Chapped Lip Care: 12 Tips For Treating Chapped Or Dry Lips
We all want soft, smooth, rosy lips! But everyone deals with chapped or dry lips at some point or another.
If you’re all too familiar with the uncomfortable feeling of tight, peeling lips, it’s time for a solution. Babo Botanicals is here to help!
Having chapped or dry lips is a common complaint, but that doesn’t mean you’re destined to deal with them forever! There are a few ways to combat chapped lips on a daily basis; you just have to know your stuff.
First, let’s look at some of the reasons you get chapped lips, then we’ll get straight into tips for treating them.
Why You Get Chapped Lips
Other than being perfect for kissing and smiling, what makes your lips different from the rest of the skin on your body? And why do they get chapped and dry so easily? We’re glad you asked.
The Skin On Your Lips
The skin on your lips is very thin and doesn’t have all of the oil glands that the rest of your skin has.
Oil might not sound like a great thing, but it’s a big part of keeping skin healthy and hydrated! Your skin’s natural oil forms a barrier that keeps hydration in and irritants out.
Since your lips don’t have a very strong barrier, they can become irritated and dried out very easily. When that happens, you may notice peeling, tightness, flaking, and even swelling or bleeding.
A Visit To The Dentist
A visit to the dentist can sometimes leave your lips dry and cracked. And for those who wear braces or dentures, visits to the dentist can be frequent!
Bacteria can easily enter through these cracks (see our section on Cheilitis), so it’s important to stay on top of things when it comes to protecting your lips. Lather your lips with the right lip balm to protect them!
With such thin, delicate skin, your lips are especially susceptible to the irritants of everyday life, which can cause dryness. What types of irritants are we talking about?
Smoking and certain medications can certainly contribute to the problem. But there are three main irritants that most people deal with every day.
First of all, the weather. Many people experience chapped lips in the winter only. That’s usually because low humidity and cold weather dry your skin out. Your lips are no different.
On the other hand, the sun exposure and sunburn of the summer months can certainly damage and dry your lips, too!
This doesn’t mean you should avoid being outside altogether. That doesn’t sound like any fun! But it does mean you should take care of your lips when you head into the great outdoors.
In addition to weather, a common drying irritant is your cosmetics. That’s right, we’re talking about lip balm, lipstick, and all the rest.
They might make your lips look sweet, but many of the ingredients in cosmetics are far from healthy for your skin!
The good news is there are lipsticks and lip balms that are natural and safe for your skin but will still leave you looking your best. You just have to know what to look for. We’ll talk more about that soon!
Licking And Picking Your Lips
Last but not least, you might be irritating and drying your lips without even knowing!
When your lips are dry and bothersome, licking them can feel oh, so good! But your saliva evaporates, which only serves to dry your lips out even more in the end.
Plus, lots of people have a habit of picking or biting their lips, which — you guessed it — can irritate the skin on your lips.
All that being said, if your chapped lips persist or get worse even after caring for them with the tips we’re about to give you, it’s best to see a dermatologist. They can tell you if there’s something more going on.
Now, without further ado, let’s go over how to get your lips back to their soft, smooth selves!
12 Tips For Treating Chapped Or Dry Lips
1) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Health and beauty come from the inside-out. That applies to hydrating your skin and lips as well. Well-hydrated lips start with a well-hydrated body!
For hydrated lips, drink plenty of water every day. To make sure you’re drinking enough, carry a small water bottle with you, drink herbal teas, and make your own delicious water with lemon, mint, cucumber, and the like.
Your parched lips will thank you!
2) Don’t Lick Your Lips
OK, every now and then when you’ve had a really yummy meal, lip-licking is permitted! Otherwise, quit the habit. As we mentioned before, it might feel nice at the moment, but it only dries your lips more in the long-run.
To help yourself break the habit, keep lip balm on hand and apply it every time you notice yourself licking your lips.
3) Keep Your Hands Off
When your lips are peeling and flaking, it can be tempting to pick them. Avoid it! Picking and biting your lips irritates them and slows down the healing process.
Stay proactive by applying a lip balm frequently to give your lips a moisture barrier when you’re tempted to do this.
