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Chapped lips can be a problem at any time of the year. If it isn’t the bitter cold or dry air causing your lips to crack and flake, it’s the harsh effects of the sun or your cosmetic products that are drying out your lips.
While lip balms can certainly help, there are also a variety of home remedies you can turn to for relief.
In this article, we’ll look at some simple and proven home remedies that can help soothe your chapped lips.
When your lips are dry and chapped, the skin can begin to lift and flake. Gently exfoliating your lips can remove dead skin cells that can otherwise prevent your lip balm from reaching and moisturizing the new skin underneath the flaky areas.
You can make your own lip scrub with ingredients you already have at home. You’ll need:
- 1 tbsp. of an exfoliating ingredient, such as sugar or sea salt
- 1 tbsp. of an emollient, such as honey or oil
- a small bowl or container for mixing your ingredients
- a cotton swab to apply the scrub
- a damp washcloth to remove it
To make the lip scrub:
- Combine the exfoliating ingredient (salt or sugar) and emollient (oil or honey) in a bowl or container.
- Dip a cotton swab into the scrub.
- Apply the scrub to your lips in a circular motion using gentle pressure.
- Wipe off using a damp washcloth.
Once your lips have been exfoliated, apply one of the following home remedies to help soothe, moisturize, and protect your chapped lips.
Unlike most of the skin on your body, your lips have poor barrier function. This means they’re more sensitive to the elements, like the wind, heat, and cold, than the skin on other parts of your body.
Apply coconut oil to chapped lips as needed throughout the day. Use a cotton swab or a clean finger to dab the oil onto your lips.
You can find pure, organic coconut oil online and in most grocery and health stores.
You can buy organic aloe vera in a gel form, or you can use fresh aloe vera from the leaf of an aloe plant. To do this, cut a leaf off the plant and slice it open to scoop out the gel. Store it in a container, and apply the gel to your lips with your fingers as needed.
The enzymes in aloe vera have mild exfoliating properties, so you’ll want to limit your use of aloe vera to just two or three times per day.
There are numerous studies on the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and wound-healing properties of honey. It’s been used for centuries as a home remedy for skin care and a number of health conditions.
Honey can help moisturize your lips and protect cracked lips from infection. It also works as a mild exfoliator and can help remove dry, dead skin from your lips.
Choose organic honey, and apply to your lips throughout the day using your fingers or a cotton swab.
According to a review of studies, avocado butter works well as an emollient and thickener in lip balms. It isn’t greasy and is well-absorbed by the skin. It also contains several fatty acids and antioxidants known to benefit the skin, including oleic and linoleic acid.
You can buy organic avocado butter or make your own at home using organic avocados in your food processor. To use on chapped lips, apply as needed with your fingers or a cotton swab.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends using white petroleum jelly throughout the day and before bed to moisturize and sooth dry, cracked lips.
Petroleum jelly seals in water longer than oils and waxes. It’s also inexpensive and easy to find online and in drugstores.
Keeping your lips moisturized is just one of the things you can do to prevent chapped lips. Here are a few more ways to keep your lips from drying out:
- Don’t lick your lips. Licking may seem like a good way to moisten your lips when they’re dry, but saliva evaporates quickly. Licking your lips will cause them to dry out even more after the saliva evaporates.
- Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep your lips and the rest of your body hydrated.
- Use a humidifier. If the air is dry, you can use a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air.
- Avoid lip products that contain irritants. Many lip products contain chemicals that can dry out your lips. Choose products that don’t contain fragrance, dyes, or alcohol.
- Protect your lips. Cold weather, heat, wind, and sun all contribute to chapped lips. Protect your lips with a moisturizing lip cream or balm that contains sunscreen before heading outdoors.
- Breathe through your nose. Mouth breathing can cause dry mouth and lips. Focus on breathing through your nose, and speak to your doctor about sinus and allergy medication if you’re often congested.
Your lips have very little natural protection against the many drying elements they often face. With a little prevention and the help of soothing home remedies for chapped lips, you can keep your lips looking and feeling their best.