Chapped lips are a common occurrence among many people, especially during the colder months of the year, but that doesn’t make them any less of a nuisance. Chapped lips are not only unsightly; they are uncomfortable and disruptive, making every day acts such as eating, drinking, and even smiling downright painful.
Everyone deserves to smile pain-free! There are several common contributing factors to chapped lips, and understanding them may help in preventing them. Incorporating the use of essential oils for chapped lips into your regime can prove extremely beneficial in repairing and preventing chapped lips.
Symptoms of Chapped Lips
Symptoms of chapped lips include dryness, redness, tender or sore lips. Chapped lips can also have sores, cracks, fissures, scales, or flaking. Chapped lips may peel, swell and even bleed, and can be quite painful.
Causes of Chapped Lips
Chapped lips can include lips that are dry, scaly, cracked, and even bleeding. There are many reasons why people get chapped lips. Below are some of the most common factors which contribute to chapped lips.
Chapped or dry lips can be an early sign of dehydration. If you notice that your lips are dry or chapped, try hydrating by drinking water.
Lips lack the oil glands that skin has which helps maintain and retain moisture, causing them to dry out more quickly. They also lack that outer protective layer the rest of our skin has, making the lips more sensitive and prone to drying.
Exposure to the Elements
Nothing dries out and chaps lips quicker than exposure to the elements. Cold and windy weather can quickly chap lips to the point of pain.
However, many people forget that the sun can be just as bad for your lips as the cold. Lips need sun protection, too! Lips can easily get sunburned if left unprotected. Many types of natural lip balms offer UV protection in them as well.
Licking and Biting Lips
Licking and biting the lips causes them to dry out faster, as the moisture from your saliva evaporates almost instantly, making them feel drier still, while biting exacerbates any irritations already present on the lips.
While it may come as second nature to lick your lips when they feel particularly dry, notice how they don’t feel particularly moist afterward. While this may be a tough habit to break, once you do, you will realize that licking them never actually moisturized them to begin with.
Use of Poor Quality Lip Products
Have you ever heard of someone saying they are ‘addicted’ to chapstick? It sometimes seems that the more you use a certain lip product, the more you find yourself needing it, as your lips begin to feel chapped whenever you don’t use it.
This is not truly an addiction, however. In fact, this is due to the ingredients in certain lip products. Many lip products which claim to help moisturize lips and prevent chapping, actually draw out moisture, which then evaporates, causing you to feel the need to use the product even more.
Ingredients like petroleum, which is an occlusive, or barrier, aren’t actually good for your lips, or the environment. While as an occlusive, they do provide a protective barrier preventing moisture from escaping, they don’t provide any moisture to begin with, thereby not actually solving the problem of dry, chapped lips underneath, as they do nothing to restore moisture to the lips.
What you need is a balm that uses both humectants, which draw moisture either from the body to the surface, or from the environment to the surface, and occlusives, which will lock that moisture in. More on that in the next section.
Certain medications can cause lips to become dry and chapped. Check with your doctor if you believe your medications may be contributing to your chapped lips.
Certain vitamin deficiencies, namely B vitamins, can result in dry, cracked, chapped lips. If you are concerned that your chapped lips may be due to a vitamin deficiency, talk with your health care provider so that you can work together to determine the best course of action.
An allergic reaction can cause peeling, swelling, itching, rash, redness, and irritation on and around the lips and mouth.
Allergic reactions such as these may be caused by ingredients in your skin care products, your cosmetics, or your oral care products. Check your product ingredients for potential allergens and if you think you are having a reaction, contact your doctor.
Certain Medical Conditions
If your chapped lips persist for more than 2-3 weeks while treating them, this may be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as a type of cancer, or pre-cancer, called actinic cheilitis. If your chapped lips don’t heal after a couple of weeks, it is a good idea to schedule a visit with your doctor to determine what may be the problem.
Treating Chapped Lips with Essential Oils
The good news is that there are plenty of safe, healthy, and natural alternatives on the market to help repair your chapped lips, and prevent them from getting chapped again.
The best products do this by first restoring and providing moisture, and then sealing them to prevent moisture loss or evaporation. This balance is achieved by using both humectants, ingredients such as honey, hyaluronic acid, or aloe, which draw moisture to the surface and retain it, and occlusives, such as beeswax, olive oil or argan oil, to seal the moisture in.
Many such products also contain essential oils, which contain powerful properties that can make these lip balms more effective at treating chapped lips.
There are endless recipes available on the internet for how to make safe, effective, and pleasant lip balms yourself, which combine the use of both humectants and occlusives, with powerful essential oils.
Essential oils can enhance the quality of your lip products and the overall health of your lips. Here’s how:
Essential oils have numerous healing properties
Essential oils are known for their healing properties. The oils are concentrated and help the skin heal and regenerate.
Essential oils are anti-inflammatory
The anti-inflammatory properties of essential oils can relieve uncomfortable inflammation and help reduce the pain of chapped lips.
Essential oils are analgesic
Many essential oils are pain-relieving, which can be a great benefit to chapped lips, as they are oftentimes quite painful.
