This Could Be Your Secret Weapon Against Chapped Lips

Depending on the season, reaching for a stick of Chapstick might be all you need to keep cracking, dry, chapped, rough lips at bay, but we've all, at once time or another, gone to apply our lipstick and found the canvas on which we are trying to paint isn't exactly smooth, supple, and ready to rock that signature red. So what to do when a simple swipe of lip balm isn't enough? Actually, the key to healthier, softer lips may not be what you put on them, but what you take off, as Healthline notes.

We're talking exfoliation. Sure, exfoliation may be more familiar when discussing how to keep facial skin looking younger or how to get the perfect pedicure, but dead, dry skin can build up on your lips, too. This sensitive part of your face can also benefit from some gentle exfoliation to keep them softer, more supple, and thanks to increased blood-flow post exfoliation, fuller.

How to exfoliate your lips

The skin on your lips is quite sensitive, so choosing a gentle means of exfoliation is essential. There are several ways you can do this. No matter which option you choose, the first step is always to make sure your lips are clean and free of any makeup or other products. One option is to brush your bare lips with a soft, dry toothbrush or with a piece of dry flannel fabric. If you choose to do this, it's a good idea to do so in a room with moisture in the air (like a bathroom after a shower or a room where you can use a humidifier), according to Nivea.

Another option is to use a sugar scrub. Sugar is not only a gentle exfoliant but also a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment and helps the skin absorb it (via Burke Williams). You can make your own sugar scrub by mixing a teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar. Massage this mixture into your lips and let it sit for ten minutes. Then remove with a warm, wet face cloth (via Nivea). A third option is to apply a thick coat of lip balm to your lips and then brush in a circular motion with a soft toothbrush.

No matter which you choose, make sure to follow up with moisturization; apply a lip balm, and if you'll be in the sun, choose one with SPF to avoid chapped lips. Exfoliate twice per week to keep lips happy and healthy.