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Here's How To Actually Heal Your Dry, Chapped Lips

Prepare to become extremely aware of how dry your lips are in 3, 2, 1 ...

1. Your lips get chapped AF because the skin is literally breaking from lack of moisture.

"Chapped lips or cheilitis is due to a loss of hydration from the natural oils and lipids in the outermost layer of the lip, which causes it to dry out and crack," says Madfes. Your lips are more sensitive than the rest of your skin, plus they put up with a lot of wear and tear through eating, drinking, breathing, talking, kissing, etc. It's normal for lips to get chapped, but bad cracks and inflammation can lead to infections, buildup of fungus, and painful sores β€” so it's good to take preventive steps for healthy lips!

2. And yes, winter is the worst time ever for anyone with lips.

3. But chapped lips can also be caused by dehydration, excessive lip-licking, or allergies to common beauty products.

4. The best way to treat your lips is with these super-plain, boring, scent-free moisturizers.

An emollient is a moisturizer designed to soften the lips and add moisture. "I recommend emollients with fatty and linoleic acids, such as shea butter olive oil, emu oil, or coconut oil which absorb very well," says Madfes. Another option is using Vaseline or Aquaphor. These have large molecules and a silicone base, Madfes says, so they don't absorb as well, but they create a great barrier. Reapply every every 2 to 4 hours until your lips are healed.

5. And stay away from lip products with flavors, fragrance, or colors until your chapped lips have healed.

6. Whatever you do, don't pick the skin flakes off your lips!

7. Try gently exfoliating your lips with a homemade scrub instead.

8. Your everyday lip balm should be a combination of emollients (moisturizers) and protectants (waxes).

9. And always use an SPF sunscreen when you're in the sun.

10. Even though some people swear by waxy, menthol lip balms, they're not the best treatment for dry, chapped lips.

11. Just because a lip balm says it's "medicated," that doesn't mean it's actually healing your lips.

12. You can become "addicted" to certain lip balms.

13. So if your lips are chapped beyond return, try to find a good emollient-based lip balm and drink a LOT of water.

14. And keep in mind that what works for your lips might change over time.

15. And if your chapped lips feel like they're never healing, you might want to see a dermatologist.

Because you definitely don't want to end up feeling like this little guy: