Smooth and healthy lips can make you look vibrant and attractive. In contrast, dry and cracked lips can make you uncomfortable and significantly lower your self-esteem especially in a situation where you’re addressing a room full of people. The delicate nature of the skin on your lips calls for more personalized care and support considering that your lips are exposed to the elements such as direct sunlight, cold and dry air. Exposure to these elements makes your lips dry, cracked, flaked, and peeled.
Chapped lips are also known as cheilitis and they are further exacerbated by the fact that our lips lack oil glands and therefore cannot produce their moisture (1). Many of us deal with cheilitis at various points of the year.
If it isn’t the harsh effects of the sun causing your lips to crack and flake, it’s the cold or dry air or cosmetic products that are drying out your lips. In a bid to address this problem, you should note that water is an essential element as far as fighting cheilitis is concerned. It keeps your body and the skin hydrated.
Getting rid of chapped lips is a process that requires commitment and strict adherence to a set personalized regimen. You can either choose natural or synthetic means to help restore your lips’ moisture. This article is meant to highlight some of the ways to help keep your lips supple and refreshed.
There are several effective natural remedies for chapped lips, some of which are readily available in your kitchen. These natural remedies include:
Applying honey to your lips every day using your fingers or cotton swab significantly helps restore your lips’ moisture. Honey being a natural exfoliator helps remove dry, dull skin and reveals new skin underneath (2). Enriched with anti-bacterial properties, honey helps protect your lips from infection. However, even though honey is a safe natural product, if you happen to have allergies to pollen, celery, or bee venom then using it may not be recommended for you.
2. Aloe vera
You can buy organic aloe vera in gel form or extract it from a fresh aloe vera leaf and store it in a container and use it as required. It is highly recommended due to its inflammatory properties and soothing effect. The gel contains vitamins and minerals that rehydrate damaged skin (3). 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. If you happen to have sensitive skin then you can avoid using aloe vera since it has a mild burning and itching effect.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is an emollient that softens and soothes the skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties which combat inflammations. Applying the oil on the lips and gently massaging them will leave a moisturizing effect which is ideal for chapped lips. Coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids making it easier for your skin to absorb. Applying coconut oil adds moisture and eliminates dry and flaky skin in addition to helping your lips to heal and maintain their softness. It should be applied twice or thrice a day. It can also be applied before going to bed and left overnight.
As a readily available kitchen accessory, you can gently rub the cucumber slices on your lips or extract its juice and apply using a cotton ball. Leave the cucumber juice for about 10 minutes on the lips then wash it away. Cucumber is known for its hydrating properties. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals for preventing dryness of the lips. Cucumber is 96% water so it helps in hydrating the skin. It is also generally safe for sensitive skin since it lacks harsh, irritating ingredients. It should be applied twice or thrice a day.
5. Green tea
Soaking a bag of green tea in a cup of warm water and gently rubbing it over the lips will help soften and remove excess dry skin. It has anti-oxidants and minerals as well as contains a special ingredient polyphenol that reduces inflammations. Green tea relieves the burning sensation on chapped lips caused by dryness (4). The green tea juice should be applied once daily.
6. Flaxseed oil
Flaxseed oil is rich in fatty acids which can make your rough, dry lips appear fully healthy and moisturized. Massage the lips with oil to get rid of scaly lips.
7. Exfoliate lips
In a nutshell, chapped scaly lips are a layer of dry skin. The dry skin prevents healing ingredients from reaching the affected areas. You can use lip balm and toothbrush scrub or honey and sugar lip scrub. It helps the dry flaky lips become moist. You can make a simple sugar exfoliator by mixing sugar with olive oil and honey and do not let the sugar dissolve. Apply the mixture on your lips and scrub gently then wash the scrub off with lukewarm water. This should be done every alternate day, then continue to use once or twice a week to maintain soft and smooth lips.
Additionally, when buying lip scrub, look for those whose ingredients will soothe the lips.
8. Don’t lick your lips
There is no better way to put it, stop licking your lips every often! It may seem that licking the lips is the easiest natural solution to moisten your dry lips, but the highly volatile nature of your saliva makes it evaporate quickly. This will cause them to dry even more after the saliva evaporates.
Drinking lots of water will reflect well not only on your lips but also your entire body and skin. Chapped lips may result from dehydration. When the body is dehydrated, the skin will be dehydrated too. Doctors recommend that an adult should drink at least 8 glasses of water in a day.
Also Read – How To Get Rid of Ugly White Spots on Lips?
10. Use a humidifier
Dry air removes moisture from the skin therefore you can use a humidifier to add the needed moisture into the air especially during winter.
11. Breathe through the nose
If you can, avoid breathing through your mouth as it causes the lips to dry and crack.
12. Eat a healthy diet
Eating a meal that is well balanced and rich in vitamins, minerals, and other vital nutrients helps to keep your skin healthy. What you take into your system will reflect on the outside.
13. Choose your lip products wisely
When buying lip products you should avoid those that contain chemicals like menthol, camphor, phenol, eucalyptus that can cause drying of the lips. Use products that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic. Some of the ingredients in lip products are humectants in nature. This alludes to the fact that these ingredients prevent water loss. Furthermore, if you happen to have allergies to some of these ingredients, particularly pigments or fragrances, using lip products with harsh ingredients may result in dry, red, and chapped lips.
14. Applying lip balm or moisturizers
Lip ointments help to seal in water than oils which helps in preventing dryness of the lips.
Your lips are important because they are a direct reflection of your health and well-being. Lips do not contain special glands for the excretion of oil and sebum like the skin. Furthermore, they are exposed to extreme environmental conditions such as high temperatures and cold weather and are susceptible to cheilitis. Protecting your lips against cheilitis is a simple journey that begins with embracing long terms habits such as taking plenty of water. Some of the remedies which are effective in treating dry lips include honey, cucumber, coconut oil, aloe vera gel, and green tea.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do you fix crusty lips?
The standard dermatological advice you can rely on when dealing with crusty lips is following the guidelines about lip care that are listed in this article above. Nonetheless, in some severe cases, dealing with crusty lips may prompt you to apply non-irritating lip balm or moisturizer several times in a given day. In more severe cases where the lips are dried and cracked, using thick ointment such as white petroleum jelly may be the remedy you need.
What causes dry crusty lips?
Environmental factors such as little humidity in the air may cause chapped lips. Frequent sun exposure in the summer is also bound to worsen the condition. Other than environmental factors, common causes of chapped lips are habitual licking of lips and dehydrated skin.
Why won’t my chapped lips heal?
This could be a reflection of an underlying infection. At this point, you are advised to seek urgent medical help as this may be a reflection of severe cases such as cancer or precancer condition referred to as actinic cheilitis.
- “Angular Cheilitis“- webmd.com
- “5 Easy DIY Treatments for Chapped Lips” – healthline.com
- “ALOE VERA: A SHORT REVIEW” – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Here’s Exactly How to Soothe Chapped Lips This Winter” – allure.com