How to Cure and Prevent Chapped Sore Lips
A guide to take your lips from chapped, cracked and sore to lips of luscious, kissable beauty.
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It is freezing cold this morning, -4ºC to be exact with a cold biting wind, AND a weather warning of heavy snow on it's way this weekend, even worse my whole family is suffering with sore lips, some of us have colds and others have been out in that cold nasty biting wind without protecting our lips. My son works outside and so his need for relief from this dreadful condition seems to be worse than the rest of us, for those of you in the same position I'd advice using lip care that is specfically designed for skiing, they contain very rich moisturisers and most have advanced UVB protection with photostability which protects your lips form drying and is water resistant.
The water resistance part is important and helps with that awful thing that we all do that we're not supposed to when we have damaged lips - we lick them - don't be ashamed it's human nature - an automatic reaction to the feeling of dry lips, we just can't help it, it's like not chewing a Rowntree's Fruit Pastille - don't ask me to do something I can't manage it's torture.
Prevention really is the key thing here, so if you don't have sore lips now then make sure you protect them and stay that way because it can happen so fast and so painfully. It is with that in mind that I decided to look into the dos and don'ts of curing this awful problem in the hope that I can help somebody out there and of course myself and my family in the process.
Make sure that you are drinking enough water, your lips and skin is cracking? It's a sure sign that your body isn't hydrated enough. So increase your water intake, well we all know we should be drinking more water and it's great for flushing out any toxins in your body.
Find a lip balm that works for YOU ... someone's cure might not be the cure for you.
There are many, many salves, balms, oils, remedies out there, and until I started doing a little research I never realised just how many there are, of course there are also a whole host of everyday household natural remedies you can use and with a little Google-ing I'm sure you can find something to play with, but in the meantime here are a few that I tried.
Options That I Tried:
Vaseline some people swear by good old Vaseline, well for me it works for a short while but then for some reason it stops working, my lips seem to get worse, someone told me that if you use too much Vaseline you are sealing your lips and preventing them from getting any air and that is not a good thing either and can exacerbate the problem, which is what happened with me. If you are going to go down the Vaseline route I suggest you make sure that you use their specially designed Vaseline for lips, yes it's lighter and if they've designed it especially for your lips then that should be a good enough clue. I like the one with the Aloe Vera in it but they have lots of different varieties and I just love those cute little coloured tins that it comes in.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Avon Tinted Lip Care with Beeswax - this is a lovely, lovely lip balm. I was very surprised when it arrived as it looked like one of the skiing type ones and was white in colour, then I noticed tiny flecks of pink in the white. However even more surprising was that when it was applied it became very pink, probably a lot pinker than I would have liked as I thought I was going for a natural hint of pink. I eventually used this along with one of my favourite lipsticks which is a nude/neutral colour to calm it down.
However, it is a really good lip balm, which needs re-applying less often than some of the others and keeps your lips moist and kissable despite the weather. This lip balm was tried out this weekend in a very snowy, cold and wet Rome, Italy (yes it snowed in Rome), I have returned with still very soft un-chapped lips which for me is an absolute miracle. It comes in 3 colour options, the pink which I chose was the lightest of them and I think they need to make it much paler as I wouldn't wear it without covering it up, can be a bit neonish in some lighting. But definitely worth a buy - RRP £7.00, I purchased it on sale from my lovely Avon lady for an amazing £3.50 and now my 12 year old daughter wants one too.
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Note: It would have been 5 out of 5 if the colour had been a hint of pink.
Blistex (previously known as Blisteze) this has always been my 'if nothing else works this will and why didn't I use this in the first place?'. Previously called Blisteze, and why do people who work in Pharmacies look at you as if you're stupid when you call it Blisteze? It's been called that since I was kid it's not my fault some idiot decided to re-brand it. So Blistex as it now is, this is a marvel, one of the drawbacks, which if you've ever used it you will know, is that you take the cute little red cap off the top of the tube and the cream inside goes "wheeeeeeee escape" and pours out all over the place, I think the manufacturers do this on purpose, I mean they must know it does this, this does eventually settle down after you've used it 10 or 15 times, so after losing nearly a third of the tube this very light thin cream, looks very unimpressive but works wonders. The relief is practically instantaneous, it pleasantly minty, tingly in a good way, and you can suddenly open your mouth without your lips cracking and hurting - buy it, try it, love it!