Stress or anxiety can also cause you to pick at the skin on your lips, sometimes without even noticing! Maybe it’s a habit you picked up along the way and now you don’t know how to avoid it.
Be mindful of what’s going on around you when you’re picking your lips so you can narrow down any triggers. This way, you can catch yourself before it damages your delicate lip skin!
4) Use Non-Irritating Lip Gloss
Cosmetics can be loaded with chemical ingredients that are no good for your delicate lips.
If you have sensitive skin, you probably already know the importance of using products that are gentle and free of irritating chemicals. Your lips deserve the same treatment!
Opt for lip gloss and lipsticks without artificial dyes, synthetic fragrances, silicone, petroleum, sulfates, parabens, or phthalates.
That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to forego all of your favorite shades! It’s possible to have beautiful lips that pop with color and be kind to your skin at the same time.
Here’s a tip from the pros. Check the EWG (Environmental Working Group) rating to see if the products you’re using are safe for your skin (and the environment!). Babo Botanicals’s Nutri-Shine Hydrating Lip Luminizer fits the bill.
Our lip luminizer is 100% vegan, dye-free, preservative-free, and cruelty-free. It nourishes and colors your lips naturally with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and soothing organic calendula. And, to top it all off, it’s EWG Verified.
5) Apply Lip Balm Regularly
Since your lips don’t produce an oily, protective barrier on their own, you’ll have to lend them a hand!
That’s where lip balm comes in. Apply it regularly — several times throughout the day and before you head to bed. A good lip balm will lock moisture in and keep the bad-guy irritants out!
Choose a natural, non-irritating lip balm, like Babo Botanicals’s Lip Tint Conditioner. Our lip tint comes in five different shades to suit your style and is made with our Nutri-Soothe™ Complex, which is rich in antioxidants and vitamins to smooth, soften, and condition your lips.
Make sure you always have lip balm on hand — keep some around the house, in the car, in your purse, and even in the diaper bag!
6) Scrub The Dry Skin Away
If your lips are extra flaky, it might be a good idea to exfoliate them once or twice per week. But keep in mind that exfoliating too much can further dry out or damage your already chapped lips.
In this case, too much of a good thing is a bad thing!
Before trying a lip scrub, pay attention to what your lips may need most: hydration. Flaky skin is a clear sign that your lips need a boost of hydration, so give your lips what they crave with the lip scrub recipe below!
Homemade Honey-Sugar Lip Scrub
- Mix one teaspoon of honey with two teaspoons of sugar
- Massage the mixture onto your lips
- Let the mixture sit for a few minutes (but don’t let it sit too long)
- Rinse it off with warm water
- Cover your lips in your favorite Lip Tint Conditioner
If you’re out of honey and sugar and need to make a lip scrub right away, first find an exfoliating ingredient, like sugar, cinnamon, or even your toothbrush! Next, find an emollient to soften and moisturize your skin, like honey, oil (coconut or olive), or shea butter.
Choose your two ingredients and start scrubbing away!
Tip: Avoid scrubs with chemicals or unnatural ingredients to minimize any further irritation to your lips.
7) Armor Up With SPF
You know (maybe from experience) that too much time in the sun can lead to a pretty uncomfortable sunburn. Even if you aren’t the type to burn easily, your skin can still be damaged by the sun’s harmful rays.
You lather up with sunscreen for that very reason. Shouldn’t you show the same love to your lips? You bet! Your lips are susceptible to the sun just like the rest of your skin.
Make a habit of wearing a lip balm that contains SPF and reapplying it frequently, just like you do with your sunscreen. Whether you want to add a pop of color or keep it neutral, Babo Botanicals’s SPF 15 Lip Care line has something for you!
8) Protect Your Lips From The Elements
In addition to protecting your lips from the sunshine (by the way, the slopes as well as the beach!), you’ll want to protect them from the cold winter weather.
To help your lips stay hydrated during the cold months, use a scarf to wrap up when you head outside.
9) Run A Humidifier At Night
When you’re at home, a good way to combat the drying winter weather we mentioned above is to run a humidifier. It will pump needed moisture into the air and help your lips retain their hydration.
