Chapped lips are not only unsightly; they can be painful and annoying. In extreme cases, they can even bleed – and no one wants to see that. If you suffer from dry, chapped lips, don’t worry – you’re in good company. Most people deal with them from time to time during the year.
Whether it’s the cold winter air that’s responsible for stripping moisture away from your lips or the summer heat that keeps your lips looking and feeling dry, the good news is, there’s a way to get rid of chapped lips fast.
Without further ado, here’s the ultimate step-by-step guide on how to unchap your lips.
1. How to Get Rid Of Chapped Lips Using Lip Balm
You would be surprised by the number of people (particularly men) who believe lip balms are optional extras in their skin care regimen. Unlike the skin on other parts of the body, lip skin doesn’t have oil glands. As a result, if you don’t take that extra step to keep them moisturized throughout the day, they’re prone to extreme dryness.
To keep them soft, supple, and moisturized, apply a lip balm or lip treatment anytime your lips begin to feel a little dry. Don’t wait until they begin to chap. After all, there’s no such thing as “too much lip balm,” right?
Keep in mind that not any old lip balm will do. Some brands are better than others, so this isn’t the time to cheap out on the lip product you get. Steer clear of balms that contain ingredients like mint, menthol, phenol, and camphor. While they may provide a pleasant cooling sensation, these ingredients are notorious for drying out lips, leaving them more chapped than they were to begin with.
You also want to stay away from flavored and scented balms. These also tend to dry out the lips, which is counterintuitive if you’re looking for a way to keep them soft and supple throughout the day. Not to mention the fact that you’ll be tempted to lick your lips, which dries them out further.
Instead, look out for lip balms with moisturizing ingredients such as:
- Castor seed oil
- Hemp seed oil
- Mineral oil
- Petroleum jelly
- Shea butter
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, ensure you get a product with sunscreen. It not only prevents your lips from dryness and chapping; it also protects them from getting sunburned.
2. Exfoliate Every Night
Don’t underestimate the power of exfoliation. Having chapped lips means there’s a layer of dry, damaged, and dead skin cells coating them. This skin cannot be salvaged. As a result, it stops the soothing, moisture-rich ingredients in the lip balm from penetrating the dermis and reaching the right areas.
If you’re wondering how to get rid of chapped lips overnight, the best thing to do would be to use a lip scrub every evening to gently exfoliate your lips, remove the dry, dead skin cells, and expose the soft skin underneath. The keyword here is – gently. The skin on your lips isn’t as dense as that on the other parts of your body. Scrubbing too vigorously may aggravate the problem.
Although you can purchase ready-made lip scrubs from your local drug store, you can just as easily make one from scratch using common ingredients in your pantry. Mix baking soda or sugar with honey or aloe vera and use this concoction to scrub away the dead skin on your lips.
Use it on your lips at night before applying lip balm. You’ll be surprised by how soft your lips feel by the time morning rolls around. Avoid using store-bought products containing chemical exfoliants.
3. Incorporate Natural Remedies Into Your Routine
Are you wondering how to get rid of chapped lips without Chapstick? There are several natural ingredients you can use. You might even find some of them in your pantry. Below are our top picks.
- Aloe vera – The gel you find inside the leaves of the aloe vera plant is rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, vitamins, and minerals, which work remarkably to moisturize and soothe dry, chapped lips.
- Coconut oil – Not only does it contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, it is an excellent emollient, meaning it softens and soothes chapped lips. The fact that it is also delicious is certainly a bonus.
- Cucumber – That’s right! It’s not just for your eyes. Cucumber is surprisingly effective in moisturizing the lips, infusing vitamins and minerals, and improving their overall appearance.
- Green tea – If you want a gentler approach to traditional exfoliation, try using green tea leaves in place of sugar or baking soda. Soak a tea bag in warm water, tear it open to expose the crunched-up leaves, and use these to gently scrub your lips. Green tea contains antioxidants and minerals, which are great for your lips as well.
- Honey – This sweet syrup contains powerful antioxidant and antibacterial properties, making it a great natural remedy for treating dry, chapped lips. Apply a little honey on them and leave it on for at least 20 minutes every other day for best results.
4. Stay Hydrated
Not drinking enough water throughout the day is a major cause of chapped lips. Most people wait until they feel thirsty before they grab that bottle of water from the fridge. As a result, they may not notice when they’re slightly dehydrated.
When you don’t drink enough water, your body turns to certain areas of the body and pulls water from the cells there to meet the deficit. The lips happen to be one of those areas, causing them to dry out.
To ensure your lips remain soft and moisturized, make a habit of sipping water throughout the day. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to do it. The recommended minimum daily water intake depends on your sex, the level of physical activity you engage in every day, and your age. The average adult man and woman living in temperate climates require at least 3.7 liters (15.5 glasses) and 2.7 liters (11.5 glasses) of water, respectively.
5. Use a Humidifier
Dry air, particularly in the winter, strips the lips of moisture. While keeping your body well-hydrated all-year-round is a great way to keep your skin in good condition, consider using a humidifier to infuse some much-needed moisture into the air in your living and working environment. Your lips will thank you for it.
6. Get Rid of the Cigs
If you smoke, now is as good a time as any to kick that bad habit. Tobacco smoke from cigarettes tends to irritate the sensitive skin on your lips. This dries them out, making them more likely to crack. If you’re a smoker and suffer from chronically chapped lips, this problem will likely clear up shortly after you drop the habit.
7. Consult a Physician
If, despite your best efforts, your chapped lips won’t heal, it might point to an underlying condition that you may not even be aware of. If you’ve had chapped lips for a long time, the cracks and abrasions can get a bacterial infection. This may result in a condition known as angular cheilitis, which will need to be treated by a healthcare professional. Moisturize dry lips frequently to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our readers.
Is Vaseline good for chapped lips?
Since Vaseline is available in most grocery and drug stores, it is the go-to option for many people looking for an affordable way to keep their lips moisturized. Nonetheless, it may not be the best alternative for treating chapped lips.
Vaseline is occlusive. This means it can hold in moisture when you apply it on your lips before they become chapped. Unfortunately, it does not restore moisture when the lips are already dry and chapped. Using humectants like shea butter, honey, and aloe vera would be a better alternative since they pull moisture from the air and infuse it into your lips.
Why are my lips always chapped?
Lips start peeling when they’re dry. This can be due to any number of reasons, including:
- Licking your lips
- Not drinking enough water throughout the day
- Not keeping your mouth covered when exposed to the elements
- Not using lip balms containing sunscreen
- Using flavored and scented lip balms
- The drying effects of the air conditioning system in your home or workplace
- The Allergens in fragrances, dyes, perfumes, and tobacco
How can I heal my chapped lips overnight?
Once you brush your teeth before you sleep, gently exfoliate your lips using a natural-based scrubber. Proceed to apply a bit of honey on them and leave it on for 20 minutes or longer.
Rinse it off and apply a generous amount of shea butter. Leave it on overnight. You’ll wake up with soft, supple lips the next morning. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day and use a good-quality lip balm. Retouch your lips with it every hour or so.