Winter Lip Care Routine

The one thing that I really hate about winters in New York, not that I'm particularly fond of anything in the winter, is how chapped and broken my lips get due to the harsh weather. Personally, I consider my lips the best feature on my face so you can guess how upset I get when winter comes around.
After years of struggling, buying a gazillon and one lip balms, this year I have found my holy grail solution to chapped, red, broken, sore lips.
Did you know that your lips are one the thinnest pieces of skin on your body? To help your lips survive the cold winter you really need to care for them. How? Might you ask.
Well to begin, we all have habits and if yours include biting, licking or touching your lips then please STOP. Your teeth harm your lips, they can actually cut them. Your saliva has enzymes to chemically break down food, imagine what it does to your lips if you keep licking them...and well germs are always on your hands you don't want to transfer those to your mouth, do you?
Now to care and nurture your lips, first you must EXFOLIATE. Our skin is always changing, and our lips are not an exception. Ever notice pieces of your lips coming off? Well those are dead skin cells. To exfoliate your lips please make sure that they aren't in any way chapped, red or sore as you don't want to worsen that.
Personal Lip Care:
1. Using petroleum jelly and a clean gauze, exfoliate lips.
Dab a decent amount of petroleum jelly to your lips and let it sit there for a minute or two, this will help release dead skin cells and will also aid in moisturizing new skin cells. GENTLY rub gauze in circular motions all over the lips. You will feel and see the dead skin cells on the gauze, repeat until you are satisfied. You can get gauze's at any drug store, probably in the first aid section. Can't find them? You can also use a soft bristled tooth-brush! 
2. Apply Moisturizing Lip Balm with Sunscreen.
Keeping your lips moisturized is the most important thing to remember in the winter. How many of you are like me and have owned over a million lip balms that have never really worked? I know I definitely have. See here's the problem. Many of the chap-sticks offered at our local drugstores contain chemicals that are designed to aid and heal your lips for as long as you continue using the product. You didn't know that did you? Well, after a while of using the same product your lips grow accustomed and then the product doesn't really work anymore so then you HAVE to buy a stronger lip product. Doesn't that sound familiar? Uhhhh, yeah! It's the same thing with medicine. Once your body builds tolerance towards a medicine you need stronger medicine to get the same effect.
Thankfully there are still companies that don't include these harmful chemicals in their products. For almost 4 winters I've trusted my lips to Nivea. They do not add harsh or addictive chemicals to their products and the also never conduct animal testing. I've tried 3 of their lips products, I am currently using their A Kiss of Olive Oil & Lemon and I have to say that not once this winter have I had sore chapped lips! Also it smells soooooooooooo good! Also I've tried A Kiss of Smoothness, which is my personal favorite because it has SPF 10 (always protect all exposed parts of your skin with suncreen to prevent cancer!), and lastly I tried the Vanilla and Macadamia Kiss Lip Butter but I have to be honest that I wasn't too crazy about it. I felt like I had to keep re-applying way too often. Aside from one disappointing product, Nivea is definitely my "go-to" lip care essential, can't you tell? 
So there you have it, how to take care of your lips to prevent them from getting chapped during the harsh winters. Let me know if you'd like any additional information or what your lip care routines are!