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Did you know? The skin on our lips is actually four times thinner than the skin covering the rest of our face. And while sweat and oil glands moisturize the rest of our body, our lips neither sweat nor excrete oil.

That means we need to actively protect our lips to keep them moisturized and nourished – in both hot and cold weather. The bad news is that many lip care products can make things worse. The good news is that there are plenty of natural alternatives that nourish your lips and keep them healthy.

Here are a few tips to prevent and heal chapped lips, as well as what to look for in natural lipsticks, tints, and balms to keep our lips naturally beautiful.

Practical tips to prevent and heal chapped lips

  1. Don’t lick your lips! Saliva evaporates quickly, so repeated licking and drying will cause your lips to chap. Stay away from flavored lip products that can make it tempting.
  2. Avoid medicated lip balms with cooling ingredients and lipsticks that contain synthetic ingredients. Ingredients such as camphor, eucalyptus and menthol may feel good temporarily, but they can really suck the moisture from your lips with repeated use.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. If your lips are dry, it’s often an indication that your body is too. Drink up!  (Related read: Are You Drinking Enough Water? Here are 2 Easy Tips I Found Invaluable in Meeting My Daily Hydration Goal.)
  4. Invest in a good humidifier. If you live in a dry climate or if your heating or cooling system steals all the moisture, a good humidifier can help to keep your environment (and skin) moist.
  5. Cover your face with a scarf on windy days. Whether you’re at the beach, on the slopes, or just out running errands, the wind can dry out the sensitive skin on your lips.
  6. Wear a natural (zinc oxide) SPF lip balm on especially hot and sunny days to protect your lips from sunburn and to keep the moisture from evaporating in the heat.

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.

Exfoliate your lips to prevent chapping

To prevent chapped lips and keep them kissably soft, periodically exfoliate the dead skin from your lips. The fresh skin underneath can more readily absorb moisture from natural lip balms and help to prevent chapping. Never exfoliate already chapped lips, because it can cause further irritation.

To exfoliate, 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 with a natural lip balm or a natural plant butter or oil (mentioned below).

Natural lipsticks, balms, and glosses

With so many natural alternatives available these days, it’s easy to skip the synthetic (lip-drying) ingredients in lipsticks, balms, and glosses. Mother Nature has everything you need to heal, moisturize, and protect your lips… not to mention tint them. If you haven’t tried fruit and mineral colored lip products, I’m betting that once you do, you won’t go back to the chemical stuff.

Natural lip products often have at least one nourishing plant butter as the base ingredient (such as shea, cocoa, or mango butter), alongside one or more plant oils (such as jojoba, coconut, and sunflower seed oil) to give a bit of extra shine and help it to glide onto your lips more easily.

Personally, I like 100% Pure’s cherry lip balm. It doesn’t have that weird waxy feel and… no, it doesn’t make your lips red! It also glides on nicely and makes my lips feel super moisturized.

And for a bit of color or shine, I’m a fan of Au Naturale’s lip gloss. I usually keep it pretty neutral with ‘nudist’ or ‘magnolia’, but I’ll dab on the ‘dusty crimson’ for a night out. They’re all high gloss and all have a mix of nourishing oils that are great for your lips.

Natural lip care, all year long

Hot summers and dry winters can both do a number on your skin. If you’re already suffering from dry, chapped lips, you’ll find relief in plant butters and non-medicated lip balms. If your lips are healthy, keep ’em that way by opting for natural lip balms and tints that nourish your lips and prevent them from drying out.


Natural Living Guide

Find practical tips & natural alternatives to the everyday chemicals that invade our lives.

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