Essential oils are moisturizing
Essential oils lubricate and help lock in moisture. They are also easily absorbed by the skin
The 8 Best Essential Oils for Chapped Lips
Lavender is one of the most well known and widely used essential oils, renowned for its wide-ranging healing properties and far-reaching benefits, which equate to endless uses.
Lavender is mild, calming, and soothing. It is a staple in natural first aid kits, as it is antibacterial. It can be used topically, and is used for a number of skin conditions and irritations, and therefore is especially useful in combating chapped lips. It can help ease inflammation and peeling of chapped lips.
It can also be blended with many other essential oils for maximum effect and wider aromatherapeutic benefits.
Lemon essential oil has antiseptic, antifungal, and disinfectant properties. Lemon essential oil contains antioxidant properties that can help protect and heal the skin. Lemon essential oil also exfoliates, so you can use it to produce soft, smooth lips.
Peppermint contains L-menthol, which gives it that cooling sensation and lends to its analgesic properties, which aid in pain relief. Peppermint essential oil is soothing, yet invigorating. It is rich in fatty acids, which make it a natural moisturizer, helping you achieve soft, nourished lips, while vitamin C helps it protect your lips from the harsh sun.
Tea Tree essential oil is another popular oil with wide-reaching benefits due to its numerous beneficial properties. Such healing properties include antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Tea tree oil is known to be purifying and cleansing. It can soothe and reduce irritation as well as redness and swelling, and it also works to heal wounds.
Chamomile is best known for its calming abilities, but it also contains antioxidants that aid in skin repair and regeneration. Its anti-inflammatory properties also aid in reducing swelling. Chamomile essential oil can be used for numerous skin conditions, including cuts, boils, dermatitis, insect bites, inflamed skin, and sores, so it can be especially healing for chapped lips.
Rose Hip oil is excellent for your skin, as it increases collagen production and is known to improve skin elasticity. It is heralded for its ability to promote tissue and cell regeneration in the skin, due to its rich content of fatty acids and antioxidants. It can also help reduce the appearance of scarring, as well as lighten lip pigmentation which can occur from overexposure to the sun.
Blue Tansy oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, as well as major anti-inflammatory properties, which all work together to relieve swelling, irritation, infection, and discomfort of chapped lips. Blue tansy is known to work wonders for delicate and troubled skin, so it makes sense that it would be useful in treating chapped lips.
Frankincense essential oil has been used for over 5000 years and is revered as sacred by some. Frankincense has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties, in addition to stimulating regeneration, which can be useful in treating mouth sores and chapped lips. It is also a natural moisturizer and conditioner, which helps to soften your lips.
Frankincense Essential Oil Combo
Frankincense essential oil has several health benefits including: boosting immune system and relieving stress and anxiety.
Vivorific’s frankincense essential oil combo is: 100% Pure and natural, free from fillers, additives and harmful chemicals, vegan and kosher certified and sealed with tamper evident closure and Euro style dropper cap.
How to Use Essential Oils for Chapped Lips
While natural, essential oils are very powerful substances and should be used with care and caution. Not all essential oils can be used in the same way.
Essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin, but rather, diluted in a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, and argan oil.
Essential oils, and carrier oils, should always be tested on an inconspicuous place on the body first for irritation or allergic reaction.
When using essential oils for lip care, you should choose the carrier oil best suited for your skin, and add a few drops of your chosen essential oils. You may choose to blend several essential oils together for added benefits and fragrance profiles.
You may choose to make a balm using humectants, occlusives, and essential oils for the perfect lip remedy. The possibilities are endless! Once you have mixed your carrier and essential oils together, you may then apply to your lips, and at once begin to enjoy the benefits!
3 Frequently Asked Questions About Chapped Lips
Q: Can you put essential oils directly on your lips?
A: While some essential oils may be applied directly to the skin, it is a good idea to dilute essential oils in a carrier oil first before applying as a remedy for chapped lips.
Q: Can chapped lips be a symptom of something more serious?
A: Chapped lips can be a sign of certain deficiencies, such as vitamin B deficiencies. If topical remedies don’t work in repairing your chapped lips, you may wish to consult a medical professional to determine if you have any vitamin deficiencies, and how to treat them.
Chapped lips that won’t heal after 2-3 weeks of treatment may also be a sign of a more serious medical condition, like cancer or precancer. It is a good idea to consult your doctor if you are concerned that your chapped lips may be a sign of a more serious health condition such as this.
Q: What ingredients should you avoid in a lip balm?
A: You should avoid petroleum products in lip balm, as well as parabens and BHA, as these products are known to be toxic and/or carcinogenic, as well as camphor and phenol, which can be irritating and drying in the long run.
Anything that burns or stings when you apply it should be avoided. Additionally, you should avoid using any lip balm that uses humectants without occlusives, as the humectants will attract moisture, while occlusives will lock that moisture in.
In conclusion, chapped lips are something nearly everyone has to deal with at one time or another, and they can be painful and disruptive. However, more often than not, chapped lips do not have to be an ongoing, losing, battle. Taking care of your lips can be easy when you follow these tips. Using essential oils for chapped lips is a great way to restore the natural suppleness your lips were meant to have and to help you achieve, maintain, and protect the smile you deserve.
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