Rating: ★★★★☆ 4/5
Note: The packaging for this product has now been changed, the tube is slightly larger and has a lip around the nozzle I presume so that the product doesn't is less liable to escape unfortunately although this works the first couple of times it is used it then goes back to pretending to be Mount Vesuvius and shoots out everywhere - shame! Still a great product though and I still keep a tube in my pocket or handbag whenever I'm out. But if you don't want a mess then go with the Avon option above.
Cocoa Butter Cream this smelled lovely, that's the first thing that struck me, I used the one made by The Body Shop and it is recommended for Very Dry Skin. So lips are made of skin and they're very dry - you see my logic here? First off, it didn't hurt, major plus, but then it felt really dry, still the nice smell did seem to lift my spirits just a tad, and it contains Shea Butter which I know is also reputed to be excellent for dry skin. I even rubbed some into my hands at the same time - my hands ADORED it - my lips weren't unhappy with it, didn't really feel right a bit stiff feeling, just not as ecstatic as my hands about it, but as I said no stinging and when I went out in the cold wind to get some other products it protected my lips until I got to the Chemist.
Rating: ★★☆☆☆ 2/5
Acriflex Cooling Burns Gel again I hope you can see my logic in this, it says on the tube - cooling, rehydrating and soothing, it also says it can be used on children so it must be fairly safe - sounds like heaven in a tube right? Noooooo the pain, don't put this on your lips, although after about five painful minutes the pain does subside and my lips didn't hurt anymore when I tried to smile. I put this on before I went to bed in the hope of a miracle - but by the morning my lips were no better than they were before the suffering.
Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ 0/5
Note: I have now been told that I should have used the Acriflex Antiseptic Burns Cream that you can put on broken skin, the gel is a no-no for chapped lips. Now I know.
Carmex Moisturising Lip Balm - this comes in what looks like a large little pot, if you catch my drift? Appearance-wise about 25ml, it turns out to have a false bottom and only actually contains 7.5ml. The lid of the product is a mustard yellow colour and surprisingly the cream inside is the same colour, it smells a bit like Germolene (if that's still around or you remember what it smelt like) which could be a bit off-putting for your partner, but then when your lips feel like this you're not going to be kissing anyone until they repair. For the first five minutes it tingles and then settles down, the smell however doesn't, it's a stayer, and do not get this stuff in your mouth, it tastes like Germolene probably does if you ever tried eating it - and that's not a good thing. When I tried this I was putting it on constantly because my lips felt very dry - well if you want to sell lots of it that's probably a good thing for the manufacturers. Would I buy it again? Probably not. Did it help? Probably not. Was I enticed to buy it by the marketing of "#1 Chemist Choice" yes - should I believe everything I read? Probably not.
Rating: ★☆☆☆☆ 1/5
Wear a scarf when you are out in the cold, when the wind starts getting at your lips just pull the scarf up around the bottom of your face, you will look snuggly, feel warmer AND it will protect your lips. Prevention is always better than cure.
Always re-apply your lip balm after drinking or eating.
Read the instructions on your lip balms, if it says re-apply every hour then do that but also take note of the step listed above.
AND FINALLY - STEP 6
On a weekly basis - this is not a nightly thing to be doing - when you have found something that heals and repairs your lips and they are starting to feel much better and no longer hurt, here are some further steps to keep your lips kissable.
- Drink a glass or two of water to ensure that you are properly hydrated.
- Take a damp clean terry towel facecloth and gently rub your lips with it removing any visible loose skin - very gently.
- Using some Vaseline and a baby soft toothbrush, brush your lips in circular motions, this will remove the remaining dead and loose skin and will increase the blood circulation to your lips making them revitalised, plump and luscious.
- Apply Blistex Lip Medex (my personal favourite) or your number one lip balm that works for you, apply this liberally and go and rest, watch television, read a book or sleep.
- Do this at least once a week and you will have gorgeous kissable lips.
I truly hope that I have helped some of you out there, my lips are so much better, I have been through pain and then added more pain to it BUT it's all in a good cause, if you suffer from the same problem then at the very least you know that you're not alone, your God isn't punishing you, everyone goes through it at least once in their life, yes even that perfect person who lives down your street, AND that someone out here commiserates with you and is wishing you well.
Wrap up warm everyone, the snow is on it's way!