Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Remedies for Chapped Lips

Meg,

Lately, my lips are chapped beyond belief. As in, skin-peeling, bleeding chapped. I've been slathering on balms 24/7, but to no avail- each morning, I wake up and they're still in terrible, painful shape. Have you ever had this problem? What's your remedy?

Many thanks!

Nadarine


Nadarine, I can definitely feel your pain, as my dry skin makes me prone to chapped lips, especially during the colder months. Luckily, I've been able to stave off dry lips for a long time, due to diligent lip balm use. Every morning when I wake up and right before I go to bed at night I slather on Aquaphor, which I've found to be the strongest, most effective body and lip moisturizer on the planet (even the most blistered chapped lips won't stand a chance). Then throughout the day I keep a tiny tub of Blistex's Lip Medex in my purse, because I like the tingly feeling it gives in addition to being super moisturizing. I have a habit of licking my lips unconsciously, which adds to their natural dryness, so I find myself reapplying this every couple of hours or so, but I think the average person would need to reapply far less.


I think that when your lips heal, it's a good idea to exfoliate them regularly. I've heard that people brush their lips with a toothbrush, but that sounds way too harsh to me. Every few days I put on a heavy balm like Aquaphor, let it sit for a few minutes and then gently rub it off with a paper towel (a warm washcloth would work well too). This gets off any flakies and helps lipstick go on more smoothly.

I'd also recommend wearing a balm even when your lips aren't super dry, just to prevent this kind of problem from occuring again. Even if it's just once in the morning and once at night, it will help your lips stay soft and moisturized. If you find that you're still experiencing severe chapped lips even when you use balm, experiment to see if one of your lipsticks or glosses might be drying, or if your dryness may be the result of an allergy. In that case, you might also want to consider seeing a dermatologist to check to see that it isn't a symptom of a more serious condition.

Anyone else have tips for Nadarine? What's your favorite lip balm?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

It also helps to work from the inside out - drink lots of water! Sometimes the chapped lips are a sign of dehydration.

Diana said...

I'm partial to Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer with SPF 15. In the winter when my lips dry out completely, I use this at night just before bed, and my lips feel back to normal in the morning. With the SPF, it's also great for daytime wear because I feel that it protects from the drying effects of the sun.

Andi said...

Chapped lips are a symptom of B-complex vitamin deficiencies, only exacerbated by dry and cold conditions. Try taking a B-vitamin or increase your dietary intake of B-2 though potatoes, brewer's yeast (read: thick, full-bodied beers )tuna, molasses, bananas or lentils. Or if you're Australian, Vegemite.
I found this out at my German doctor's office. He said that adjusting my diet will help- so far, he's been right. I also use a homemade beeswax balm that I make out of beeswax and a few drops of coconut essential oil

Anonymous said...

Nothing like good old fashioned vaseline on the lips before bed (although it looks like a nice gloss and could be worn in the day also). Cheap and effective!

Mary said...

I apply Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment every night before I go to bed. Seems to work. But when my lips get very chapped, Blistex medicated lip ointment. During the day, I switch between Burt's Bees and Alba lip balms, both of which are effective for me.

Rae said...

I second the fact that Vaseline works really well, or just your regular drugstore petroleum jelly.

When I exfoliate, I just put on lots of whatever lotion I'm using for my face/body (just don't use the ones with SPF, they taste funny!!) and rub my lips gently with my finger five to ten minutes later. Works like a charm!

Alison said...

I put on vaseline on my lips before I go to bed a few times a week. It makes my lips super soft in the morning!

Cristina said...

vaseline is my fixer-upper too, for every skin wound/abrasion/scar i have. I put it on generously at night and if i hasn't all absorbed in, wipe off the excess in the morning. It forms a protective coat over whatever your problem is and allows it to heal while protecting it from dry indoor air. If not on your lips, cover after application with a bandaid. It really works wonders.

JessieB said...

I swear by Burt's Bees beeswax lip balm for maintenance, and Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment when things are bad.

Hyunju said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beanie said...

For me, the best fix has been Kiehl's Lip Balm #1. No matter how bad my lips get, this stuff brings it back from the brink.

Sunday said...

I enthusiastically second Aquaphor.

All drug stores carry a generic version of it, though to be honest, it comes in a hand-balm sized tube that'll last longer than you care to own a piece of plastic.

Aquaphor is was hospitals use to keep the lips of patients dry when they are admitted for surgery or illness. Particularly when people are put on oxygen or intubated, they can't moisten their own lips, so the nurses slather on Aquaphor.

Sunday said...

That came out all wrong. I meant:

"...is what hospitals use to keep the lips of patients MOISTURIZED..."

Anna said...

MaryKay has an awesome product called "satin lips" where there's an exfoliating lip mask you rub on as well as a nice lip balm! makes my lips so soft every time i use it.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts:

- Ensure you are hydrated; drink lotsa water!
- I use Roc's Enydrial repairing lip care. It works on the most severe of dry lips (cost: about $7)

xo

Sabina

Eryngium said...

