Is there a natural way to avoid cracked lips? Here we explore the causes and reveal the natural lip care techniques that can help you to avoid the discomfort of dry lips.
What causes dry and cracked lips?
We can all be at risk of dry lips but the likelihood of experiencing chapped, cracked lips typically depends on your skin type, environment and lifestyle.
The skin on and around our lips differs from the skin on the rest of the body because it is not actually skin, more a mucus membrane. Lacking any form of protective melanin pigment, lip skin is very thin and does not produce sebum, a natural oil that gives our skin a plump, healthy glow. It also becomes thinner with age and those with mature or thin skin can be particularly vulnerable to dryness.
Those with sensitive skin may find that applying fragranced lip balms, or lipsticks made with synthetic ingredients, irritates the skin on the lips and causes them to feel dry, flaky or chapped.
Whilst some people find their lips are more likely to be chapped during the cold, skin-drying, winter months, cracked lips can also develop in the summer months when exposure to sunlight can leave lips dehydrated.
Smoking, tiredness and failing to drink enough fluids can leave lips feeling dry and looking thin. Those that spend a lot of time outdoors without adequate sun protection can also be at increased risk of regularly experiencing chapped lips.
Caring for chapped lips
It is important to take good care of your lips as, without regular exfoliation and hydration, this thin skin can easily become dry and flaky and if left unmanaged, it can all-too-easily crack. Not only does this feel uncomfortable, it can make eating, kissing and speaking feel painful and will mean that any lipstick you apply looks cakey.
The best thing for cracked lips is to apply a natural lip balm that is rich in vitamin E. Known to help maintain healthy skin, this vital vitamin locks moisture into the lips and is a key ingredient in our Ultimate Wonder Balm, a multi-purpose rescue balm which protects and conditions to leave a natural sheen.
Alternatively, One Balm makes a great natural lip balm and contains natural plant oils and waxes to soothe away dryness and protect from chapping.
7 natural ways to soothe dry and cracked lips
1) EXFOLIATE: Keep your lips looking healthy by regularly buffing away dry, flaky skin. A gentle way to care for dry lips is to lightly buff away the dead skin cells using a soft, clean toothbrush or a clean, dry flannel. Work in small circular motions before rinsing the lips with lukewarm water
2) DRINK WATER: Drinking at least eight glasses of water a day will keep your lips looking full and protected from dehydration.
3) SLEEP: Your skin repairs itself whilst you sleep so, if your lips are chapped, it’s worth considering going to bed an hour earlier. If your lips often feel dry or chapped incorporate a rich lip balm or moisturiser into your evening skin care routine and apply it before bed.
4) SUPPLEMENT: In addition to applying lip balm rich in vitamin E you can support your lip health by supplementing your diet with vitamins B and C.
5) SOOTHE: Manuka honey has incredible natural healing properties. Mix it with a little olive oil to create a soothing skin mask for sore lips.
6) PROTECT: Applying an SPF sun lotion or lip balm to the lips will help protect the lips from wind and sun damage. Apply your sun cream regularly and wear lip balm with a SPF of 15 or higher. During colder weather cover your lips with a scarf or snood.
7) QUIT: Quit bad habits like smoking and licking your lips. The NHS also advises avoiding picking flaky skin on your lips as this can slow down the skin’s ability to heali.