June 16, 2024


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3 Step Lip Care Routine for Dry Lips (Heal and Prevent Chapped Lips)


Hey Beauty Lovers!

Have you ever experienced dry and/or cracked lips?

Maybe your lips are dry right now.

Or maybe you are trying to prevent this from happening in the future.

Either way, by following the steps in my simple lip care routine, you will be able to keep your lips smooth, even in the harshest of winter weather.

Until I started taking care of my lips on a daily basis, I would end up with dry, cracked, and even bleeding lips every single winter. 

Now that I have a great lip care routine, my lips feel baby soft and smooth all year round. 

Want to know how to heal or prevent dry lips?

Let’s get right into my lip care routine…

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Lip Care Routine for Dry Lips

Before I begin name-dropping some products that I love, let’s first go over the types of products you will need to build your own effective lip care routine.

3 Step Lip Care Routine:

  1. Exfoliate
  2. Treat
  3. Protect

Lip Care Essentials:

  • Lip Scrub
  • Lip Treatment
  • Lip Mask
  • Lip Balm
  • Lip Oil (optional)

Do you really need so many products for your lip?


Let me tell you why.

Products For Extremely Dry and Cracked Lips

When your lips are extremely dry and/or cracking, it is essential to gently exfoliate the dead skin. Picking off the flaking skin will only further damage your lips and may result in bleeding.

There are plenty of lip exfoliators on the market, but keep a sharp eye on the ingredients list.

You DO NOT want to get a simple sugar scrub.

Choose an exfoliator that also has nourishing ingredients, such as shea butter. Just scrubbing your lips without a protectant can cause your lips to further dry out.

Trust me, you don’t want that.

I am currently loving the Skinn Non-Negotiables DermAppeal Lip Scrub (shown in the photo above). It is formulated with finely ground dried Lychee Seeds, Shea Butter, and Hyaluronic Acid.

If you like to shop at Sephora, you can also pick up the Fresh Sugar Lip Polish Exfoliator. I have used this one in the past and really liked it too. The Fresh lip scrub is formulated with Brown Sugar, Jojoba Oil, and Shea Butter.

How to use: After cleansing your face, apply a pea-sized amount to your lips and gently massage it in until you feel that your lips feel smooth. Rinse the lip scrub off with warm water.

How often should you use a lip scrub?

When your lips are already dry and cracked, start using a lip scrub once a week. Do not over-exfoliate your lips by using the scrub every day. 

To prevent dry lips, you can use the lip scrub 1-2 times a week, depending on how well your skin tolerates the product. Always start slow, and work your way up to using the scrub more often.

If you experience any irritation from the lip scrub, stop using it immediately. Your skin may be too sensitive or you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients.

Once your lips have been scrubbed, it is time to give them a boost of nourishment and hydration.

Lip treatments are different than lip balms. 

Lip treatments work at the cellular level to repair, nourish, and soothe the skin while lip balms sit on top of the skin and act as a protectant.

Balms will get applied multiple times a day while treatments will only be applied 1-2 times a day. Lip treatments may not give your skin enough hydration on their own, so it is best to layer a lip balm on top.

When I have extremely dry lips, I like to use the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Triple-Action Lip Serum. It is formulated with Sugar, Vitamin E, Acmella Flower Extract, and Hyaluronic Acid. I also recommend using this regularly if you are starting to get lip wrinkles, it does wonders for mature skin.

My lips are a little dry right now, so I am currently using the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Recovery Lip Mask (shown in the photo above). This is marketed as a lip mask, but in my experience, it works a lot more like a lip treatment. The Recovery Lip Mask is formulated with Sugar, Shea Butter, Berry Wax, Shea Butter, and Hyaluronic Acid. It is a very healing formula, and a little goes a very long way.

How to use: To use a lip treatment effectively, you are going to want to apply the treatment to clean skin and then layer lip balm on top. You can apply the lip balm as many times as you need throughout the day.

How often do you need to use a lip treatment?

When your lips are already extremely dry, I recommend using a lip treatment twice a day, one in the AM and once in the PM. I always follow up with a lip balm to keep my lips feeling comfortable.

To prevent dry lips and keep them smooth, you only need to use a lip treatment once a day. Alternatively, you can use a lip mask in place of a lip treatment if you are in prevention mode.

