It's well known that cold winter weather can dry out skin. That's why we all need to keep it well nourished through these icy, windswept days. The cold temperatures also play real havoc with your lips, often leaving them chapped and sore. That's not ideal at any time of year, but it's especially unhelpful given that Valentine's Day is round the corner. So we thought we'd bring you a few suggestions to get your lips in to tip-top condition. Read on for kissable lips in three easy steps...  

Step One: Exfoliate

Just like the rest of our skin, lips benefit from a little gentle exfoliation now and then. It helps to loosen dead skin and help the newly formed healthy cells that lie underneath take their turn at the surface. newly formed cells are robust enough to cope with tough weather conditions so are able to retain moisture better than the older damaged cells can. Strong young cells can protect you better and are less likely to lead to split, sore lips. The trick is to exfoliate very gently and infrequently (once or twice a week will do). Overdoing exfoliation anywhere on your body will wear out the surface of even healthy cells and leave them vulnerable. Here are three of our favourite ways to smooth away the rough...

  • Use a very soft bristled toothbrush, dampen in warm water and rub very gently using a small circular motion.
  • Apply a generous dab of your usual lip balm to your fingertip and then dip it in to a spoonful of fine grain sugar (soft brown sugar works well). Apply to your lips and rub gently before wiping off. Alternatively, a tiny bit of sugar mixed with a drop of olive oil can do the same trick (though it can get a little messy and doesn't taste that great).
  • Invest in a natural lip exfoliator product. Our absolute favourite right now is this Balmy Nights Lip Exfoliator from Canadian makeup brand Ilia. Not only is it natural and gentle, the stick format makes it super easy to use and avoids the need for any sticky fingers.


Step Two: Nourish Overnight

Our mantra! Like the rest of our cells, skin repairs itself overnight and our lips are no exception. That means that when you are asleep it's the perfect time to give your lips a helping hand to heal and to top up the moisture levels. Applying a natural lip balm before bed every night really does help you wake up with kissable lips. It's a good habit to get in to all year round, but especially important in the Winter. It's worth noting though, that all lip balms are not born equal - neither in price or in the ingredients they use. Have a read of this list of ten that appeared in The Independent last month for a taster of what's out there. Their vote goes to natural beauty, Nuxe Reve de Miel - £9.50 for 15ml http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/fashion-beauty/10-best-lip-balms-best-lip-balms-best-lip-salve-9961125.html

Step Three: Condition through the day

You can show your lips some extra love by choosing a lipstick that conditions as well as colours. There's a whole host to choose from. If you want to keep things animal friendly and natural (as we do), then have a closer look at the Ilia range. Their tinted lip conditioners come in a whole lost of beautiful hues, from nearly naturally to dark and sultry. They contain an 85% organic blend of vitamin E, pomegranate extract, cocoa butter and jojoba oil to condition the lips and leave them with 'a sheer flush of healthy colour'. We're more than a little obsessed with their Arabian Nights one at the moment - the most gorgeous deep cherry colour that tints lips beautifully and leave our lips moisturised without being sticky.  Apply liberally and prepare to pucker up. You can find the Ilia makeup range online naturisimo.com and at beingcontent.com - or pop in to the Content Beauty store just off Marylebone Lane, London to try them all out firsthand.  

IMG_6076 We hope this helps. Lots of kisses from the Kiss the Moon team xx