If cracking a smile is literal for you -- as in lips so dry they split with unexpected movement -- this one little tip should make all the difference:
Dab lips with hydrating serum before slathering them with super-emolliant lip balm that comes in a squeeze-tube.
One of my new favourite hydrating serums is Consonant Hydrextreme, an all-natural, hyper-hydrating, quick-absorb liquid that delivers excellent, long-lasting results. Expensive -- $72 for 10 mL -- but worth it. Formulated with cassia angustifolia seed extract and glycerine, word is that Hydrextreme hydrates even better and for longer than hyaluronic acid. A drop on the lips before balm in the morning and evening will up your lip-care game, especially during hella-dry winter.
A less pricey yet excellent option is La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Serum ($38.50 at drugstores), which soothes with thermal spring water (the stuff is amazing for upset skin) plus hyaluronic acid, arginine and serine.
As for balm, although I've found a number of fantastic stick types with zero waxiness, for chronically dry lips nothing is better than a soft balm that blankets, soothes and protects from icy wind. In keeping with the all-natural theme, try Green Beaver Après Ski Ultra Moisturizing Boreal Lip Balm ($4.99 at greenbeaver.com) which is made with organic castor seed, sunflower, canola and cranberry seed oils as well as organic beeswax and shea butter.
For a full, winter lip-conditioning routine, click here; just remember to include this serum tip, too.
Now go on, crack a smile. With pleasure. Mistletoe season is coming.
Have you ever tried serum on your lips? Or maybe eye cream?
P.S. Consonant Hydrextreme makes a brilliant holiday gift for anyone with a dry or very dry complexion. You will be loved. La Roche-Posay is also a good idea -- it's a trustworthy brand that delivers.