What's your go-to routine for extremely dry (and/or cracked, peeling, etc.!) lips?

For me, the key is really to keep a thicker, tackier lip balm on them (my go-to is Sara Happ The Lip Slip) and then try not to exfoliate until they are more healed.

— Christine


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Adrienne Avatar

This can become a problem for me most winters! I use a lot of lip balm in general. If cracking becomes a problem, I’ll eliminate any balms with irritants like peppermint or plumpers. Then I’ll use a ton of Sugar Advanced Therapy Treatment Lip Balm during the day, and at night I use a lip mask such as Laneige Sleeping Mask. But lately I’ve been applying Aerin Lauder Rose Lip Conditioner at night. I love it – it’s expensive but leaves my lips luxuriously soft and healed, and it smells like roses!

Ana Maria Avatar

My lips are somehow low maintenance even when they are cracked and peeling.
I usually use just one lip care product, which is Paula’s Choice Lipscreen. I apply it also at night to soothe my lips, even if it contains SPF. It simply saves me even from the worse cracked lips.
I don’t use a separate lip exfoliator, I just apply a thick layer of cleansing balm when I remove my makeup and gently rub my finger until all the dead ‘skin’ (ot whatever peels from the lips) is removed. I find anything else too harsh for my thin lip ‘skin’.

Nancy T Avatar

Because our climate here in AZ is sooo dry, I got into the habit of swiping my moisturizer and Marula oil over and into my lips at bedtime, followed by a nice coat of Laneige Gummi Bears Lip Mask to hold it in. Just making that slight tweak has made a noticeable difference. Lips are much more hydrated and “pillowy” in the morning as a result.
For daytime, I usually have MAC Prep & Prime Lips under most of my lipsticks, if I’m going to wear one.

Lesley Avatar

Fortunately I have a full tube of the old formula Bite Agave Lip Masque that keeps my lips in good condition. I have CeraVe Healing Ointment if I need something stronger. Recently I watched a YT video from Doctorly and they suggested regular moisturizer covered with Vaseline or another occlusive. I tried that this past week and it worked well.

CeeBee Avatar

Nivea Hydro Care stick lip balm for soothe and repair and Laniege Lip Sleeping mask for staying hydrated and in good condition. If my lips are super peely, I like to put on a thick layer of pawpaw ointment, wait 10 – 15 minutes and then brush my teeth and gently scrub my lips with the wet toothbrush to help exfoliate them. Then slather on another layer of a hydrating or barrier balm. Or both.

Ruby Avatar

Have never found anything that works for my naturally dry but very sensitive (and allergic to many natural oils, ugh) lips better than By Terry Baume de Rose. I wish I had! Overnight magic. (Have never tried the Sara Happ, which looks great, but all the nut oils make me a bit wary.) Expensive as the By Terry is, it does last a long time, smells amazing (in a subtle way) and has other uses (cuticle cream and I have even used it in a pinch to heal dried out pimples.) I always recommend it to desperate friends.

Debbie Avatar

I just keep them covered. Lip balm first thing ( usually Burt’s Bees in a seasonally appropriate flavor). Lip color, and gloss during the day, reapplied through out the day as needed, and either a lip mask, lip balm or if all else fails, a coating of Vaseline. It’s a very basic routine, but I have never had chapped or dry lips in my life, and if the routine isn’t broke, why fix it.

Andrea Avatar

Aquaphor is my go-to moisturizer for any dry skin, including lips. If my lips are cracked I stay clear of lip balms that are flavored or scented.

Z Avatar

Straight, minimally-processed lanolin. I get mine from new zealand and it’s a beautiful golden yellow color that smells of sheep. I slather a thick layer on my lips, above my lips, my nostrils, and my cuticles. My nose runs near nonstop in the winter and tissues wreak havoc on my aging facial skin. Sometimes the only thing that can save it in the cold, dry winter is that lanolin. If my lips are exceptionally peely I’ll take a damp microfiber cloth and try and loosen what will come off and slather what won’t.

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