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Best Home Remedies For Dry Lips

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more

Introduction:  

Do you know that our delicate lips, such an exposed and attractive part of our face, have no oil glands? This is why lips are more sensitive and crack on exposure to dry or cold weather. Dry lips, chapped lips or cracked lips are the same and are medically referred to as cheilitis. The skin on our lips is thinner than the rest of our body, due to which they are more prone to changes in extreme weather conditions, increasing their chances of getting chapped. This is why we commonly experience dry lips during winters. There is no need for any test to diagnose this condition, as looking at the lips is sufficient to know exactly what’s going on.1 

Home Remedies For Dry Lips

What Causes Dry Lips? 

The lips of anyone, at any age, can get chapped.1 Some of the major causes are: 

  • When the weather is hot or dry1  
  • When you get sunburns1  
  • When the weather is cold1  
  • If you have a habit of frequently licking your lips1  
  • If you have a vitamin B or iron deficiency1  
  • If you are dehydrated1  
  • If you have certain medical conditions such as autoimmune disorders, allergies and thyroid disorders1  

Also Read: Home Remedies For Pink Lips

Ghee is naturally a powerful carrier. Even the smallest amount of ghee on lips can keep them hydrated and moisturised for a lot longer than an average Chapstick. Ghee on Lips can exfoliate and lighten dark Lips -Ghee on Lips can make your lips appear plumper – Ghee is extremely emollient

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka – MBBS, MD(Pediatrics)

Symptoms of Dry Lips: 

You can recognise if you have chapped or dry lips by making a note of the following symptoms: 

  • You may have slight pain in your lips    
  • You might see drying or scaling of your lips    
  • You might feel an itch    
  • You might notice peeling of skin on your lips    
  • You might see cracking of skin on your lips    
  • Your lips and mouth might feel sore1  

Also Read: Best Home Remedies for Dry Skin

Suggested Home Remedies for Dry Lips: 

To protect our lips from severe environmental conditions, we usually apply formulations known as lip balms. They help in keeping the lips moist, preventing further drying. Unfortunately, most lip balms available on the market are made up of chemical substances.2 As an alternative, several natural substances can be used as home remedies for cracked lips. They can be used throughout the day and can also be used for more intense treatment at night. 

1. Virgin Coconut Oil  

Virgin coconut oil has several properties which makes it ideal for use as a lip balm. It moisturises the skin of lips, preventing dryness and giving them a healthy look. It may even help in keeping lips free of germs, preventing infection, owing to its potential of disinfecting and antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, its properties of easy spreading, smoothness and stability at room temperature make it easy to use.3 We can use it by gently dabbing it onto our lips in the morning and at night as many times as needed. 

2. Shea Butter  

Shea butter is the fat extracted from the nut of the African shea tree. It is off-white or ivory in colour and is a common ingredient in many moisturisers. It acts as a rich softener and moisturiser for the skin, hair and scalp due to its semi-solid properties and buttery consistency. It also shows sun-screening activity, thus protecting against sunburns.4 Therefore, shea butter can be a great addition for your lip care routine in winters. It can be used directly or by mixing with other oils for application over the lips. 

3. Kokum Butter  

Kokum seeds are used for obtaining kokum butter. It is a hard butter and is a stable solid. Kokum butter is used in the manufacture of soaps, moisturisers and cosmetics. It is a natural moisturiser and helps keep the skin smooth, supple and silky. Thus it’s a common favourite to treat severely dry skin, fissures of lips and lip ulcerations.5 We can use it to make lip balms at home by mixing other ingredients, or we can directly apply it to dry or cracked lips. 

4. Cocoa Butter  

The beans of cocoa are the source from which cocoa butter is obtained. Apart from chocolate that we all love, cocoa beans provide butter that is fat-rich and provides a creamy softness. It provides intense nourishment to our lips, moisturises them and helps them heal when they are dry and chapped. In addition, it contains antioxidants (free radical neutralising compounds).2 Cocoa butter is commercially used in making lip balms and lotions. It can also be used to make homemade lip balms for application over dry lips. We can simply use it by mixing it with another oil as well. 

5. Olive Oil  

Olive oil has been in use for skin problem for ages in various parts of the world. Animal studies have shown that olive oil has properties such as reduction of oxidative stress (antioxidant), alleviation of inflammation (anti-inflammatory) and promotion of skin regeneration, which are beneficial for the healing of the skin.6 Therefore, olive oil can also be used to heal the cracked skin of lips. We can directly apply it over cracked lips. Consuming olive oil by utilising it for cooking has also been suggested. 

6. Sunflower Seed Oil  

Sunflower seed oil contains high amounts of a fatty acid known as linoleic acid. This makes it suitable for use in various skincare products, as linoleic acid has numerous properties beneficial for the skin. Studies have shown that sunflower seed oil provides hydration to the skin and helps in the maintenance of skin cell structure.6 Thus, sunflower seed oil can be used as a home remedy for dry lips. It can be used by either direct application or in cooking. 

