Lips are not always the first thing to stand out when you first meet someone. But when it does, it can pull your attention deeper than your love for Nutella. (Okay, maybe not so deep, but you get the idea.)

However, this attention may not always be for good reason. In the winter time, lips can easily dry out and become chapped. Sometimes, they get so severely chapped, the skin breaks, exposing small lines of blood that seem to be stuck in place. If this has ever happened to you, the feeling is hard to forget. Sensitive to touch, and almost impossible to manage. 

On the flip side, when your lips are moist and supple, it gives your face a completely different look. Full, vibrant, and sensual. Having luscious lips is about more than just looking good. It is also about maintaining healthy skin.

If you think lip care is a seasonal issue, with winter most notably be the most harsh, think again. According to StyleCraze.com, “Our lips have a lesser amount of oil glands and no ability to create the sun-filtering natural melanin. This means that they have virtually no protection of their own. Chapped lips are most common in winter, when the cold, dry air dehydrates our skin. But winter isn’t the only season which spells trouble for our lips. Dry air, sun and wind will equally dry your lips all year round.

Lipstick can act a s a wonderful protectant when you go out at night.

While lip balm may be the fastest remedy for dry, chapped lips, there are 3 steps to take to prevent your lips from rising into a choppy-seas kind of look.

1. Stay hydrated!

You have seen this tip over and over again in countless magazines and blogs. And for good reason. Your skin requires a healthy relationship from the inside and out. What does it love most? Water. If you regularly wear lip balm but have a low water intake, chances are you still experience an uncomfortable degree of chapping and cracking. Don’t let your efforts go to waste, and ensure you drink 2 liters of water every day. Your lips will thank you for it.

Don't underestimate the importance of staying hydrated!

2. Stay hydrated OVERNIGHT

Just because you go to sleep doesn’t mean your lips are safe from the outside world. Your lips are constantly exposed to a number of irritants. When doing your nightly skin care routine, make sure you apply a thick hydrating cream on your lips. By the time you wake up, they will feel as smooth as jazz in the park.

3. Eat well

Along with proper hydration, your lips need to get the right nutrients to come into its best self. To be specific, your diet should include vitamins A, B-3, and B-12, as well as Zinc. Vitamin A (broccoli, kale, pumpkin, squash, eggs, collard greens) is responsible for soft tissue production and skin cell growth. Vitamin B-3 (coffee, whole wheat bread, salmon, beef, peanuts) helps retain your lips’ moisture, and Vitamin B-12 (eggs, skim milk, roasted turkey, roasted chicken) helps repair your lips. Zinc (oysters, crab, beef, pork, dark meat chicken, dark meat turkey, chickpeas) boosts immune system functions, and acts as a protector against harsh environmental elements. In fact, zinc oxide ointment is perfect to use at night before going to bed.

The food you eat can either help or hurt the condition of your lips.

Getting full, succulent, firm-looking lips is easy. Even though the title says 3 steps, there are really 4. The last step is to keep your lip balm handy! Follow these steps, and your lips will bloom into the luscious beauties they are.