Home Remedies for Chapped Lips {including what NOT to do!}

A woman holding chapstick as a home remedy for chapped lips.

If you struggle with dry, peeling lips, you aren’t alone. Chapped lips are a problem that many of us face because our lips don’t produce their own oil, so they tend to dry out easier. This is especially true in the winter months.

Here are some tips and home remedies for chapped lips (including what NOT to do!) so you won’t have to suffer from chapped lips again this winter season!

What NOT To Do For Chapped Lips

First off, let’s talk about some things that you can avoid doing so that you don’t even get chapped lips to begin with. Year-round, it’s a good idea to avoid getting too much exposure to wind or sun on your lips. Try to avoid getting sunburnt lips, especially in the summer, since that can lead to dry, peeling lips even months later. 

As a general rule, avoid smoking. You should also avoid picking at your skin, and don’t bite, chew, or lick your lips too much.

You’ll also want to take a close look at the ingredient list on any Chapstick, lipstick, or lip balm that you’re using. Avoid any lip products if you see any toxic ingredients such as petrolatum (a petroleum byproduct), which might provide a temporary coating for your lips but can lead to even more peeling and dryness over time. 

Some lip products, such as Vaseline, can actually stop your lips from getting the moisture they need. They won’t help your lips to heal and can become something you’ll need to use more and more often to get any benefits.

Also, avoid using anything on your lips that has the word “paraben” anywhere in the ingredient list. These are carcinogenic endocrine disruptors that you definitely don’t need in your body! Keep an eye out for other toxic ingredients including any sort of fragrance or artificial flavor, oxybenzone (found in lip balms with sunscreen), or fake colorings. 

Since the skin on your lips is so thin, those chemicals go straight into your body. You’re much better off without them!

Home Remedies for Chapped Lips

Next, let’s look at some things that you can do to proactively avoid chapped lips, and how to deal with dry lips when needed.

Using a humidifier in the dryer months is a great idea, especially if you live somewhere with low humidity or anywhere cold, since heated air is drier.

Exfoliate your lips regularly- this is especially important if your lips are peeling. I enjoy using this yummy DIY Hot Chocolate Sugar Scrub recipe on my lips in small circular motions. Afterward, gently buff your lips with a washcloth or towel to remove any leftover dead skin. If you like a fruity flavor, you can also try this Strawberry Sugar Scrub instead!

Drinking water is also vital for healthy lips. Dry lips can be a sign of dehydration and your body’s way of trying to signal that it needs more water, so drink up! If you’re prone to chapped lips, take a look at your nutrition and what you’re eating. Get plenty of good fats from healthy sources, such as Wildly Organic Coconut Oil. Make sure you’re getting adequate supplements and vitamins too. Dry, cracked lips can be a sign of malnutrition, particularly a deficiency in Vitamin B.

Also, try to remember to cover your face when you’re outside and it feels cold, windy, or sunny! If you have sleep apnea, a cold, allergies, or anything else that is making you breathe through your mouth more than normal, work on healing those issues so that you can breathe through your nose.

If you have chapped lips, you can also try cutting back on eating citrus and tomato, which contain acids that can further irritate and dry out your lips.

Ingredients Your Lips Will Love

You’ll also want to find some good lip products that will help to soothe and protect your lips. Look for ingredients such as beeswax, which makes a protective seal for your lips to protect them from the elements and is also naturally antibacterial. A good lip balm will also usually have nourishing ingredients such as cacao butter or shea butter. Coconut oil and honey are also great options for moisturizing your lips.

Lip balms with SPF should have either zinc oxide or titanium oxide, which create a physical barrier to protect your lips from the sun.

Even the most natural ingredients can be irritating to some people if they have a sensitivity. If you start using a new lip balm and realize that your lips are peeling even more than usual, you might want to try switching up the ingredients you’re using. It’s also super easy to make your own all-natural lip balm! Try out this recipe for a moisturizing DIY Herbal Lip Balm!

Of course, even following all these tips, chapped winter lips are sometimes unavoidable. For example, my house is heated by a wood stove, which dries out the air, and I can drink buckets of water and still have dry lips. Just try your best to form good habits and do good things for your lips.

Remember to exfoliate regularly, don’t pick, and use natural, nourishing ingredients on your lips. You’ll be well on your way to healthier, happier lips!

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