Did you know? The skin on our lips is actually four times thinner than the skin covering the rest of our face!
Our lips also lack the sweat and oil glands that moisturize the rest of our body, so our lips need added protection to prevent drying and chapping – both in cold and hot weather.
Natural lip balms are a great alternative to the chemicals found in many brands. But preventing chapped lips in the first place is even better.
Prevent chapped lips
- Don’t lick your lips! Saliva evaporates quickly and repeated licking and drying causes them to chap. Avoid flavored lip products that can make it tempting.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your body and lips hydrated.
- Invest in a good humidifier if you live in a dry climate or if your heating or cooling system steals all the moisture.
- Cover your face with a scarf on windy days.
- Wear a natural (zinc oxide) SPF lip balm in the sun to protect your lips from wind and sun burn.
- Avoid medicated lip balms with cooling ingredients and lipsticks that contain synthetic ingredients.
Medicated lip products can make lips feel good temporarily. But ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus and menthol will actually irritate your lips with repeated use and leave them dryer than before.
Gently exfoliate lips
- Periodically exfoliate dead skin from your lips. The fresh skin underneath can more readily absorb moisture from natural lip balms and help to prevent chapped lips.
- Gently rub a mixture of equal parts coconut oil and sugar on your lips, or simply brush your lips with your toothbrush.
- After exfoliating, moisturize your lips with a natural lip balm or a natural plant butter or oil (mentioned below).
- Avoid exfoliating if your lips are already chapped, because it can cause further irritation.
Choose healthier alternatives
Opt for lipsticks and glosses made from plant-based ingredients, particularly those containing vitamins and fatty acids that penetrate and moisturize the skin.
Look for natural butters such as hemp, avocado, pumpkin and cocoa butter. Natural oils that also do a great job include jojoba, grape seed and coconut oils.