Chapped, or cracked, lips is the term commonly used to describe dry lips. Chapped lips is a very common condition that only occurs occasionally for most people. However, some people may develop a more severe form of chapped lips called cheilitis. Cheilitis, which can be caused by an infection, is characterized by cracked skin at the corners of the lips.
Chapped lips are more than just a dry, tight feeling around the mouth. They can be caused by a variety of things, including dry weather, licking your lips, and certain medications. You may experience cracked lips, sensitivity, bleeding, swelling and redness. These symptoms can be persistent and embarrassing, as they are difficult to disguise using makeup or lip balms.
How to Get Rid of Chapped Lips
Chapped lips can be dry, cracked, and painful. They tend to be especially bothersome during the cold winter months. Fortunately, you can get rid of chapped lips by following a few easy practices.
1. Moisturize Your Lips
Drink plenty of water. Dehydration can be the reason behind your chapped lips. If your lips are chapped, try to drink at least ten glasses of water a day to stay hydrated.
- Try to start your day by drinking one or two glasses of water before eating or drinking anything else.
Try a treatment or lip balm with ceramides. Your lips usually have a natural protection to keep them moist, but sometimes weather and food break down that protection. A treatment with ceramides encourages that barrier to rebuild itself, refreshing your chapped lips.
Put drops of milk cream on your lips. The fat content of milk cream makes it effective at moisturizing your lips though it does not have the same anti-inflammatory and healing properties as some oils and kinds of butter. Still, if you don’t have the right oils or butter to hand, it can help. Let it sit on your lips for ten minutes, then wash it off with lukewarm water.
Try a humidifier. Dry air can dry out your skin, while moist air can help you skin stay moisturized. Dry air is especially a problem in the winter, so set up one in your bedroom to keep your skin and lips moisturized.
Use a hydrocortisone cream. If your lips are in really bad shape and other solutions aren’t working, you can try a hydrocortisone cream a few times a day. While you should not use this option for the long term, you can use it for up to a week to restore your lips, giving your lips a chance to get healthy again.
- A good time to apply this cream is at night, when you aren’t eating or drinking anything.
- Overusing hydrocortisone or other corticosteroid creams can also cause perioral dermatitis, a rash that occurs on your face around your lips.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer that can help heal chapped lips, caused by cold or dry weather. Simply apply pure coconut oil, several times a day, on your lips to keep them moist.
3. Jojoba Oil
This oil can moisturize your lips by nurturing the cells within the lips. It can also help in building new skin cells, which in turn repair your skin right away. Jojoba oil will give you a natural immediate relief from chapped lips.
- Just take a few drops of the jojoba oil and put it on the area which is affected.
- Leave it on for around 15 minutes.
Cucumber has been shown to be a very effective moisturizer due to the presence of vitamin B5, and it also soothes skin and reduces inflammation.
- Place or rub sliced cucumber on your lips for five minutes.
- Alternately, you can apply cucumber juice to your lips several times a day.
5. Rose Water and Honey
This remedy will help prevent cracks on your lips and act as a great moisturizer. All of the elements of honey and rose water come together to moisturize your skin, leaving you with new and refreshed lips.
- Mix one teaspoon of rose water and one teaspoon of honey in a bowl.
- Put the mixture on your lips and leave it there for around 15 minutes.
- Wash away the solution with regular water and pat dry.
- Do this every day on a regular basis.
6. Aloe Vera
When your lips are chapped, you end up with minor cracks, and aloe vera can help heal those. In addition, it can help soothe the pain of chapped lips. You can apply pure aloe vera gel a couple of times a day to your lips.
Sugar is a natural softener, which exfoliates the dead cells of the chapped lips and restores their smoothness.
- Mix some sugar with one teaspoon of honey and apply the paste on your lips.
- Then, with the help of your fingers, gently rub the mixture around the lips to slacken off the dead cells.
- Let it rest for a few seconds and then, wash it off with lukewarm water.
8. Lemon Juice
This remedy will help nourish the sensitive skin on your lips, which results in softer and smoother lips.
- Mix together one teaspoon of cream or milk with 3 drops of lemon juice in a bowl.
- Put the bowl in the refrigerator for an hour, then take it out.
- Put the mixture on and around your lips before going to bed.
9. Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly is the best and easiest way to get rid of chapped lips. Simply apply petroleum jelly over your lips, several times a day, to provide them proper nourishment and protection.
- Before applying petroleum jelly, a thin coat of honey can also be applied.
- Remove the coating in the morning, after keeping it overnight, with the help of a cotton ball dipped in warm water.
- Repeat the remedy twice a day.
10. Mango Butter or Oil
Mango butter extracted from the kernels of the mango tree (Mangifera indica) has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. Mango butter and oil are rich in fatty acids that make them excellent emollients.
The fats in mango butter are composed mostly of oleic and stearic acids. This makes mango butter a powerhouse at adding softness and moisture to the lips. These two acids are triglycerides, of which sebum is largely comprised. Adding it directly to your lips in the form of mango butter or oil is a natural, but artificial, way of restoring moisture.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil is the best natural moisturiser and lubricant. The fatty acids in olive oil help cure dry and chapped lips, making them soft and supple. Apply olive twice a day for best results.
12. Exfoliate Your Lips
If your lips have very flaky patches of skin, exfoliating with a brush or lip scrub will help you slough off the dead skin and regain your smooth, beautiful lips.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, one teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of honey, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a small bowl.
- Apply the scrub to your lips and then rub your lips together, working the scrub into the skin. Wipe off with a clean towel. Immediately apply a petroleum jelly lip balm to moisturize the lips.
- Be sure not to over-exfoliate; once or twice a week at most is all you need.
How to Prevent Chapped Lips
Add moisture to the air. While you can’t control the air outdoors, you can add a humidifier to your home. It will be most effective if you use the humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep and while your lips are left untended for the longest.
Stop licking your lips. Licking your lips does temporarily add moisture, but at a cost. Your saliva will irritate your lips while constant licking will also remove the natural oils that protect them and hold in moisture.
- While it might feel like licking brings some temporary relief to your skin, remember that it is actually doing more damage to your lips.
Limit your exposure to dry air. Because your lips produce so little moisture on their own, they are very sensitive to changes in moisture in the air. Chilly, wintry air is a common culprit, but air that is dried out from indoor heating or air conditioning can also hurt your lips.
Wear a scarf over your mouth when outside. The wind can cause chapped lips, and it can aggravate already chapped lips by stripping them of moisture. Putting a scarf over your mouth when outside gives your lips a chance to heal.
Try using fluoride-free toothpaste. Some people have an allergy to fluoride that not only affects their lips but can also cause other irritations in the mouth. Switch up your toothpaste and see if you notice a difference.
Breathe through your nose. The more you breathe through your mouth, the drier your lips will become. This means that if you have a cold as well as chapped lips, a decongestant can do wonders for both.
Don’t use exfoliants with salicylic acid. These types of exfoliants actually dry out lips more, worsening the problem.
Check your medications. If you have chronic dry lips, one of your medications could be to blame. For instance, high blood pressure medications can cause dry lips. While you shouldn’t stop taking a medication altogether because of chapped lips, your doctor may be able to switch you to a different medication that doesn’t cause you problems.
Avoid certain foods. Spicy and acidic foods may irritate your lips. Pay attention to your lips after eating and look for any signs of irritation. Try removing these foods from your diet for a few weeks to see if that irritation subsides.
- Don’t eat any highly acidic foods such as tomatoes.
- Avoid anything with hot peppers or sauces.
- Some foods, like mango peels, contain irritants that should also be avoided.
Avoid artificial products. When picking out a lip balm, avoid ones that have artificial dyes and flavors. Natural oils, like shea butter and coconut oil, work best for moisturizing your lips.
Use lip balm daily. Use a natural lip balm often, especially in the winter. Lip balms not only moisturize, they also protect your lips against the elements.
- Don’t over-apply lip balm. This can cause a condition called perioral dermatitis, a facial rash that occurs around your lips. Limit yourself to once or twice a day.
- Main causes of chapped lips are sun, wind, and cold or dry air.
- Wash your hands before touching your face to apply a balm or hydration.
- Apply lipbalm before eating and wash your lips after eating.
- Make sure you remember to apply moisturisers in the morning. The driest time for your lips is just after waking up.
- Try using chapstick or balm at night to prevent dry lips in the morning.
- Apply honey on your lips before bed every night.
- Always drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.