- Buh-Bye, Chapped Lips! 11 Ways to Keep Your Lips Soft + Smooth This Winter
- 1. Gently exfoliate
- 2. Repair overnight
- 3. Make your own lip balm
- 4. Use thick emollients
- 5. Soothe cracks with vitamin E
- 6. Try a lip mask
- 7. Skip menthol and camphor
- 8. Make smart lipstick picks
- 9. Protect lips from the sun
- 10. Hydrate from the inside
- 11. Invest in a humidifier
- 7 Homemade Remedies for Dry and Chapped Lips
Buh-Bye, Chapped Lips! 11 Ways to Keep Your Lips Soft + Smooth This Winter
Do you know that lips lack oil glands necessary to keep the thin, delicate skin moisturized, which can quickly lead to dryness, cracks and redness? Once your lips become chapped, it’s pretty much impossible to ignore them.
And when that delicate skin becomes compromised, your lips just get worse as it gets colder and the air gets drier. Don’t let winter be such a bummer! If you’re suffering from dry, flaky or even painfully chapped lips, here are a few natural ways to heal them and keep them moisturized.
1. Gently exfoliate
It is super simple – and tasty – to do a lip exfoliation. You can go crazy with fun flavors peppermint or vanilla, but a simple combo of oil and sugar, plus a dash of honey, will do the trick. This honey sugar lip scrub is a classic.
Honey is a humectant, which means it locks moisture into your skin. A little honey combined with sugar (to gently exfoliate) and almond oil rubbed gently onto the lips will moisturize and slough off dead skin. This fabulous scrub is completely edible! We also have a pumpkin spice version (complete with lip balm recipe) if you want to change it up with the seasons.
Here’s a recipe for guidance, but precision isn’t necessary – you basically you want equal parts liquid and sugar. Then use your fingertip to apply the mixture to your lips and gently scrub. Rinse with warm water when you’re done.
- 2 teaspoons sugar (you can use pretty much any sugar: raw sugar, brown sugar, regular sugar)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon almond oil
If slathering honey and sugar on your lips doesn’t sound appealing (hey, to each her own), try a very gentle scrub with the softest toothbrush you can find, one to two times per day, to exfoliate.
2. Repair overnight
Follow up the exfoliation with a simple overnight lip repair mask. Once those dry, dead layers are gently exfoliated, your lips are primed for maximum absorption of moisture.
You can try a collagen-infused mask or make your own. Honey helps your skin retain moisture and vitamin E treats the dry patches.
Wear the mixture on your lips overnight and then wipe off any excess in the morning.
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (about 3 vitamin E capsules)
- 1 teaspoon honey
Even easier, just slather some coconut oil on your lips at night; by morning they’ll be soft, supple and crack-free.
3. Make your own lip balm
You can DIY lip balm. Seriously, it’s easy, go do it! That way you can skip ingredients lanolin (aka sheep grease—gross!), parabens and fragrances.
I highly recommend using honey in your lip balm; it makes an effective chapped lips treatment. Manuka honey from New Zealand has anti-bacterial properties and is especially anti-inflammatory.
You can also skip animal products altogether with a vegan lip balm recipe without beeswax.
4. Use thick emollients
Waxes coat lips, forming a protective layer that tends to stay on longer than an oil. For a DIY approach, make this all-purpose body balm. It’s soft enough for really dry lips, but the beeswax creates a protective layer—so you won’t be reapplying on the hour. It also includes cocoa butter and coconut oil and has a ton of other uses.
Coat your lips with a thin layer of oil, sweet almond or coconut. This rich body oil can be used head to toe—including on dry, chapped lips. We love it in this DIY warming vanilla-chai oil, which is totally safe for your lips.
5. Soothe cracks with vitamin E
If your lips are starting to get cracked and painful, open up a vitamin E capsule and put a little of the gel right on the problem spots (this works well for the corners of your mouth, too). Layer over homemade lip balm or coconut oil to heal overnight.
6. Try a lip mask
My chapped lips love this soothing mixture that uses milk’s lactic acid to exfoliate, rather than a scrub. Rose oil is anti-inflammatory to ease irritated skin, and the subtle rose smell and flavor is a relaxing bonus.
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 drop rose essential oil
Combine the milk and essential oil in a small dish. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and apply to the lips. Let the liquid sit on your lips for 5 minutes (you can hold the cotton ball to your lips if you want). Refrigerate any extras and use within 2 weeks.