Think about it: while you’re sleeping for eight hours, cool or warm air blows directly on your skin. So when you wake up, your skin may be dry and peeling.
Protect your lips from the drying effects of the air within your home by running a humidifier and adding a layer of our Lip Tint Conditioner before you hit the pillow.
10) Avoid Smoking
Smoking is a habit that affects more than just your lungs. It can cause gum pain and mouth ulcers too, and that’s just what it can do to the inside of your mouth!
Cigarette smoke — or even smoke from an e-cigarette — can also irritate the skin on your lips. On top of that, constantly pursing your lips while smoking causes cracks and dry skin on and around your mouth.
We know this is a hard habit to drop cold-turkey. Seek out help from your doctor to gather information on alternative options and next steps. You’ll notice healthier lips (and everything else!) in no time. You can do it!
11) Examine Your Medicine Cabinet
Because certain medications may be the culprit when it comes to your dry lips, take a look at what’s in your medicine cabinet. Talk with your doctor about the possible side effects of your current medications.
Certain ingredients in medicines, like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, are big contributors to drying out your skin.
If you’re taking a medicine that you can’t switch, remember to apply your lip balm regularly — we’re talking several times throughout the day!
12) Cut Back On The Salty Foods
You might want to think twice before grabbing that bag of chips. Some chips are super salty, and that salt can end up just sitting on your lips, which is why you lick your lips a lot when you’re eating chips.
Salt actually dries out your lips by soaking up any moisture you do have, and it makes it even worse when you’re licking them.
Pay attention to the ingredients in your bag of chips and choose a healthier snack option that won’t coat your lips with salt.
When To See A Doctor About Your Dry Or Chapped Lips
While environmental factors and a lack of hydration are the main reasons for chapped and dry lips, sometimes an underlying medical condition is to blame. Let’s take a look at some instances when that might be the case.
Chronic Skin Damage
Years of exposure to the sun can lead to chronic skin damage, or even skin cancer, on your lips. In this situation, the skin on your lips can’t repair itself.
You’ll notice scaly patches or plaques (scab-like lesions) in addition to extremely dry skin on your lips. If you see any of these signs, reach out to your doctor right away.
A Vitamin Deficiency
When your body lacks any of its much-needed vitamins, it can react in different ways. One way is through your dry lips.
If you’re consistently dealing with dry lips, reach out to your doctor to run a test for possible vitamin deficiencies.
An Allergic Reaction
If the peeling or dry skin on your lips is followed by redness and some swelling, you could be having an allergic reaction. And not necessarily to food.
It could be a reaction to your skincare products, makeup, toothpaste, or even from your hands if you tend to pick your lips a lot.
Cheilitis is an inflammation of the lips. This condition causes red, swollen patches in the corners of your mouth (where your lips meet). It can appear on one side of your lips or both at the same time. People with braces are more susceptible to getting cheilitis.
Symptoms of cheilitis include:
- Lip dryness
From environmental factors to self-induced factors, the causes of cheilitis are:
- Chronic lip-licking
- Exposure to an allergen or irritant (cosmetics, fragrances, certain foods and medications, and oral hygiene products)
- Sun damage
What’s the difference between run-of-the-mill chapped lips and cheilitis? Chapped lips can be treated at home naturally, while cheilitis requires medical attention.
All the above causes are reasons to see a doctor for your dry, chapped lips. Also, see a doctor for the following symptoms:
- Pain with your dry, chapped lips
- Extreme redness
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath
- Lips won’t heal with natural care
Get Back To Soft, Smooth Lips
The thin, delicate skin on your lips goes through a lot every day! Chapped or dry lips are bound to strike every now and then. But with the six tips we listed in this article, you’re ready to fight back.
Drink lots of water, break your lip-licking habit, apply lip balm regularly, protect your lips from the elements, and opt for a natural, non-irritating lip balm like Babo Botanicals’s Lip Tint Conditioner.
Your lips will thank you and, slowly but surely, get back to being soft, smooth, and oh so kissable!