Chapped lips are a great source of discomfort, and manifest with the formation of cracks and dried peeling skin on the lips. The condition is also referred to as cheilitis, and usually affects the lower lip although there are many instances where both lips are affected. In addition to the cracks, chapped lips also cause a burning sensation when the lips are stretched as is the case during smiling, laughing or eating. In extreme cases, chapped lips may be accompanied by bleeding and the formation of painful crusts.
Some of the causes of chapped lips include exposure to excess sunlight, continuous licking of the lips that causes them to dry up as well as dehydration. Smoking and alcohol intake also leads to the formation of cracked lips. Sometimes, the cause of this condition results from an allergic reaction or residing in places with extreme weather conditions. While there are many commercial products in the market, you can always save up on the cash and opt for natural remedies that are both easy to prepare and use. Below are some of the effective natural ways to address chapped lips.
1. Raw Honey:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of raw honey and 1 drop of glycerin (optional).
Honey is one of the best home remedies for the treatment of chapped lips. The honey not only prevents infections that may result from the open sores in extreme cases of cracked lips, it is also an excellent humectant. What this means is that when applied to the lips, it helps retain moisture thus sealing in the healing properties. Glycerin is added because it works in the same way. Use this remedy as often as you need to. Make sure you apply the remedy every night at bedtime until you get relief from the cracked lips.
- Mix the honey with the glycerin if you opt to use the latter.
- Using a clean finger, scoop some of the mixture and apply a thick layer on your lips. Use as often as needed.
2. Exfoliating With Granular Sugar:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of granular sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey, warm water and petroleum jelly.
One of the best ways to treat chapped lips is to exfoliate regularly. Contrary to popular belief, the process of exfoliation does not add to the discomfort. Instead, it helps get rid of the dried dead skin cells. This helps with faster recovery, thus restoring the lips’ natural softness. The coarse texture of the sugar granules, coupled with the honey’s healing properties makes for a great remedy. Top this up with a layer of petroleum jelly to seal in the healing effect.
- Mix the sugar with the honey to create a thick coarse paste which you will then apply on your lips.
- Leave the paste on the lips for 10 minutes.
- Rub the paste gently in order to free the dead skin cells.
- Rinse your lips using the warm water, dry gently and then apply a thin layer of the petroleum jelly. Use this remedy at least thrice daily (especially if you have the habit of licking your lips).
3. Cream Obtained From Boiled Milk:
Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: Fresh milk cream, warm water, cotton ball and petroleum jelly.
One of the easiest and fastest ways to heal cracked lips is to apply fresh milk cream. This cream is laden with fats that act as a natural moisturizer. The fat is also gentle on any crust-like formations on the lips, making this a choice remedy. If you would like, you may first exfoliate your lips by following the steps included in remedy 2 above. Use this remedy at least twice daily for fast healing and restoration of the lips’ natural softness.
- If you opt, first exfoliate your lips as described in the remedy above.
- Once you have finished, scoop some of the cream off the surface of boiled and cooled milk.
- Smear the cream on the lips, ensuring that you apply a thick layer.
- Let the cream stay on the lips for 10 minutes before rinsing.
- Soak the cotton ball in the warm water and use to wipe off the cream.
- When fully rinsed, apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to ensure the lips remain moisturized.
4. Good Old Petroleum Jelly:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Petroleum jelly. The following are optional: 1 teaspoon of raw honey, cotton wool and warm water.
Petroleum jelly has long been recommended as an effective natural remedy for the treatment of chapped lips. The jelly not only moisturizes the cracked lips, it also softens them allowing for the healing and elimination of the dried flaky skin. While you can use the petroleum jelly on its own, you may improve the remedy’s efficiency with the addition of honey. Honey’s benefits have been mentioned above, and these compliment the role of petroleum jelly in treating dry cracked lips.
- You may simply apply a thin layer of the petroleum jelly on your lips multiple times during the day. Ensure that you apply a little more of the jelly at bedtime for softened lips during the night.
- Alternatively, first apply some honey and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
- You will then follow this through by applying a thin layer of the petroleum jelly. Massage gently and leave on for a couple of minutes.
- Place a small amount of the cotton wool in the water and use it to wipe off the mixture. Use this remedy thrice daily, including at bedtime.
5. Coconut Oil or Olive Oil:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Teaspoon of coconut or olive oil.
Coconut oil is one of the best natural skin moisturizers, and it therefore comes as no surprise that this is one of the remedies recommended for the treatment of dried lips. When applied on cracked lips, the oil helps restore and seal in moisture, effectively reducing the cracks and skin flakes. Coconut oil also works by nourishing the skin, making it an extremely beneficial remedy. Olive oil may be used in place of coconut oil as it has the same benefits.
- Simply apply a thin layer of either oil severally during the day to keep the lips moisturized.
6. Staying Hydrated:
Time Required: Water intake is staggered throughout the day, particularly when it is extremely hot.
What You Need: Adequate drinking water and petroleum jelly.
