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Winter Lips 911: Stuff to Make Them Smile Despite a Deep Freeze

How to soften, smooth and protect dry cracked lips. First step: ditch the stick balms.
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After she saw the lecture I got from my skin the other day, Sarah asked via comment, "what are your lips saying? Mine are beyond chapped and cracked -- I need help, stat!"

Other than the occasional "likey," my lips really aren't saying much, which is a good thing. They're super quick to yell at me when they're unhappy, so I'm more diligent with their care. At the moment, they're just -- grinny.

But if yours are less than satisfied with their winter sitch, here's how to get them back into their comfort zone:

1) Gently buff roughness away daily with a wrung-out corner of a hot washcloth.

2) While lips are still a little damp, dab them with a little natural oil, such as Weleda Sea Buckthorn Oil (have I mentioned that one before?), Sibu Sea Buckthorn Oil, or Pure + Simple Organic Lavender Lip Oil. Any oil or oil blend appropriate for the face should do; just a drop or two makes lips look better instantly. But because oil doesn't actually hydrate or add moisture (it helps hold onto it instead), you need another step.

3) Top with a little lip conditioner. Best to avoid waxy, stick formulas; they're generally not as moisturizing as gelée textures such as Green Beaver Aprés Ski Lip Balm or Revolution Organics lip balm, which are basically blends of oils and organic beeswax to help them stay put. (Okay, okay, there are stick exceptions: Yes to Carrots balm, Burt's Bees Nourishing Lip BalmFresh Sugar Lip Balm and LipFusion Conditioning Stick.) Lip butters – The Body ShopKorres – are also options. And oooh! Just spotted Crabtree & Evelyn balms in this great face/body Winter Skin Savers story on

I've mentioned lots of balms already, but are there favourites I'm missing? What's your cure for winter-peeved lips?