How Do I Prevent Chapped Lips?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 May 2018
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Preventing chapped lips is typically a matter of choosing and regularly using a good lip balm. Other things that you can do to keep your lips in good condition include avoiding lip products and cosmetics that irritate your lips and addressing certain behaviors, such as mouth breathing and habitual lip licking. If you notice that your efforts to prevent chapped lips are ineffective, you should speak to a doctor about your concerns.

Perhaps the easiest way to treat chapped lips is by keeping them moist through the use of a lip balm or moisturizer. When choosing a lip balm, read its label carefully. If you know that you are sensitive to any of its ingredients, don't buy or use it. Both beeswax and petroleum can make excellent bases for lip balm, as they can seal in moisture, protecting the lips against drying winds. Keep in mind that both flavors and fragrances can irritate your lips and that flavored lip balm may actually contribute to an unconscious tendency to repeatedly lick your lips, making your problem worse. Another consideration should be protecting your lips against the sun. Lips have very little natural protection against ultra violet (UV) radiation, so choosing a lip balm with a good sunscreen can go a long way toward keeping your lips in good shape.

If you wear lipstick or lip gloss on a regular basis and have a problem with chapped lips, you may wish to investigate whether cosmetics are contributing to your problem. Sensitivity to the dyes or other ingredients used in these products can cause chapped lips. Try not wearing any lip cosmetics for a few days to see if your lips improve. If they do, you may wish to switch the brand of lipstick that you use. If you use multiple brands, you may have to try wearing a different lipstick or lip gloss for a day or two at a time to determine whether it is causing your chapped lips.

Some behaviors can contribute to chapped lips, including licking your lips as a nervous habit. Unfortunately, by repeatedly wetting your lips, you can cause them to dry out as your saliva evaporates. Mouth breathing can also contribute to chapped lips, though this may be unavoidable if you have a sinus infection or cold that results in a stuffy nose. Finally, if you live in a particularly dry climate, try using a humidifier in your home to keep the air in your environment moist.



Discuss this Article

Post 3

@Iluviaporos - Coconut oil is my favorite natural lip balm. I have some in my kitchen for cooking anyway so I just rub a little bit of it on my lips whenever I remember to do it. I've never had very chapped lips though, so I don't know if this would work by itself for someone who does get them.

Post 2

@MrsPramm - If you like wearing lipsticks and other products like that I don't think there's all that much choice except to wear lip balm as well. And I actually quite like wearing it, since they usually taste quite nice. I've never found that they dry my lips out at all. And a couple of times when I've been traveling in a hot, dry country and my lips were badly cracked a medicated lip balm was pretty much the only thing that would fix them.

It's important to try and use a lip balm with natural ingredients in the first place though, as I think people tend to just get cheap ones on their way out of a store, rather than getting quality lip balm that is actually going to help prevent chapped lips.

Post 1

Using lip balm will work to stop chapped lips, but it makes it difficult to stop using lip balm, as your lips will eventually get to the point where they will dry out if you don't use it.

Unless you've already got constantly chapped lips I'd avoid getting into the habit of using balm, because it's a tough one to break. I find that the best thing to help me when I've got chapped lips is just to apply a little bit of olive oil to them every day until they heal.

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