I will be talking about lip masks next…

Products to Keep Lips Smooth

Now that your lips are healed and feeling great, you are going to want to keep them that way.

The only way to avoid getting dry/chapped lips is to make lip care a part of your daily skincare routine.

Since you can’t reapply lip balms throughout the night, overnight lip masks are fantastic for conditioning your lips while you sleep.

(I am talking about lip masks here because I really consider them more of a lip treatment and lip balm combination.)

I am currently using the Aceology Overnight Lip Mask (shown in the photo above). This mask is pretty hard to find in the US, but it is one of my favorites.

Here are some other options that I have used in the past that are available on Amazon:

I hate to say this, but I do not recommend the Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, it just doesn’t work as well as the ones I mentioned above in my opinion.

How to use: Apply to clean lips before bed. There is no need to wash the mask off.

I like to use a lip mask all year round whether my lips are dry or not. It is one of my secrets to keeping my lips smooth and soft.

Now let’s talk about lip balms…

It’s time to stop using chapstick.

I have some lip balm recommendations that will work so well that you will never go back to chapstick again.

Why do you even need a lip balm?

You may have heard that lip balms dry your lips out even more than using nothing. This simply isn’t true. 

Lip balms are essential for maintaining healthy lips, and they will prevent them from getting chapped in the first place.

I have been using the lip balms from Smith’s Rosebud Perfume Co. for the last 15 years. They make a few options, and I love them all! 

Here is a breakdown of my favorites from the brand:

  • Rosebud Salve– this one comes in a tin and squeeze tube. This is their most basic lip balm, there is no special flavor, so this one is a great option for anyone that likes something simple on their lips.
  • Strawberry Lip Balm– this is the one that I have in the above photo. It comes in a tin and a squeeze tube. I love the strawberry scent!
  • Rose & Mandarin Lip Balm– this one comes in a squeeze tube, and it has a very unique citrus scent.
  • Minted Rose Balm– this one comes in a tin. I saved the best for last! This lip balm is very minty and it has a red tint which makes your lips look amazing. I have gone through so many tins of this one, it is my favorite from the brand!

Once I tried the Rosebud Salves, I never looked back. 

How to use: Use lip balm as often as needed throughout the day.

Use lip balm on dry/chapped lips but don’t forget to keep using it after your lips heal. Make sure to always keep some lip balm around and apply it at least twice a day. This step will really help with dry lip prevention. 

If you like the look of glossy lips, you can use lip oil instead of lip balm.

Lip oils are a must-have if you like to use a lot of lip gloss.

They protect the lips, nourish the skin, and provide a nice shine. I like to use lip oils in place of lipsticks and lip glosses whenever possible. I usually go for the tinted versions, but you can use an untinted one too.

There are so many lip oils on the market right now, so I will list my favorites:

  • Skinn Divine Elixir Luminous Lip Oil (shown in the photo above)- this one comes in three shades, Blush (tinted pink), Golden (yellow/clear), and Crimson (tinted red). I have the Golden and Crimson lip oils, and I love them so much!
  • Artist Couture Silky Lip Oil– this one is super glossy! It comes in a pink, frosted shade that looks so pretty. It is currently out of stock at Sephora, but sign up for email notifications for when they get some more back on the website.
  • lilah b. Lovingly Lip Hyaluronic Treatment Oil– this one is clear, but it is super hydrating! I absolutely love this one, it may even be my favorite.

How to use: Apply this one like a lip gloss during the day in place of lip balm.

FYI: The tinted lip oils are pretty sheer, see the photo below for a swatch of the Skinn lip oil in Crimson:

And that’s my 3 step lip care routine!

I have been following this routine for a few years now, and my lips haven’t gotten chapped once in that time. The worst I have experienced was a little dryness (like now) due to neglecting my skin for a few days. However, my lips go right back to happy and healthy within a day of getting back into my regular routine.

Final Thoughts

Just to recap the 3 step lip care routine:

  1. Exfoliate
  2. Treat
  3. Protect

If you follow these steps, you will be on your way to healthy, beautiful-looking lips.

How are your lips feeling right now? Let me know in the comments at the bottom of this post!

If you liked this lip care routine, you may also like my Skincare Routines Series. 

Read This Next: Better Than Botox? Anti-Aging Skincare Routine

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