Chapped lips are painful, unattractive and just plain difficult to live with. Often the result of seasonal changes and dry air, it’s inevitable that at least once a year they afflict us, and we find ourselves crying out for the lip balm. While more often than not a simple chap stick is the answer to a sore, cracked mouth, sometimes the problem requires extra attention before it will subside. To help you to remedy yours, I’ve done a little research and put together a list of 7 ways to deal with dry lips.
Keeping hydrated is an excellent way to deal with dry lips. With this kind of problem, it’s always a good idea to start from the inside out. If your lips are often dry and sore, it may be a sign that you need to focus on getting more water into your system. Try to drink at least one and a half litres a day: you’ll see the positive effects all over your body.
There are a few effective exfoliation strategies. My favourite involves gently buffing your dry lips with a soft-bristled toothbrush; this really helps to remove dead and dry skin, leaving your lips smooth and ready to be moisturised. You can also use a warm, damp face cloth to do the job, or if you’re keen for a little DIY beauty, you can make your own exfoliating product from olive oil and yellow sugar.
If your lips are severely dry and sore and you’ve developed cracks in the corners of your mouth, you will need to make sure you nip any chance of infection in the bud. Another great way to deal with dry lips is to dab the affected areas with a gentle, hypo-allergenic moisturiser in combination with a mild anti-septic – tea tree is a good, natural option. You may need to repeat this process several times throughout the day.
Apply a good-quality balm regularly throughout the day. Go for a petroleum based product, and opt for one that’s designed specifically to repair very dry lips. You’ll find that ordinary grade products made for gentle lip maintenance probably won’t be strong enough and will simply make your mouth feel greasy without remedying the problem.
5. Fragrance Free
If you have very chapped lips, you’ll want to make sure that nothing you’re using to treat them is artificially scented. Scented products invariably contain alcohol and this will only aggravate dryness. If you’re keen on a balm or cream with a pleasant natural smell, opt for something with a cocoa or shea butter base.
Keeping your lips safe from UV rays is an important way to deal with dry lips. The sun both causes and aggravates dry, painful lips. In order to protect against burning and dehydration, choose a balm with a built in SPF. Factor 18 should be high enough in most moderate climates and won’t result in that undesirable white film that comes with very powerful sun blocks.
7. Take Action
If your dry lips continue to resist treatment and refuse to heal, it might be a good idea to pay a visit to the doctor. A persistently chapped mouth can be a sign of a vitamin deficiency, or might result from a fungal infection that needs to be treated with prescription medication. It's better to be safe, especially when it comes to oral health.
Chapped lips are painful and not pleasing to the eye. If yours are playing up, make sure you take steps to repair the damage as quickly as you can. Often, a basic all-purpose balm just isn’t enough; for real results you’ll need to exfoliate, medicate, moisturise and soften. That concludes my list of 7 ways to deal with dry lips; do you have any tips of your own to add to it?
Top Photo Credit: manduhsaurus