Sing if you know the words (or hum if you’re not a confident singer, or you’re in public): your lips are very chapped and dry*. So you put “something” on them. At this stage, it’s usually anything nearby, a gloss, a lipstick, whatever. Just something to coat them.
A little while on, and you’ve just closed a multi-million dollar deal/just finished straightening your hair/washed the mule, and you notice the dryness has not gone. Things are worse. So, you hunt down a “proper” lip balm. A Blistex, or Chapstick or paw paw ointment; whatever. Something that will supposedly nurture lips. But it still doesn’t help. An hour on you have visible flakes and you cannot, for the love of lip conditioning agents, get your lips un-dry.
To your shame, you have now started licking them in a poor and misguided attempt at nourishment, or at the very least, a few seconds of wet lippery. Horrible idea. And don’t even think about thinking about ripping off the flakes of dry skin with your teeth, you little terror. This is one of the all time Worst Ideas in the world, second only to sleeping with makeup on, and war. Your lips are incredible delicate, basically cheeks with a thin raincoat on, and you will make them bleed and a lot worse by ripping off the flakes.
And this was my postcode on Friday. My lips were cracked, and covered in thick, alluring flakes of dry skin. I knew why: 1) I have to stretch my lips to get my Invisalign in and out, which means they need extra TLC, which I had not given them, and 2) I applied foundation over my lips the other night to neutralise their colour before applying some almondy-nude lipstick. I DO THIS EVEN THOUGH I KNOW IT’S STUPID. Foundation will always dry your lips out excessively. Use lip primer instead, or a nude lip pencil.
With a long car ride and no suitable lip ointment* around, I began licking them and nibbling on the flakes like a FOOL. I knew better, of course I did, but that didn’t stop me, because I am a moron.
Thankfully, the solution for me (and now you) was nigh.
The moment I reached our destination, I asked for some honey. Just normal honey, (actual lipsaver jar pictured) the kind you put on toast, or yoghurt, or hot chips, if you’re a weirdo. I smothered my poor lips in its sweet, sweet gooey goodness, just letting them enjoy the golden veil of sweetness until it had sunk in, ten minutes or so. (For an extra special treatment I could’ve GENTLY rubbed my lips with a warm washcloth first, to soften the flakes, but I was too impatient and not near a warm washcloth, or even a cold one for that matter.)
INSTANTLY, lips felt and looked happier. The honey had penetrated and left but a tiny bit of shine (I kept mischievous, hungry tongue away, be sure you do too) and I could actually smile without causing cracks. It was magnificent. I applied a few more rounds of honey over the day and lips went back to normal. Didn’t even need my usual lip balms.
Point of it all: When your lips are chapped and grim, turn to honey and win!
* I am referring here to occasional chapped lips caused by cosmetics or environment, not chronic chapped lips.
**I would not use anything with petroleum, menthol or camphor in these moments. I WOULD use something with lanolin or honey/paw paw. I recommend Lanolips 101 Ointment, Lanisoh, Suvana Certified Organic Paw Paw and Honey Balm or Pure Nutraceuticals Paw Paw Ointment.
Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. She was beauty director of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR and PRIMPED and then collated all the best tips and tricks from her time in these roles for the beauty bible, Amazing Face. She is currently the dating columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine, although her best advice in this arena can probably be found in the dating and relationship guide, Textbook Romance , which she co-wrote with Hamish Blake. Zoe has published three novels, Air Kisses, Playing The Field and The Younger Man, and she rates them among the best novels ever written in the history of the written word. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.
Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.