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Preventing Chapped Lips

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Q: My lips gets very dry and flaky at times. I've tried everything, but nothing seems to make a major improvement. What can I do?

A: The problem may not lie with the products you are (or aren't) trying. These two tricks are often the key; try them and see what happens, says Doris Day, a New York City-based dermatologist: First, brush your teeth before washing your face. Toothpaste is one of the primary (and little-known) factors in dry lips. If left on the lips all day (or night), paste can sap major moisture from them. Therefore, always brush, then wash, to get rid of the drying residue. Second, always apply a thick, occlusive balm over your lips before putting on face treatments. Even if strong acne or antiaging topical creams are not applied directly to your lips, they will migrate south to your mouth. A thick balm acts as a barrier.

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