Your Health Questions Answered

What's the Best Way to Soothe Chapped Lips?

Warmer weather is upon us—but chapped lips from what’s left of the drier winter air can be painful. Here are some treatments to try.

By Allison Forsyth February 23, 2022

Image: Kari Perrin

Got chapped lips? You're not alone: it's a cosmetic tragedy we can all face, no matter the time of year. Your lips have the most sensitive skin on your face—take care of them with these treatments.

Use a Lip Mask

Lip masks are products you can apply to lips to re-hydrate them. They are typically filled with nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, coconut oil, or a humectant like hyaluronic acid. Try a cream-based one that comes in a car or a fun jelly-like sheet in the shape of lips. Sit with the product on your lips for up to 10 minutes. There are even some you can wear overnight. Here's one from Sarasota company.

Try a Lip Scrub

Lip scrubs usually contain granules of sugar, salt or coffee grounds to help slough off dead skin  on the lips. Begin by washing your lips with warm water, then apply two fingertips' worth of scrub, wiping on the lips in a circular motion. Use a washcloth to wipe off excess.

You can make your own scrub using recipes like this one from Honest Company, or you can purchase an all-natural, honey-based lip scrub from Sarasota Honey Company.

 Lip scrubs can be used up to twice a week, depending on how dry your lips are. Make sure to moisturize after.

Find a Lip Balm with Soothing Ingredients

Believe it or not, some lip balms can actually make your lips drier. Avoid ingredients like camphor, phenol and menthol. They are cooling on the lips, but can contribute to further drying. Stay away from parabens and salicylic acid, too, which may temporarily soften lips but could make them drier over time.

Instead, search for products with humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin mixed with ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, coconut oil or petroleum.

Try this three-ingredient castor oil balm from Doctor Rogers or stop by Anthropologie to get this vegan coconut and cacao-based balm.

Try Dermabrasion

If these at-home remedies don't seem to be doing enough, a procedure called dermabrasion can get to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles around the lips. This will also give your mouth a plumper and less-dry look. Dermabrasion is a skin-resurfacing procedure that removes the outer layer of skin. The skin that grows back is smoother.

Stay Hydrated

Finally, drinking the proper amount of water can improve skin appearance and help keep lips moist. A gallon of water a day helps reduce dryness.

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