7. Beeswax  

As the name suggests, it is the wax produced by bees. Waxes of various kinds are used for skincare products; among them, beeswax is very common. It is extremely helpful to help heal dry and chapped lips, as it contains natural compounds (fats) which help in moisture retention. In addition, it also protects the skin from ultraviolet (UV) radiation.7 These protective effects of beeswax on the skin, especially on the tender skin of lips, make it a hit with lip balm manufacturers. We can apply beeswax on our lips after diluting it in a preferred oil. You can obtain natural beeswax and use it without any additives too. Be careful, you might want to skip beeswax if you are vegan.  

8. Honey  

Honey is another product of a bee’s labour which is known for its innumerable uses in medicine. Honey has been used for a long time in the treatment of various skin-related diseases. It is used to treat cuts and wounds, as it promotes skin cell repair and activity against various microorganisms (antimicrobial activity). The use of honey in skincare products is extensive.8 Honey can be used to heal the dry, chapped skin of lips by its application on the surface due to its moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties.    

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies For Dry Scalp

Applying lip balm regularly, a balm with SPF 30 or higher every 2 hours when you are outdoors, should ease your discomfort. Severely chapped lips may take around 2-3 weeks to recover completely.

Dr Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology

When to Seek Medical Help? 

It is advised that you should seek medical attention and consult a doctor: 

  • If you treat your dry lips for a few weeks and they do not improve.    
  • If your lips bleed frequently and do not get treated by self-care. 1  

Also Read: Wonderful Home Remedies for Skin Tightening

Conclusion: 

With increasing awareness, almost all of us make sure to follow a skincare routine, as we should be doing, but we often neglect our lips. We can protect our lips from dryness and prevent their chapping by following simple home remedies using natural products like shea butter, virgin coconut oil, honey, etc. So take care of your skin, and do not forget your lips.  

Also Read: Best Home Remedies for Clear Skin

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Can lips get sunburned?  

Yes. Chapping of lips can be due to sunburns, hot, cold or dry weather, among many other reasons.1 

I feel a little pain in my lips, and there are cracks. Is it dangerous?  

Cracking of lips and slight pain in them are symptoms of dry lips. Dry lips can occur as a result of very hot, dry or cold weather, sunburns, allergies, etc. They usually heal when treated by applying lip balm or home remedies like virgin coconut oil, olive oil, honey, etc. If they do not heal over a long time and after repeated efforts, please contact your doctor.1 

Are dry lips caused due to calcium deficiency?  

No. Dry lips are not caused due to calcium deficiency. There is no evidence for this myth. Drying of lips can be a result of extreme weather conditions (too hot or too cold), sunburns, dehydration, vitamin B or iron deficiency, autoimmune disorders, allergies, thyroid disorders and frequent licking of lips.1 

Can we apply virgin coconut oil on dry lips?  

Yes. Virgin coconut oil has a moisturising effect on the lips and helps heal dry lips.3 

Is honey bad for chapped lips?

No. In contrast, honey is good for chapped lips, as it helps in the regeneration of its skin and promotes wound healing.8 

Can kokum butter be used to make lip balms?  

Yes. Kokum butter can be used to make lip balms. It provides a shine and softness to the skin. It is commercially used to make cosmetics like lip balms, skin lotions, soaps, etc.5 

Also Read: Natural Home Remedies For Dark Neck

References: 

1. Cleveland Clinic [Internet]. Chapped Lips; [cited 2022 May 19]. Available from: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22005-chapped-lips#:~:text=Chapped lips are the result, ointment to ease any discomfort. 

2. Kokil S, Kadu M, Vishwasrao S, Singh S. Review on Natural Lip Balm. Int J Res Cosmet Sci 2014 Aug;5(1):1-7. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/301204451_Review_on_Natural_Lip_Balm/link/570c7e5008ae8883a1ffeed2/download 

3. Pandiselvam R, Ramarathinam M, Beegum S, Mathew AC. Virgin Coconut Oil Infused Healthy Cosmetics. Indian Coconut J 2019 Sept;1:30-2. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336232293_Virgin_Coconut_Oil_infused_healthy_cosmetics 

4. Israel MO. Effects of Topical and Dietary Use of Shea Butter on Animals. Am J Life Sci. 2014 Nov;2(5):303-7. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277021242_Effects_of_Topical_and_Dietary_Use_of_Shea_Butter_on_Animals/link/555f900508ae9963a118b426/download 

5. Chate MR, Kakade SB, Neeha VS. Kokum (Garcinia indica) Fruit: A Review. Asian J Dairy Food Res. 2019 Oct;38(4):329-32. Available from: https://arccjournals.com/journal/asian-journal-of-dairy-and-food-research/DR-1493 

6. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-inflammatory and skin barrier repair effects of topical application of some plant oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2018 Dec;19(1):70. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5796020/pdf/ijms-19-00070.pdf 

7. Kasparaviciene G, Savickas A, Kalveniene Z, Velziene S, Kubiliene L, Bernatoniene J. Evaluation of Beeswax Influence on Physical Properties of Lipstick Using Instrumental and Sensory Methods. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016 Oct;2016:3816460. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5141539/pdf/ECAM2016-3816460.pdf 

8. McLoone P, Oluwadun A, Warnock M, Fyfe L. Honey: A Therapeutic Agent for Disorders of the Skin. Cent Asian J Glob Heal. 2016 Nov;5(1). Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5661189/pdf/cajgh-05-241.pdf 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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