Dehydration is a leading cause of chapped lips, and for this reason, one of the most obvious remedies for the condition is to stay hydrated. The skin covering the lips is rather thin when compared to the rest of the body. Consequently, it tends to lose moisture faster, thus predisposing you to chapped lips when one is dehydrated. It is therefore important to ensure you take enough water. Other benefits of taking adequate water include the body’s ease to get rid of toxins as well as optimal functioning of the different physiological processes.
- It is advisable to kickstart your day by drinking at least a glass or two of water; some people prefer warm water but that is entirely dependent on one’s preferences.
- Take the rest of the water during the day, ensuring you wind up with a glass at bedtime. This, over a period of time, helps get rid of chapped lips while promoting their softness.
7. Aloe Vera Gel:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Aloe vera gel obtained from freshly cut leaf.
It is almost impossible to talk about treating chapped skin anywhere on the body without making mention of ale vera gel. Hailed all over the world for its excellent healing properties, the gel helps soften the skin on the lips while ensuring they remain soft and moisturized. The gel also has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the pain in cases of chronic chapped lips. For many people, the taste of aloe vera gel is rather bland. For what it lacks in taste though, the gel more than makes up for it with its excellent healing properties.
- Cut the fresh aloe vera leaf at an angle to maximize gel production.
- Collect the gel and once you have had enough for the day proceed to apply as a remedy. Use this daily for fast relief.
8. Rose Petals:
Time Required: 2 Hrs for the preparation phase, 10 Min for application.
What You Need: Rose petal extract, warm water, fresh milk and glycerin (optional).
The rose flower plant in your backyard makes for a great source of an effective remedy used for treating dry cracked lips. For this remedy, you will use the flower’s metals alongside milk and/or glycerin. The petals are packed with compounds that ensure your lips remain moisturized. The solution of choice is milk, thanks to its moisturizing and skin softening properties. If you are lactose intolerant, or simply do not prefer dairy, you can always opt for glycerin instead which works in the same way. Below are the directions you need to follow to prepare the remedy from the flower’s petals.
- Take a handful of the freshly plucked rose petals and clean well.
- Transfer the clean petals to a bowl and pour in the milk until the entire surface is covered. Do the same if you opt for glycerin.
- Pound the soaked petals until you have a consistent paste.
- Apply this paste to the chapped lips at least thrice daily and one more time at bedtime. Note that since this remedy calls for the use of fresh milk, you may need to prepare the remedy daily to prevent spoilage.
9. Castor Oil Mixture:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/2 Tablespoon each of castor oil and glycerin, 3 drops of fresh lemon juice, cotton wool and some warm water.
If you need a convenient and reliable remedy to treat chapped lips, look no further than castor oil. Best known for its viscosity and skin healing properties, the oil’s benefits help deal with the cracks and pain that results from cracked lips. Prepare this soothing remedy by adding glycerin which helps lock in the moisture as well as lemon juice which helps rejuvenate the skin.
- Mix the castor oil with the glycerin and lemon juice and stir for evenness.
- Apply the oil mixture on your lips and massage gently in circular motions. Owing to the oil’s viscosity, the best time to use this remedy is at bedtime where you will let the healing properties set in overnight.
- Dip the cotton wool in warm water the next morning and use it to wipe off the mixture. Use this remedy daily until your lips are healed.
10. Used Green Tea Bag:
Time Required: 5 Min
What You Need: Used green tea bag and petroleum jelly.
Add moisture to your lips using this simple green tea bag remedy. If you do not have a used tea bag, you can always soak the fresh teabag in warm water for 5 minutes and you have a ready remedy. The content of the tea bag helps moisturize the lips. In cases where the lips have crusty cracks, the tea bag provides much needed relief by soothing the affected skin. This is a quick remedy that you can even make a part of your routine.
- Place the used tea bag in your hands and press it firmly on your lips for about 5 minutes.
- Allow the lips to dry for a minute and then apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly for added moisture.
11. Mango Butter:
Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Mango butter
Mango butter is packed with fats whose benefits include the softening or lips while moisturizing them to prevent drying. These properties can be attributed to the presence of triglycerides whose opposite ends attract and repel water, making the butter a perfect emollient. You only need a small amount of mango butter for this remedy.
- Simple take a pea-sized amount of the mango butter and spread on your lips.
- Leave the butter on for about 5 minutes before rinsing with warm water. Use this remedy as often as needed.
In addition to the remedies listed above, there are changes that you can make to prevent dry cracked lips. These include:
- Removing the dried skin flakes using wet cotton wool instead of pulling them back using your fingers (no matter how tempting it is).
- Train yourself to avoid biting and licking your lips as this is one of the most common causes of chapped lips.
- Take a healthy diet to provide your skin with the necessary nutrients.
- Use lip balm regularly to lock in the moisture. When purchasing your preferred balm, make sure that the main ingredient listed is petrolatum as this is responsible for sealing the moisture in. If you spend time in the outdoors, make sure your choice lip balm has sunscreen properties to protect the lips.
- Lastly, see a doctor if you suspect that your lips may be infected.