Helping Chapped Lips
Other than being unsightly and irritating, having chapped lips means your lips' defensive barrier is breaking down, leaving them vulnerable to bacteria and germs that can cause complications. Your lips need to be healthy to do their job.
To help fix dry chapped lips, you must wear a moisturizing lip balm that also protects your lips from the elements. Avoid any lip balms with menthol, camphor or any other "medicated" ingredient. These are actually irritants that can dry lips even further, making you feel the need to apply more lip balm in a never-ending cycle.
When lips are severely chapped, it's best not to use any kind of lip exfoliator and try to avoid irritating foods. What foods are irritating to lips? Acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes are at the top of the list, but basically any food that makes your lips hurt is an irritating food. Avoid these until your lips are back to full health, as well as any irritating dental products and lipsticks, and don't forget to drink lots of water.
No matter how tempting it may be, do not peel dried layers of skin off your lips - they aren't extra skin. Think of these hard dry flakes as a scab. Picking it off before it's ready to fall can open up new cuts on your lips and cause bleeding. Let it go, and work to prevent it from happening again.
How to prevent chapped lips
To keep your lips soft and smooth, always use a natural lip balm. Keep it in your pocket, in your car, beside your bed, or wherever is easiest for you to grab it when you need it. The right lip balm moisturizes and protects your lips, and is a necessary part of skin care.
There is a movement against lip balm addiction, but except for those balms containing drying elements, there really is no lip balm addiction. Think about it this way - if the skin on your face was dry, would you leave it alone in fear of moisturizer addiction, or would you use an oil or cream to make it healthy again? What about your hands - would you let them stay dry and cracked, or would you apply a cream or salve? Your lips appreciate balm. Use it.
Put an extra-thick layer on before bed, and apply as needed throughout the day.
Exfoliate your lips
Exfoliating your lips regularly will help prevent them from peeling and feeling dry (but don't do this if they're already irritated). There are several lip exfoliating products on the market, but you can easily make your own at home.
Put a teaspoon of sugar or salt (depending on your cravings) in a small bowl, and then add a few drops of olive oil at a time until it becomes a spreadable paste. Gently rub the mixture into your lips, being careful not to use too much pressure. Let the scrubbers (the salt or sugar) do the work.
If making a scrub seems too time consuming or messy, use a wet cloth or an extra soft toothbrush and gently run it over your lips to remove dead cells.
Want something even easier? Apply lip balm before jumping in the shower. Right before you get out, gently rub your fingers over your lips. The softened dead skin will roll right off, leaving you with healthy, smooth lips.
Whichever way you choose to exfoliate your lips, be sure to apply a natural lip balm when you're done.
Go back to Lip Care Guide, Part I - What are dry chapped lips?
Next page: Lip Care Guide, Part III - Why use natural lip balm?
Buy Wunder Budder natural lip balm now.