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Read My Lips 

Cropped shot of a woman's beautiful lips.

Read My Lips 

“If eyes are windows of the soul, lips are the mirrors of our mood”  

~Bobbi Brown

Beauty Editor’s Note:

We are still dealing with this harsh cold weather and our lips suffer for it. Not just in the winter time but all of us have suffered with dry cracked chapped lips at some point. Unfortunately as we age the lack of hydration in our lips can cause them to look shriveled up and raisin-like. Nobody wants that. Here’s some tips that will help keep your lips at its best no matter what the season. Smooches! 💋Dana 

The Facts

The lips are one of the thinnest areas of skin on the body. In addition, they do not have oil or sweat glands which makes them fragile. It is up to us to give them the hydration they need.

Of course when it’s cold and windy it will bring about chapped dry lips. However, there are other factors to consider such as medications, toothpaste, travel in airplanes, sun exposure, and spending a lot of time outside. And now we have to add in the whole mask-wearing thing.

If you use lip liners that also can dry your lips out as well. Lip liners are just what they are said to be for lining only not to be a balm or lipstick replacement. 

My lips are sealed with… Chapstick

Closeup cropped shot of a woman applying lip balm to her lips.

If you find yourself in that vicious cycle of constantly reapplying lip balm and your lips are still chapped and cracked, I’ve got news for you, it’s too late at this point. Waxy lip balms are protective barriers if your lips are already moisturized. It’s meant to hold the moisture in that you already have not added to your lips. Think of lip balms as protective barriers, not moisture carriers. 

Other culprits that could be causing chapped cracked lips

Closeup up of dry, chapped lips.

It is important to understand what ingredients are in your lip products. For example, propyl gallate found in some lipsticks may cause issues. Any lip product that contains camphor or menthol can be drying too. Red dyes found in candy, some mouthwashes and in toothpaste may cause issues. Cinnamon flavoring can also be a culprit of dry lips so you might want to hold back on flavored gum or candy. Even orange juice can be problematic. It doesn’t surprise me that the juice from citrus fruits can irritate the lips, this irritation could cause a phototoxic reaction. The result is chapped lips.

Lip service

Set of 4 small containers of pink lip sugar scrubs on a white background.

Now that you have identified the possible culprits of your chapped cracked lips, what are your next steps? Slough off the dry flakes with a little mixture of olive oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil with a little bit of sugar applied to the lips a few times a week. You can also use a lip balm applied to the lips and take a damp baby washcloth to exfoliate the lips as well.

Remember to be gentle when exfoliating your lips. Once you have removed the dead skin apply lip balms with the previously mentioned butters in them to help with hydration. Our lips need help with the moisture.

I love lip balms with butters in them like shea, mango, and avocado. My favorite lip balms to use are Burt’s Bees. They come in different formulas and I like the pomegranate lip balm for a little color. I always have these in my pocket purse.

When it comes to lipstick, I would stick with satin moisture formulations versus matte finishes. Matte lipsticks can look flat and dry lips out. And after a certain age matte lipsticks doesn’t look that great on the lips anyway. In my opinion, nobody over the age of 20 should use these. 

Seeking beyond over the counter

If you have resistant cases of dehydrated lips you might want to talk to your doctor. They can prescribe ointments that may help you. In addition, they can also help eliminate some of the causes from your medications as well.


By Dana Hinnant, Beauty Editor

Connecting With Dana Hinnant


Author Bio:

A headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowng caramel colored skin and short dark hair.
Dana Hinnant

Dana Hinnant, a Washingtonian native, whose journey into the beauty industry began 20 years ago after receiving her B.A. in Hearing and Speech Sciences from the University of Maryland in 2000. She received her aesthetics training at Von Lee International School of Esthetics in Baltimore, MD.

Dana started as a local makeup artist and events coordinator with Alluring Looks, Inc. in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Her articles were featured in local publications such as Pose Magazine and Yndigo newsletter. In the mid-2000s, she was a volunteer instructor with the American Cancer Society’s Look Good…Feel Better program, which landed her an esthetician position at an area day spa. 

Over the past several years, Dana has worked with various non-profit organizations and small businesses. During her tenure as the President of the Health and Wellness division of the National Federation of the Blind DC affiliate, she utilized the platform to provide salon safety tips and skincare advice throughout the community. She was a consultant with the Ecumenical Health Council in Port Towns, MD doing beauty and wellness presentations at area churches and events.

In 2019, Dana received the Maryland Association of Community Service Award for Volunteer of the Year due to her community engagement work for The Arc of Prince George’s County. In addition, she also received the Volunteer of the Year award for 2020 from The Arc of Maryland. She is a member and an ambassador with the Professional Beauty Association. Dana is one of the co-owners of Capitol Collective Consulting LLC which launched in April 2021.

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Image Descriptions:

  • Cropped shot of a woman’s beautiful lips
  • Closeup cropped shot of a woman applying lip balm to her lips
  • Closeup up of dry, chapped lips
  • Set of 4 small containers of pink lip sugar scrubs on a white background
  • Author bio photo is a headshot of Dana wearing a black scoop neck top under a black jacket. She has glowng caramel colored skin and short dark hair.

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