How to combat dry lips

Don't let inflammation and cracks become a persistent liability to your lips

Smooch and smile all you like once your hede these tricks to ward off dry lips for good.

A universal afflication, dry, scaly lips are a horrible side effect of the colder months. Why? Because the air gets so arid that it draws the precious and often unprotected moisture out of your lips. The fragile skin then becomes dry and swollen, leading to painful cracks and vicious fissures. So what can you do to look after your lucious lips?

1. Protect
Prevention is always better than cure, so protect your pucker to avoid its desent to dehydration. Choosing the right balm is key. Look for something with a light sunscreen that also moisturises and lubricates, preferably with an oil or beeswax base to trap the moisture in. Reapply often during the day.

2. Soothe
If your lips have already fallen victim and are cracked and sore, there are a few natural ways you can relieve the nasty symptoms. Try rubbing your lips with a slice of cold cucumber for a few minutes before applying your balm to encase the moisture in your lips. Or try aloe vera, it works in a similar way to how it cools and relieves the pain of sunburn. Coconut oil, olive oil or shea butter have also been known to replenish dry, sensitive skin. 

3. Stay hydrated
Water has been said to be the simplest cure for many things, dry lips included. Keep up your water intake to give your lips a fighting chance. If dry skin and lips during winter is a chronic problem, try using a room humidifier to take the dryness out of the air inside your home or office.

4. Take your vitamins
Chapped lips can be a sign of nutritional deficiencies, so make sure you are taking adequate amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B and zinc, which work to protect the lips from toxins, retain their moisture and repair damage.
5. Don’t lick your lips
As tempting as it is to moisturise your lips with your tongue, or lick off the yummy flavour of your new balm, don’t do it! Saliva evaporates very quickly, taking whatever moisture was left in your lips with it.

6. Exfoliate
Using a soft toothbrush, lightly buff your lips in circles to remove all the dead, flaky skin, revealing fresher skin perfect for soaking up your chosen oil, cream or balm. 

7. Avoid allergens
Look through your cosmetics and skin care products, checking that they are free from ingredients that have the potential to induce allergic reactions, such as fragrances or dyes. Your solution may be as simple as changing your lipstick.

8. Wear lipstick

Lipstick has the potential to protect particularly your lower lip against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Many lipsticks now include sunscreen and act as a moisturiser too.

Products we love:

1. Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, $5.95, available at

2. Sukin Lip Treatment, $7.95, available at

3. Burts Bees Beeswax Balm, $6.95, available at

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Photo credit: Thinkstock

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The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read our Medical Notice.