How to Prevent Cold Sores: Advice from a Cold Sore Survivor

August 15, 2018 By

I know cold sores are a topic nobody likes to talk about. But really, there’s no reason not to. I mean, 50-80% of Americans get cold sores, and most people pick up the virus when they’re kids. However, since cold sores are a symptom of HSV-1 (oral herpes), there is a stigma around them because people assume it’s the same as HSV-2 (genital herpes). Well, I’m here to tell you that they’re not the same, and there’s no need for anyone who gets cold sores to be ashamed or embarrassed.

That being said, cold sores are painful, annoying, and to tell you the truth they’re not great to look at. (Trust me, I know, I’ve had one take up what felt like half my face.) Plus, they interfere with my fierce lip looks, and it’s really hard to get rid of a cold sore.

So, as someone who has managed to keep their regular cold sores at bay for over 2 years (that’s an accomplishment, folks), I’m here to share my tips and tricks for making sure your lips stay kissable and cute for months to come.

Now, before I get started I want to clear one thing up: despite what the name might suggest, you don’t have to have a cold to get a cold sore. Having a weakened immune system can trigger an outbreak, but it’s not the only cause. Once you pick up the cold sore virus, it’s always there… lurking… waiting for the worst possible moment to pop up on your face. Oh, you had a date planned? NOT ANYMORE.

That’s why it’s important to take these preventive measures — so you can be sure you won’t get a nasty surprise the morning of your presentation in front of the entire office…. And your crush… and several potential clients…

I think I’ve made my point.

Which leads me to the first way to help reduce your chances of getting a cold sore:

Manage your stress levels

Managing stress to prevent cold sores

Stress is a common cold sore trigger. It’s like the cold sores know you’re stressed and they just want to make it worse. Sadists…

Now, I can’t tell you the best way to manage your stress levels. That is a deeply personal, unique thing to you. But I can tell you some common techniques. Meditation, regular exercise, and taking some “me time” are all great ways to help lower stress levels and keep everything smooth… including your lips.

However, if you’re an easily stressed person, like me, meditation just isn’t going to keep those little buggers away.

So your next step is…

Take Lysine

Take lysine to prevent cold sores

Lysine is an amino acid that your body doesn’t produce on its own, but it’s great for preventing cold sores — you can find it in foods like beans, cheese, milk, and meat. (Bonus: It also aids in calcium absorption and collagen production!)

The trouble is, once you cook any of those things, the lysine cooks out with it, so your best bet is to take a supplement.

If you have an active outbreak, apply a lysine cream to the affected area every two hours while your cold sore persists.

To prevent cold sores from happening again, take a lysine supplement. All you need is 1 to 3 grams a day to help keep those nasty blisters off your pout.

Avoid trauma to the lips


Dental Procedures can cause cold sores

And by trauma I mean sun exposure, dental visits, burning lip plumpers, getting punched in the mouth… basically treat your lips as if they are a tiny little baby bunny in an incubator and any change to its environment will cause COMPLETE OBLIVION.

Clearly, I’m exaggerating. All you really need to do is keep your lips in good shape, and actually try to avoid the things I mentioned above. Of course, some of the things I mentioned, (like dental procedures) are unavoidable, so just make sure to apply an extra hydrating lip balm before and after you go. (Please for the love of all that is good in this world don’t stop going to the dentist.)

Keep your lips hydrated (and keep cold sores at bay)

Hydrating lip balms prevent cold sores

One of the best ways I’ve found to prevent cold sores is simply keeping my lips hydrated. Whenever my lips are healthy and soft, not chapped and peeling, I find they are much more resistant to anything else life has to throw at them.

As you can imagine, that means I drink a ton of water… and I have a hydrating lip product on hand at all times. Whenever I feel my lips getting even slightly chapped, I make sure to put on a thick coat of City Lips — my holy grail moisturizing lip gloss.

City Lips is a hydrating gloss that not only keeps my lips feeling soft and smooth, it also plumps them.

Now, I know what you’re thinking; “didn’t you just tell me to avoid burning lip plumpers?”

Yes, yes I did.

But City Lips ISN’T your everyday lip plumper.

City Lips uses gentle ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, jojoba oil, and ylang ylang flower oil to plump your lips from the inside out without burning them.

Most lip plumpers use irritants like capsaicin (red pepper extract) to get your lips to swell, and for someone with sensitive lips, that can spell disaster.

But because I am always chasing perfection, I’ve tried lip plumpers in the past. Ones that burn, sting, and leave my lips looking like I’m five years old and I just finished a cherry flavored popsicle (and not in a good way). And those other lip plumpers always led to a cold sore.

Until City Lips.


City Lips comes in 20 shades — my favorites are Spice, Sun Diego, and Red Velvet — so you can wear it every day and not have to sacrifice your style.

Plus, you can wear it under or over lipstick, so it’s super versatile.

I love how hydrated, sexy, and plump my lips look whenever I wear it. And I especially love that it never irritates my lips or gives me cold sores.

And if you try it and it turns out you don’t love it?

No problem.

They back it with a 60-day guarantee, so if you decide you don’t want it, you can return it for a refund.

So really, your best bet is to try it out and see if it helps you.

Because it did wonders for my lips. Being cold sore free for 2+ years is an amazing feeling, and I want you to experience it, too.

So the next time you’re feeling stressed, or you have to go to the dentist and have a double root canal, don’t worry about getting a cold sore.

Just reach for your Lysine, your scented candles, and your City Lips.

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