7. Skip menthol and camphor
If you’re not ready to DIY, then at least toss the balms with menthol or camphor. Those ingredients draw moisture from your lips, which just makes chapping worse! Plus, you don’t want to be licking your lips and ingesting that all day. Look for look for balms that contain coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter or beeswax or try one of these natural lip balm options.
8. Make smart lipstick picks
And don’t forget about your lipstick! Some ‘long lasting’ lipsticks will turn your lips drier than the Sahara Desert. They suck the moisture your lips, and when the color settles into the grooves of your lips it’s not a pretty sight.
Try a lip gloss with a hint of color from raspberry or cranberry. For lipstick diehards, Burt’s Bees is one that uses natural moisturizing ingredients moringa oil and raspberry seed oil.
9. Protect lips from the sun
No matter the season, sun exposure will dry out your lips. And no joke, sunburns on the lips are super painful and can lead to lots of miserable peeling. The sun can also be a trigger for cold sores so when you’re putting on your daily sunscreen, don’t forget to protect your lips.
10. Hydrate from the inside
I was the person who hated hearing everyone preach about drinking more water until I actually started doing it. And for me, the biggest benefit of drinking at least 32 ounces a day (with the goal of 64 ounces) was that I could finally break my lip balm addiction. Because I wasn’t constantly licking my dry lips!
Lesson learned: If you’re hydrated, your lips will be too. Drinking water can be even harder in winter so if you’re having trouble getting to 64 ounces each day, try these hydration hacks. I’m relying more on herbal tea – and when you’re ready to venture beyond peppermint, here’s a great breakdown of new types to try.
11. Invest in a humidifier
The other skin game changer for me was running a humidifier at night. Rather than suffer through dry skin and lips, invest in an inexpensive warm mist humidifier to stop the dryness before it starts.
P.S. Now that you have the perfect pout, try cinnamon to give you plumper lips the natural way!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
7 Homemade Remedies for Dry and Chapped Lips
Our lips lose moisture for many reasons, including the change of seasons, unhealthy habits such as licking our lips, and our diet.
“Chapped lips are common during the winter months in particular, as the cold weather and dry heat in homes and cars essentially dehydrate the skin,” says Dr. Lauren E.
Adams, a dermatologist with White Plains Hospital Physician Associates.
But do you know how to get rid of dry lips with items you can find just within your house? While it’s important to stock up on lip balm, these home remedies can also help to cure chapped lips fast.
Almond oil can be used for a number of functions, including as a way to get rid of dry lips. “It has a high level of fatty acids and a long history of use in eczema,” says Adams. Simply apply a few drops to your lips, though those with a history of almond allergies should not use this. Almond oil is also a good remedy for dry, damaged hair.
“It is a good emollient, adding moisture to the skin, and also has some anti-staphylococcal properties which may help prevent bacterial superinfection of very chapped lips,” says Adams. Here are more impressive beauty benefits of coconut oil.
Solutions for how to get rid of dry lips lie right in your fridge. Cucumber is a perfect treatment for dry and sore lips. This green veggie can gently moisturize your lips while also providing your skin with vitamins and minerals needed to make your lips look flawless, according to Medical News Today. Adams suggests using an emollient after to lock in the moisture.
Your lips can dry out a lot while you sleep. But how to get rid of dry lips that happen overnight? Solution: keeping a humidifier on in your room. “A humidifier can be helpful in the home, adding moisture back to the air,” says Adams.
Exfoliating your lips with a good scrub can help to remove dead skin and help your lips feel rehydrated and smooth.
“If you suffer from constantly chapped lips then you might be in need of some lip exfoliation,” says Adina Mahalli, a hair and skincare expert with Maple Holistics.
“Sugar contains abrasive qualities that make it a great natural exfoliant. It’s also a humectant which means that it draws in moisture from the environment to your skin. The natural sugars found in honey act as humectants and emollients which increase the water control in your skin.
Mahalli recommends making a scrub with sugar and honey, rubbing it on with a brush and then rubbing (or licking!) it off. Check out these natural recipes for amazing skin… from a plastic surgeon.
This treatment is one of the oldest and most effective in the book for how to get rid of dry lips. After steeping your tea, remove the bag and rub it over your lips to exfoliate them. Not only is green tea rich in antioxidants and minerals, but they also contain polyphenols which reduce inflammation according to Medical News Today.
“Due to the fact that vitamin E is oil-soluble, it provides a heavier moisture barrier than water-soluble products,” says Mahalli. “This means that you can apply it straight onto your lips to provide a moisture barrier to soothe your dry lips. It’s also rich in collagen which encourages skin renewal.” Now, find out more home remedies for every ailment.
Originally Published in Reader's Digest