- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Chapped Lips - Natural Remedies for Dry Lips
Having recently suffered with dry, chapped lips, (something I have never had problems with before) I decided to do some research to find natural remedies for this problem.
I found that for the problems with chapped lips, natural remedies for dry lips were more soothing.
I was very impressed with a lot of the suggestions I found, so I thought I would pass on this information.
I had been recommended a lip balm with cocoa butter, which certainly made my lips feel better, but didn't last long. I found I was using it frequently, and getting through one stick every week.
Natural remedies proved more fast acting and longer lasting.
Natural Remedies for Dry Lips
What causes chapped lips?
Constant exposure to wind, sun, cold air, or very dry air.
Breathing through an open mouth.
Repeated licking of lips.
Allergy to cosmetics, or cosmetics containing irritants.
A good lip balm or cream is a good idea to protect your lips, but I found it was not so good as a cure, once the lips were already dry and chapped.
With dry lips the natural reaction is to lick them, but this only aggravates the situation. Saliva will evaporate very quickly, leaving the lips drier than before. If you are an habitual lip licker, do not use flavoured lip balm, which will tempt you to lick more.
Drink plenty of water, as keeping your body hydrated will help to keep your lips hydrated.
Lips naturally have a thin oily film on their surface to protect them, but too much licking or exposure to the elements can remove this protection, and cause the problem of chapped lips.
Bad diet, iron deficiency, and dehydration are other causes, as well as reaction to some medication, which I found to be the cause in my case.
With dehydration the answer is obvious; water, water, and more water!
If it's medication, your doctor needs to look at changing this, or stop it altogether. Otherwise you can counteract the drying effects with some of these natural remedies.
When it's down to bad diet, or iron deficiency we can correct it with a change of diet, or supplements.
Vitamin A is very important to skin growth and repair. This vitamin is found in carrots, tomatoes and green, leafy vegetables (especially spinach and watercress). You can also take a vitamin A supplement from your health store.
Other aids to healthy skin are nutritional yeast, whole grains, and pulses (chick peas, lentils etc)
Lips have very thin skin, showing the blood vessels below, which is what makes the lips appear red.
Chapped and cracked lips may also be lacking in vitamins C and B complex. A lack of riboflavin can cause consistent recurrence of this problem.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which will help protect the essential fatty acids, and help to prevent dryness and cracking in lips.
Flaxseed contains these essential fatty acids for nourishment of lip skin, so flaxseed oil is very helpful.
Olive oil can be used directly on the lips as a balm, moisturising and protecting the lips, and can also be drunk; a teaspoonful neat, or taken in water will nourish the system from the inside.
Goose or duck fat is a very old home remedy for chapped lips, grandmothers would swear by it!
Honey is another natural ingredient to help moisturise your lips.
You can make a very good remedy by mixing honey with castor oil or aloe vera gel, spread it on to a very thin slice of peeled cucumber, and lay this on your lip. If possible leave overnight.
Avocado is another moisturiser. When ripe and soft it can be spread easily onto your lips, not only moisturising but providing vitamins and nutrients as well as oils to keep your lips healthy.
Vitamin E gel capsules can be taken as a supplement, but also you can open the capsule, remove the gel and apply directly to your lips.
Castor oil is a natural lip balm which will work a lot better than any Chap stick you can buy. Obtainable in small squeezy bottles, carry some with you all the time, and apply with your finger to your lips as often as necessary.
A good plan is to choose only edible products, in other words if you cannot eat it, it's not good for your lips or your skin!
Make sure your diet contains plenty of vitamin-rich foods like brown rice and bread, red meat, eggs (particularly the yolk) whole grain cereals and leafy green vegetables.
Lips behave rather like sponges; when moisturised they absorb moisture and appear plump. When dehydrated, or deprived of moisture, they will dry up and appear to shrink.
Look for lip balm that contains cocoa butter, shea butter, coconut or almond oil, jojoba, beeswax, aloe vera, vitamin E.
Some sources say vaseline, or petroleum jelly is good on the lips. Other sources say anything petroleum-based is very bad for the lips. I think here individual choice is necessary.
Dry, cracked and peeling lips can be a symptom of anaemia, or iron deficiency. Iron supplements and B complex vitamins will help with this. Consult your doctor to be sure in this case, as it is possible to take too much iron, if you don't really need it.
If you're not going out anywhere and don't need an immediate solution, try to not put anything on your lips. Try especially to avoid licking your lips, and drink plenty of water and fluids. If you can forget about your lips for 48 hours, they will rehydrate themselves, provided you drink enough water. But licking your lips or constantly aggravating them will make things worse. If you can't stop licking, use the thin cucumber slice with honey mix, cover your lips with this and then leave them alone.
When your lips or mouth are very dry, this can lead to angular cheilitis, or perlèche. This appears at the corners of the mouth, which will appear red and sore, and can often crack and split. These splits will often bleed when you open your mouth, and can even cause ulcers and scabs to form. The onset of angular cheilitis is linked to deficiency of riboflavin, zinc, or iron, usually in malnutrition or a bad diet. If this condition lasts longer than 48 hours, you should see a doctor.
There are medicines and pharmaceutical aids for dry and chapped lips, but I prefer the natural remedies. Particularly as my own case was caused by the medication I was taking!
I truly believe that for these small, everyday ailments, Mother Nature's pharmacy is the best place to look!
Relative Hub: Chapped, Dry Lips? Tips for Prevention and Treatment