine, Pink Punch and Peach Kiss, leave behind a subtle hint of color, hydrate with shea butter and protect lips with an SPF 20.
Yes to Carrots Color Balm ($5.99) comes in a ChapStick-style tube so it’s a discreet way to brighten your smile. Available in Peachy Keen, Soft Plum and Rosy Bloom, the balm's hues complement any skin tone while leaving lips kissably soft.
YSL Volupté Sheer Candy ($30) comes in ten shades that gently kiss your lips with a sheer wash of color. Loaded with vitamins and antioxidants, this balm hydrates for an amazing eight hours!
BEST MOISTURIZING LIP COLORS Sonia Kashuk Stain Luxe Lipcolor with SPF 16($9.99) moisturizes your lips with its creamy ceramide and seaweed extract formula, offers rich color (from neutrals to berry hues) and prevents sunburn with an SPF 16. Plus, its elegant packaging gives you a department store look for a budgeted price.
Korres Mango Butter Lipstick SPF 10 ($18) offers sheer lip color that hydrates with mango butter and comes in six sweet and natural-looking shades. Swipe it on once for a hint of each hue and two or three times for deeper color.
Giorgio Armani Rouge d'Armani Sheer Lipstick($30) is a long-wearing lip color that stays put while also conditioning your pout. This celebrity favorite comes in 12 punchy shades and a tube so elegant you’re bound to feel like a A-lister yourself.
BEST LIP KITS BlissFabulips Treatment Kit ($45) brings a little spa-ahh to your mouth with lip products and treatments used in facials at the world-renown Bliss Spa. It includes a foaming lip cleanser, sugar lip scrub, lip plumper and lip balm to freshen, exfoliate and smooth, all with ingredients like sugar, shea butter, vitamin E and jojoba and grapeseed oils.
June Jacobs Lip Kit ($60) is for those in need of some serious lip rehab. It contains a gentle scrub to slough off flakes, a mask to infuse lips with hydration and anti-aging ingredients, and a balm rich with avocado oil, algae, shea butter and sunflower seed oil. The whole regimen keep lips soft and make lines less noticeable over time.