In this guide, we will be discussing some of the best remedies for chapped lips. Our lips are the softest, thinnest, driest and most transparent tissue on our entire body. Come winter season, lips tend to get dry, chapped, cracked and, in some cases, they even bleed. Like other parts of the skin, lips do not have oil glands to keep them hydrated. Exposure to cold weather as well as hot and dry air from indoor central heating can also dry up the lips further. Dried and chapped lips are no fun- not only does their texture look and feel terrible, it is also very painful. Thankfully, some simple remedies for chapped lips can easily restore your lips to make them soft, supple and healthy again. Here are the best remedies for chapped lips:
1. Avoid lip irritating ingredients
Certain ingredients found in toothpastes, lip balms and lipsticks can aggravate the dryness of lips. To ensure that the best natural remedies for chapped lips work well, you must first start avoiding products containing ingredients like Calcium Peroxide (a bleaching agent in toothpastes), detergents like cocamidopropyl betaine, chemical additives (for cavity prevention) such as Fluorides and flavoring agents like Methyl Cinnamate. These ingredients are harsh and drying and can even lead to contact dermatitis on the skin surrounding the mouth. Also stay away from drying products and allergens such as benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid based creams and face washes. Prescription retinoid creams used for acne can also increase dryness of lips.
2. Avoid licking the lips
We often feel that by licking the lips we are moisturizing them. This is not true since the enzymes and acids in our saliva can further breakdown our lips’ delicate tissue. This aggravates dryness and painful irritation.
3. Use petroleum based products…but with caution
There is a long held belief that petroleum based lips balms and salves are the best remedies for soothing dry and chapped lips. This may be true but only to an extent. Petroleum products are FDA approved and they do help seal in the moisture of the lips. However, as they wear off, they draw moisture away from the lips causing the need for frequent reapplication. Thus, they create a dependency since your lips get used to the fact that they constantly need petroleum based lip balms for keeping them soft and supple.
4. Exfoliation is key….
Just like your facial skin, your lips also need exfoliation from time to time. You can use brown sugar based homemade scrub for this purpose. Mix together half a teaspoon of brown sugar with a few drops of olive oil. Apply this paste on the lips and rub it in gently. This will help you get rid of dry and dead skin on the lips. Use this homemade remedy for dry lips at least twice a week. You can also use a gentle brush (go for a toothbrush with soft bristles) to remove dead skin.
5. Use gentle natural lip moisturizers
When using a moisturizing lip balm as a remedy for dried and chapped lips look for products containing following ingredients:
- Aloe Vera– Gels, balms, salves, creams or lotions with Aloe Vera can moisturize chapped lips. Aloe Vera gel can also be directly extracted from the Aloe plant. You can store this gel in the refrigerator for up to a week. Use this best remedy for chapped lips day and night to relieve and soothe inflammation or dryness of lips.
- Shea butter– Shea butter based lip balms offer natural sun protection to lips and guard them against harsh UVA/UVB rays. You can also use butters like Cocoa butter, Aloe butter or Vegetable oils to seal in moisture and hydrate and lubricate dried and chapped lips.
- Jojoba oil- Jojoba is a natural conditioner which can soothe and soften dried lips. It is known to have the same properties as those found in the oils excreted naturally by human skin. Apply Jojoba oil on the lips 3-4 times a day or as required to condition and soften dry and chapped lips.
- Glycerin-You can use gentle glycerin based soaps or cleansers for washing the face and lips. This ingredient naturally softens the skin. It is also a humectant that binds moisture to the lips to prevent winter dryness.
- Beeswax– Look for salves or balms with beeswax for use on lips. It is a natural moisturizer that seals in moisture to prevent lips from drying out. It is also naturally antibacterial in nature and can prevent infections.
- Zinc oxide and Titanium oxide– These are necessary to prevent solar damage. Limit your time in the sun between 10 am and 2 pm when the sun is at its peak. This is essential for healthy soft and supple lips.
- Vitamin E- This helps soften lips and its lubricating effect helps keep lips flexible.
- Coconut oil and olive oil– These help relieve dry skin and are naturally moisturizing. Coconut oil is also antibacterial and antimicrobial in nature and can prevent lip sores and infections.
6. Drink plenty of water
Winter air is extremely drying and harms your skin by stripping it off its moisture. So drink plenty of water and make sure to run a humidifier at night to keep the dry and recycled air from stripping the lips.
7. Switch to creamier lipsticks and say no to lip gloss
Instead of using matte lipsticks, go for creamier ones. Avoid lip glosses as they are petroleum based and increase your lips dependency on them.
As stated before, lips are the most delicate tissue of the body and they need tender love and care all year round and not just in winters. So try to follow a cleansing, moisturizing and exfoliating routine for your lips as part of your complete skin care regime. Apply sunscreen on the lips every day to protect them from harsh rays of the sun. Not only are these best remedies for chapped lips sure to give you softer and more supple lips, they will also slow down the advancement of fine lines and crevices and around the mouth that come with age. Go ahead and smile with confidence!