Dear Lucky: 'Is Lip Balm/Lipstick Addictive?'

Executive Beauty Director

Q Is lip balm/lipstick really addictive? Is there a better solution to keep lips hydrated in winter? —@BiscuitGeneral

A Dear @BiscuitGeneral, No and no! While lip items might feel addictive—as in, I loved that, let’s do that again—they are not. Lips do not have oil glands, New York/Miami dermatologist Fredric Brandt explains, so they dry out quicker than the rest of your skin: “People also tend to lick their lips in winter to moisturize them—which dries them out and makes them worse.” Dr. Brandt says a humidifier in your bedroom will make a huge difference, along with copious amounts of your favorite lip balm or even moisturizing lipstick. (Highly pigmented ones catch in cracks if you have them, and so should be at least temporarily avoided. Long-lasting lipsticks have a reputation for drying that is not quite true anymore.)

If your lips are chapped, balms or lipsticks with menthol are not mandatory; menthol will not make your problem worse or better. Go with any nice soothing balm: I love Waxelene, Korres, Nyakio and Burt’s Bees. Apply it as often as feels good. Indulge!

For flakiness, there are glamorous lip scrubs from Jane Iredale, Fresh and Sarah Happ. You can also mix a little sugar into some butter to create your own delicious treatment. Or just scrub with your toothbrush (a less-glam option). Either way, put on some lip balm once the scrub’s off. The result should be a major and instantaneous improvement in smoothness.

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