Chapped Lips Or Cracked Lips? Here's How To Fix That

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Dry, cracked skin feels pretty unpleasant no matter where it happens to be, but there is something about the feeling of papery, pickable chapped lips that really rankles. Cold weather, wind and moisture sapping heating all play their part in making chapped lips a universal winter issue. And, while a slick of balm provides a short-term solution, to really tackle the problem we all need to be doing a little bit more. Follow our ultimate chapped and cracked lip rescue plan for lips that are smooth, soft, comfortable - and more kissable too, should that be an option.

1. Exfoliate

Get rid of those nasty peeling bits (NOT by using your teeth, mind) You've probably heard the beauty hack about using an old toothbrush to gently scrub, which is great as long as you have one hanging around that's not been used for domestic cleaning purposes. Far more indulgent, and reliably sanitary, are the little pots of sugar scrub for lips that seem to have cropped up everywhere over the last year. Fresh Sugar Lip Polis (opens in new tab)h (opens in new tab), £19 (opens in new tab) is one of the originals and still the best.

Buy Fresh Sugar Lip Polish now at Harrods.com for £19 (opens in new tab)

2. Soothe

Now you've scoured them of flotsam, fill your pout with a friendly, soothing treatment. We love oils for everything here at W&H - they feel and smell lovely, sink in fast thanks to small molecules and stick around for hours so you get instant comfort and also a layer of defence. Hourglass No28 Lip Treatment Oil, £34 (opens in new tab) is effective and ridiculously beautiful, but at that price it should be. Barry M makes a surprisingly lovely budget option, as long as you enjoy the smell of coconuts (we do!)

Buy Barry M Coco Loco Lip Oil at Superdrug.com for £4.99 (opens in new tab)

3. Treat

Ever noticed how lip balm gives you a little sweet relief, swiftly followed by a dehydrating effect that leads you smother your lips in balm all over again and so the cycle continues? You're not alone. Bafflingly, many popular lip balms are stuffed with irritating ingredients like artificial fragrance, drying alcohol or petroleum, which creates an artificial barrier that stops your lips producing their own moisture, creating a vicious cycle. Be picky about what your lip balm contains, look for natural emolients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter and bee's wax. We love Ruby Red Lip Therapy with Vanilla and Honey, £10 (opens in new tab) or go luxe with Omorovicza's dreamy hyaluronic acid packed Perfecting Lip Balm, £32 (opens in new tab). It's not cheap, but this is serious skincare and the chunky tub will last all year.

Buy Omorovicza Perfecting Lip Balm at Omorovicza.com for £32 (opens in new tab)

Fiona McKim
Beauty Editor, womanandhome.com

 As woman&home's Beauty Channel Editor, Fiona Mckim has tried more products than she’s had hot dinners and nothing makes her happier than raving about brilliant finds on womanandhome.com or her instagram grid (@fionamckim if you like hair experiments and cute shih-tzus). Fiona joined woman&home as Assistant Beauty Editor in 2013 under industry legend Jo GB, who taught her everything she needed to know (learn about ingredients and employ extreme cynicism). She has since covered every corner of the industry, from interviewing dermatologists and celebrities to reporting backstage at Fashion Week and judging the w&h Beauty Awards.