Chapped lips can be a big-time nuisance that plagues many people. The culprit, for the most part, is the weather. Particularly cold, windy weather that is dry with decreased humidity or any situation that can cause sun damage. Lips can become chapped from biting, excessive licking, yeast infections, dehydration, and a long list of other causes. Chapped lips occur because they are one of the most exposed places on the body. The lips are not covered in a layer of skin like the nose or ears, therefore, it is not difficult to irritate or damage that area. They are also rarely protected from the elements so exposure is a big cause of chapped lips. Signs of chapped lips include cracking, peeling, redness, swelling, soreness, and dryness.
Below we have compiled a list of 17 home remedies for chapped lips without having to routinely grab for that addictive chapstick.
1)Hydration – A sometimes unknown cause of dry lips is dehydration. Chapped, dried lips is a way of telling the body that it needs water and sooner rather than later. Many people fall short of the recommend daily 9-13 cups of fluid recommended by the Insitute of Medicine. Maintaining proper hydrate can solve many chapped lips problems. The best way to determine if dehydration is causing chapped lips is by monitoring your intake of fluids and seeing if the problem disappears after proper hydration.
2)Vitamin Deficiencies – A deficiency in vitamins B1 (Thiamin), B2 (Riboflavin), B6 (Phridoxine), iron and zinc can cause chapped lips. The best way to obtain these vitamins is directly through foods. A list of food sources that contain B vitamins can be found here. To obtain sufficient iron and zinc, seek foods like beef, pork, or beans. Tracking the vitamins you consume through foods is a good way to determine if vitamins are the cause of chapped lips.
3) Avoid Lip Licking – While it can be tempting to lick your lips when they feel dry, it actually causes more harm than good. Saliva is terrible for lips because it removes the lipids (compounds insoluble in water) and also dries very quickly. Although the urge is to moisten your lips with your tongue when they are dry, it is better to refrain and find a better solution.
4) Sugar and Olive Oil – Yep, we said sugar. Mix olive in with a tablespoon of sugar (brown or white) until a sticky paste is formed. Massage the paste into the lips with a circular motion to remove dead, flaky skin. Remove with a washcloth and enjoy your soft, fresh lips. A batch can be made if you wish to reuse it from time to time, but keep it in the refrigerator for freshness. As a substitute for the olive oil, honey can be used, but it will be stickier.
5) Breathe Through Nose – You may be more susceptible to dry lips if you breathe through your mouth. “Normal” breathing is done through the nose and has less of an impact on the lips.
6) Castor Oil – Castor oil is probably most known as an assumed remedy for constipation or a supposed labor stimulant. The taste is said to be disgusting and has been compared to eating vaseline or drinking straight vegetable oil. Barf! However, castor oil is said to be effective directly on the dry lips because it creates a lasting protective layer that is all-natural. Not much castor oil is needed to bring chapped lips back to a smooth, kissable reality.
7) Cucumber Slices – Cucumbers are 96% water so they are a great source of moisture. Applying cucumber slices to the lips can help restore hydration and soothe damage.
8) Milk Cream – The fat content of cream helps maintain moisture in the lips. Apply it to the lips and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash it off with a warm washcloth.
9) Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is not an ideally lip moisturizer because it tastes bitter and can be hard to tolerate. However, it can work wonders on dry lips by providing deep hydration. Some buy an Aloe Vera plant and cut open the leaves to extract its gel-like liquid to apply to the lips. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of a plant, there are several lip balm products on the market that contain Aloe Vera that can be just as effective. Note that there is some concern with toxicity when ingesting large amounts of Aloe. However, this likely won’t occur if you are simply using it in low doses until your lips are no longer chapped. Check with a medical professionally if you are planning on using Aloe on the lips for an extended period.
10) Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is beneficial for chapped lips because it provides both a protective layer and aids in rehydration of the lips. It is easy to apply by just dipping your finger into the oil and rubbing it across the lips until covered. You may apply it as needed. Alternatively, you can use chapstick type products that contain coconut oil, but they may not be as effective as applying pure coconut oil directly to the lips.
11) Honey – Honey has been used for many centuries to treat skin related problems (wounds), including chapped lips. Honey is beneficial because it can destroy bacteria. It also can lock moisture into the lips and help them maintain that moisture. Additionally, honey contains several vitamins and minerals including B vitamins that help promote lip moisture. It can be applied with the fingertip as needed or can be found in commercial lip balms like Burt’s Bees.
12) Beeswax – Beeswax creates a seal around the lips to keep them moist and protect them from the elements. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties to help repair damaged areas of the lips. This is a natural product that will not produce toxins in the body. There are Beeswax lip balm products on the market if you do not want to apply pure beeswax to the lips.
13) Jojoba Oil – Jojoba oil is known for its ability to provide lasting moisturization to places like the lips. This is because it does not evaporate easily like water. Simply dip the fingers in the oil and apply it to all areas of the lips for day long moisturization.
14) Shea Butter– Shea butter comes from the shea tree nut mostly found in Africa. It is commonly found in U.S. skin care products like lotions and soaps. Shea butter is known for its ability to produce daily moisture to the lips because it contains beneficial vitamins A, E and F. Apply as much as needed to keep the lips moist.
15) Rose Petals – Roses just aren’t for beauty and romance. In fact, they are excellent for helping replenish dry, chapped lips by sealing in moisture. Soak the washed petals in milk for 4 hours. This milk should be just enough to cover the petals. Grind the rose petals into the milk. A paste should form which then can be applied to the lips. Wash off after 15 minutes.
16) Petroleum Jelly – It seems that one container of Petroleum jelly lasts for years and always seems to be around. Applying it to the lips helps lock in moisture and protect them from harsh weather. However, it does not heal damaged areas but is a great oily protector. Apply when needed.
17) Mustard Oil – It is believed that applying mustard oil to the belly button at night helps ward off chapped lips. A couple of drops to the naval is said to work wonders and has been used for centuries.
Please comment below if you have home remedies for chapped lips that weren’t mentioned above.