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Lips have thin surface layers of skin and consequently, they are likely to dry out, becoming very fragile. Then, tiny splits and cracks appear.
Symptoms associated to chapped lips are dryness, redness, cracking, flaking and even sore lips, among others. The causes are quite diverse: dehydration, vitamin deficiency, an allergic reaction, smoking, harsh weather, etc. In winter, suffering from chapped lips seems to be inevitable, as your lips are always exposed to cold, wind, and indoor heating. Summer is critical too due to sun exposure and dry air.
Using balms and ointments is a good way of hydrating and protecting the skin of your lips. As it moisturizes the skin, it’s easier for chapped lips to heal and it prevents the skin from cracking. However, many chapsticks do just the opposite and dry your lips even more. You should look for one with natural moisturizers.
Apart from balms, there are many home remedies to treat chapped lips:
1. Sugar and honey
You shouldn’t peel off your lips, but you can use sugar instead. It’s a perfect scrub to get rid of the dead cells in your chapped lips. This allows your lips to recover softness faster and you will avoid the temptation to remove the skin flakes.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of sugar with a ½ teaspoon of honey.
- Apply on your lips and leave for a few minutes.
- Gently rub the mixture on your lips with your fingers. Don’t rub your lips too harshly or you will make it worse. Remove with warm water.
Instead of sugar, you can use a clean toothbrush to gently exfoliate your skin.
Apart from being useful to remove blackheads, honey is a great moisturizer with healing properties, perfect for chapped lips. You can use it as a balm and apply it on your lips several times a day.
You can also make a paste of honey and glycerin and apply it before going to bed to enjoy softer lips in the morning.
3. Coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and olive oil
These oils are natural moisturizers that can heal chapped lips. Simply apply one of them on your lips several times a day, to keep them moist and smooth.
4. Milk cream
The high-fat content of milk cream has a good side too: it’s a good moisturizer for your lips. Applying fresh milk cream on your lips everyday moisturizes and heals. Simply leave the milk cream for 10 minutes and remove it gently with a cotton ball soaked in warm water.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has a lot of healing properties, and healing chapped lips is no exception. Use Aloe Vera gel (or its sap, if you have the plant) daily to cure your lips, but don’t eat it, it tastes awful!
Cucumber is a natural ingredient that can be easily found in the kitchen. For that reason, and its well-known healing properties for cracked lips, it comes in quite handy.
- Cut a cucumber into slices and gently rub one slice across your lips until they are coated with the juice.
- Leave it on your lips for 10-15 minutes, then wash it off. Apply it daily.
- Don’t lick your lips
Saliva contains acids to break down food so it can irritate chapped lips. Also, saliva doesn’t help to hydrate your lips because it evaporates quickly and leads to further dehydration. In fact, if you are prone to continuously lick your lips, that may be the cause.
- Don’t remove skin flakes
When you scrub, peel or bite off skin flakes, you are taking the risk of pulling too much and end up hurting yourself/doing yourself an injury. In addition, by picking at the thin lip skin you don’t allow the skin to heal.
- Don’t breathe through your mouth
It’s better to breathe through your nose, as breathing through your mouth can dry out your lips. Sleeping with your mouth open can result in dry lips, as you breathe through your mouth while sleeping. As a solution, apply ointment before going to bed. Instead of ointment, you can make a paste with honey and glycerin and apply it before going to bed.
- Don’t use lipsticks
Try not to use lipstick, as instead of moisturizing, it can be drying.
- Stay hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids -dehydration may be the reason behind your chapped lips. In addition, moistening the air at home with a humidifier can help you to cure or prevent chapped lips.