Natural home remedies: Chapped lips
Do low temperatures—and other less-than-favourable conditions—make your lips dry and chapped? It happens to all of us, but we can beat it, too, with these easy home remedies
Bring out the balms
- Dairy farmers use Bag Balm to keep their cows’ udders soft and comfortable. Humans have found that this product, formulated with lanolin and petrolatum (the stuff in petroleum jelly), soothes a chapped kisser. You can find it in drugstores or order it on the Internet.
- Another all-natural salve is Burt’s Beeswax Lip Balm, which contains beeswax, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, lanolin, vitamin E, peppermint oil, and comfrey extract.
- When you’re alone in the house, olive oil or Crisco will help to soften and moisturize chapped lips quite nicely. In fact, any vegetable shortening will do.
- If you have vitamin E capsules on hand, puncture one and apply the oil to your lips.
- Petroleum jelly is a tried-and-true chapped-lips remedy.
- For more drugstore buys, check out our slideshow of top lip treatments.
Moisturize lips from the inside out
- If your lips are continually chapped, drink eight 250-mL glasses of water a day—more, if you can. While this won’t prevent dryness, it will keep it from getting worse.
The power of prevention
- Apply a balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 before you go out into the sun. Lips need just as much sun protection as the rest of your skin. (Off-limits...if your lips turn red and itchy. Some people have an allergic reaction to lip balms that contain sunscreen.)
- A dark, creamy lipstick helps protect lips from the sun and keep moisture in.
- When indoor air is very dry, prevent chapped lips by running a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep.
- Try eating more foods that are rich in vitamin B, such as whole grains, nuts and green vegetables. Lack of B vitamins contributes to chapped lips in some people.
- Avoid licking your lips. Your saliva may momentarily provide a coating of moisture, but it evaporates quickly, leaving lips drier than before. And the saliva contains digestive enzymes that dry out tissue.
- Stay away from balms that contain phenol or camphor. They’re very strong antiseptics that induce a major lip drought.
- Don’t give a child lip balms with exotic flavors. Kids tend to eat the flavored varieties right off their lips, which further aggravates the chapping.