Think of your lips as a sponge. "When exposed to moisture, they absorb water and plump up. When dehydrated, they dry out and shrink," explains Bruce Bart, M.D., a dermatologist at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. And, because they're always exposed, they're prone to dehydration, particularly during the cold, windy winter months.

The skin on the lips is also unlike skin anywhere else on the body: It's thinner (allowing the blood vessels to be visible, making the lips look red) and has no oil glands (oil acts as a barrier for skin, helping to protect it from the elements). The result can be red, rough, sometimes painful, chapped lips that couldn't hold lipstick color if you spray-painted it on.

Luckily your lips can be perfect in no time with a little loving care.

RELATED: For advice on how to always look your best from head to toe, check out these beauty secrets from people who know best.

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