Carmex has always been my favorite. I also use it on my nose when I'm recovering from a cold and my nose is sore and peeling.

Jill said...

I am obsessed with chapsticks/lip balms/lip gloss/etc..I find the best remedy for all of this is Vaseline! I have really dry skin so vaseline is my cure all for everything. I even add a little to my eyeshadow if I want it to look shiny. It is the best thing for my lips. You can use it like a gloss in the daytime, but you can smother on a little extra before you go to bed, or just hanging out around the house. I also use a chapstick with an spf in it, sunburnt lips feel awful! When my lips are a little flaky but not painful, I rub a little sugar in with the vaseline and exfoliate them. You can also purchase Lip Buffer from CO Bigelow at bath and body works, which works just as good. A little vaseline and sugar can go a long way! good luck.

Kini said...

Vaseline's good, but it's too oily for my lips. I have a habit of picking at my lips, sometimes to the point of bleeding. So I need a very waxy balm to remind me that there's something on my lips (so I'm less likely to touch them). The only product I've found that really helps is Paula's Choice Lip & Body Treatment Balm. It's only available online, but it stays on forever, and is neither too heavy nor too oily/slippery.

Anonymous said...

I was concerned about using petroleum products on my body so I tried un-petroleum jelly. Unfortunately I was allergic to it. So I use petroleum jelly at night and Burt's Bees milk and honey lip balm during the day. I don't like the tingling feeling that so many balms give.

Anonymous said...

If the chapping is persistent and doesn't respond to products such as Aquaphore, you might have an allergy to a product you are using on your lips. I had pesky roughness on the contours of my lips and, at first, I suspected it was lip liner that was causing it but it turned out to be a lip balm that I loved!

Anonymous said...

I like "Chicken Poop" It comes in a tube and runs around $1.50 I think, you can find it at ilovechickenpoop.com I use to use Khiels lip balm at $5.50 a tube, but found out after using it a few years, that it contained Parabem" which is the stuff that is in Vasiline and other cheap lip balms and it just perpetuates the problem,does not heal. Chicken Poop contains (and Im reading off my tube) soybean oil,beeswax,jojoba oil, lavender oil, sweet orange oil. Thats it.
And its 100% pure Free Range! No, really, my daughter that lives in Seattle gave me a tube a year ago,and I have bought it on the internet ever since. I carry it with me,and also use it before bed at night.

Deodand said...

In addition to drinking lots of water, you might want to get a humidifier if your house is dry. Even if you humidify your bedroom it will help if the problem is dryness. If it doesn't clear up soon, see a doctor because the problem may be fungal or allergy-related (I know, sounds icky but it's best to find out one way or the other).

Don't use balms with minty, tingly feeling stuff in them - that sensation is from menthol or eucalyptol which can be irritating to sensitive lips. I use Blistex Daily Conditioning Treatment as well as Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm.

jeni said...

I used to have super duper chapped lips (for about 10 years) but I finally cured myself! I use Chapstick Moisturizer (the blue one), and coat it with lipgloss or a lip balm. This is the only thing that has ever worked for me! My lips used to bleed daily. I have my chapped lip saga on my site - http://www.savvyskin.com/how-i-cured-my-super-dry-chapped-lips

Anonymous said...

Drink lots of water and try my favorite, Chop Saver ("For Musicians with Lips"), available at music retailers, or online. It's all-natural, petroleum-free, and has a nice, light scent. It was designed by a professional trumpet player, whose lips (obviously) have endured years of stree and abuse. He cooked it up in his kitchen after experiencing frustration with every commercial variety of lip balm/salve/ointment he had tried. I was given a -free- high-end lip conditioner stick last week, and have decided that I like the $4 Chop Saver MUCH BETTER!

Wintermute said...

I second the Aquaphor AND the Kiehl's Lip Balm #1.
I use both daily, but the Aquaphor is especially helpful after a day of skiing in the cold mountain air.

nadarine said...

I will testify to the wonders of Aquaphor: after layering on more Aquaphor every hour or so for only two days, my lips were 90% healed, and I was lipstick-ready again. And that giant tube will last me FOREVER.

thanks, Meg + all!

brooklynbee said...

I find that the products with petroleum in are not as effective as products with beeswax as the main ingredient. I second the suggestion to use Lush Honey Trap Lip Balm. You have to exfoliate, too. I also highly recommend Bourjois Baume de Nuit Night Lip Balm - it's super moisturizing, and at $10 not a terrible price for such a concentrated product.

Ally said...

I went to the doctor once for severely chapped lips; I'd been using vaseline and Chapstick, and my physician informed me that both of those products reduced the amount of moisture your lips naturally produce and thus perpetuate the chapping issue. He told me to only use Aquaphor and that's what I've done ever since (and been really happy). He said that in a pinch Blistex is better than Chapstick.