Winter is right around the corner, and with it comes hot chocolate, sledding, snowmen and lazy nights wrapped in warn blankets, gathered with loved ones around the fire. But for many, sweater season also has its drawbacks, including dry, cracked lips.
The thin skin on the lips doesn’t contain any sebaceous (oil) glands. In fact, lips’ only source of moisture is saliva, making chapped lips a very common occurrence—especially in windy winter months.
Many other factors, such as aging, smoking, vitamin deficiency, dehydration, excessively licking or biting the lips and chemical-laden lipstick can also contribute to brittle, peeling lips. This can be a double or even triple whammy for many folks.
There are a number of products on the market to moisturize chapped lips. However, there are an equal number of cost-effective home remedies to get the job done easily and effectively. Following are some of those surprisingly simple solutions. Are you ready to kiss your chapped lips goodbye?
- Aloe vera. The healing properties of aloe vera have been touted for ages (think back to your last really bad sunburn!), so it should come as no surprise that dabbing a small amount of the soothing plant-based substance on your lips can help restore much needed moisture.
- Petroleum jelly. Often used to treat minor scrapes and burns, petroleum jelly can also relieve dry, chapped lips. Use a clean cotton swab to apply several times daily, especially before bedtime, for fast, effective hydration.
- Green tea bags. Prepare a cup of green tea and press the used bag against dry, cracked lips for approximately four minutes. Repeat daily to boost the moisture content, and be sure to drink the green tea to reap its other incredible health benefits!
- Cucumber. It’s not just for lunch anymore! A small slice of this salad staple can actually hydrate and nourish your lips (and treat under-eye bags!).Simply peel and crush to extract the juice and apply it to parched lips for approximately 20 minutes. Repeat a few times daily for best results.
- Honey. You may not have realized that this popular sugar substitute can also provide sweet relief for cracked lips. Add a few drops of glycerin before applying to the lips for an even greater moisture boost!
- Sugar. And speaking of the sweet stuff, sugar also serves as an effective lip moisturizer. Combine two teaspoons of it with one teaspoon of honey or olive oil to create an exfoliating scrub. Bye, bye dead dry skin cells—hello hydration!
- Oils. As you just learned, olive oil can be combined with sugar to restore moisture to lips. Other oils, like coconut, castor and Jojoba oils can also be rubbed on the lips to soften and hydrate.
- Lemon juice. Combine one teaspoon of milk with three teaspoons of juice from a fresh lemon and refrigerate the mixture for an hour. Dab it on and around your lips before bed each night, and you should notice decreased dryness within three to four days.
- Rose petals. Roses, you ask? This romantic flower can rescue relationships and dry, cracked lips! Carefully rinse a handful of petals and soak them in milk or glycerin for a few hours before mashing them into a thick, fragrant paste. Apply it to your parched lips two or three times daily and every evening before bed.
- Ghee. This clarified butter, popular in Indian cooking, also makes a great healing balm for dry, cracked lips. Add a few drops every night and your lips will be soft and smooth in no time!
- Water. We’re not talking about applying it to your lips. Rather, hydrate them from the inside by drinking an adequate amount (experts recommend eight 8-ounce glasses) of H2O daily. An added bonus? You’ll flush toxins from your body!