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Agree or not, but lips are the most important feature on your face. Healthy lips give a character to your smile, making you look like a million bucks. But most of us tend to ignore our lip care routine, focussing only on improving the quality and texture of our skin.
Result: dry and chapped lips, which not only look unattractive but also are quite painful.
If you have ever suffered from this problem you would know that applying lipstick makes the condition even worse. No matter how much lipstick and makeup you apply, your lips are going to reflect their condition. Hence, it is important that you take steps to keep your lips healthy and moisturised.
Don’t worry you do not need to invest much of your time and money on it. Just some small and simple steps will be sufficient.

This article comprises of some easy and simple remedies that you can try at home to bring back that beautiful pink blush in your lips, making them look luscious and full.

  1. Start early: Follow a lip care routine to prevent chapped lips
  2. Home Remedies to get rid of chapped lips
  3. Lip care essentials for chapped lips
  4. 4 easy tips to get soft and supple lips

Just like the rest of your face, your lips constantly get exposed to dust and pollution and accumulate dead cells. Consequently, they require regular cleansing and moisturising. In fact, moisturised lips never get chapped and ugly. But how do you go about doing it?
Here is a step by step guide to a regular care routine for your lips.

  1. Cleansing of lips
  2. Exfoliating of lips
  3. Moisturising the lips

Cleansing of lips

Cleaning lips is an alien term for most people but it is also a crucial step to get smooth and soft lips. Whatever you eat or drink often gets seated on your lips. Add to it the dust particle and chemicals from cosmetics, your lips go through a lot throughout the day.
So, at the end of the day, while you are cleaning your face, give a few minutes to your lips too. Special cleansing gels and creams are available in the market just for your lips.

Make sure you wipe off the lipstick properly but do not rub too hard or you might end up worsening the condition. Alternatively, you can apply a thin layer of cleansing milk and just rub it off with a cotton swab.  

Exfoliating of lips

Yes, you heard it right. Your lips need regular scrubbing too. Dead skin accumulation is one of the major reasons your lips lose their natural glow. Exfoliate your lips at least twice every week to remove the flaky and dry dermal layer. Opt for a gentle scrub or make your own natural scrub at home with simple kitchen ingredients. The latter will not only exfoliate your lips but also provide them with the required nourishment and hydration so they look softer and juicier.
Here is a recipe for a basic homemade lip scrub:

What you will require: 

  • A bowl
  • Some glycerine
  • Coffee powder
  • Crushed sugar powder

Procedure:

  • Take a tablespoon of glycerine in a clean and dry bowl
  • Add half tablespoon of coffee powder and crushed sugar powder to it
  • Mix them well to make a paste
  • If required, add some more glycerine to reduce the density of the paste 
  • Your scrub is ready

Note: 

  • Avoid using sugar crystals to avoid any damage to the skin. Only add sugar powder
  • You can also use coconut oil in place of glycerine 

How to use it:

  • Just take a pea-size portion of this scrub and gently rub it on your lips
  • Do this for at least two-three minutes 
  • Do not be too harsh as this may damage your lips
  • Wash with cold water

Moisturising the lips

Along with exfoliation, you also need to moisturise your skin properly. Moisturisers available in the market are full of chemicals that can be harmful to your lips in the long term. So, it is always recommended to go for natural moisturising agents such as aloe vera gel, almond oil and honey.
For effective results, it is really important to moisturise your lips immediately after exfoliation. This is because the dermal layer of lips becomes more permeable after exfoliation. So, it a great time to pass on all the nourishment and moisture deep into your lips. Simply apply a thin layer of the cream or oil and gently massage it over your lips. 

A cleansing and moisturising routine can only go as far as relieving mild chapping but in severe conditions, you might need to take some extra steps to promote skin regeneration and prevent the condition from worsening. Here are some natural ingredients that you can use to make the condition of your lips better and help you in getting rid of chapped lips. 

  1. Coconut oil for chapped lips
  2. Honey for chapped lips
  3. Aloe vera gel for chapped lips
  4. Apply sunscreen for chapped lips
  5. Humidifier for chapped lips

Coconut oil for chapped lips

Coconut oil is one of the best moisturizers and nourishing agents. It has a good penetration capacity that makes sure that any ingredient you use with it goes deep into skin layers, promoting healing from the inside out. This oil also has many other medicinal properties. It reduces inflammation and prevents bacterial growth on your lips. Hence, coconut oil can be said to be an all in one solution for your chapped lip problem. Here is how you can use coconut oil to get moisturised and healthy lips:

What will you require:

  • Coconut oil
  • A clean bowl
  • Warm water

Procedure:

  • Take some coconut oil in a clean bowl
  • In case coconut oil is in a solid-state you need to melt it first
  • For that, take some hot water in a container
  • Half dip the coconut oil container into the hot water
  • Keep it there for some time
  • After a few minutes, the oil will start to melt
  • Take this melted coconut oil now in a bowl and apply a thin even layer on your lips using your fingers

Tips: 

  • Try using virgin coconut oil instead of regular oil, since it is prepared with minimum human intervention, it has better medicinal properties  
  • Try applying coconut oil at night before sleeping and let it work for the whole night for better results

Honey for chapped lips

Honey is another great remedy for your lips. Studies suggest that honey, apart from being a great moisturiser, works very well in healing wounds caused by chapping of lips. As a natural antimicrobial agent, it also aids in preventing infections.
When you think this is it, honey is loaded with active compounds and nutritive agents, promoting the natural healing capacity of your skin and making your lips look healthier and fuller. You can either apply honey directly or mix it with other ingredients to make a mask. Here are a few ways you can use honey to improve the quality of the dermal layer of your lips.

What will you require: 

  • Honey
  • Almond oil
  • A clean bowl
  • A clean small box
  • Lukewarm water

Procedure: 

  • Take a teaspoon of honey in a clean bowl
  • Add a teaspoon of almond oil to it
  • Mix them well
  • Take a clean small container
  • Store the mixture in this container 
  • Apply the mixture on your lips daily after cleaning them 
  • Let it stay as a mask for 5-10 minutes and then rinse with lukewarm water

Tips:

  • Try using raw honey as it is more beneficial
  • Apart from this, you can also use honey for scrubbing too. You just need to take a soft brush and apply some honey on it. Scrub your lips with this brush. Make sure that you are gentle enough not to hurt yourself

Aloe vera gel for chapped lips

Aloe vera gel has a soothing and healing effect on broken skin, providing instant respite from the itching and burning sensation that chapped lips are usually associated with.
Not only does it hydrate your lips but also it reduces inflammation and provides essential nutrition to your lips, so they can heal quickly.
Additionally, aloe gel is rich in various vitamins including vitamin E. This vitamin reduces the harmful effects of chemicals and pollutants on the outer layer of your lips, preventing chapping altogether. Here are the steps you should follow to extract aloe vera gel at home:

What will you require:

  • Aloe vera
  • Knife
  • Air-tight container  
  • Blender 

Procedure:

  • Get a fresh leaf of aloe vera 
  • Wash it off with plain water
  • Peel it off to extract the gel. It is the transparent substance sheathed with the outer lamina of the leaf
  • Grind the extracted gel in a blender
  • Collect blended gel in an air-tight container
  • Refrigerate it to be used within a week

For quick results, you need to apply this aloe vera gel on your lips for a few times daily. The plus point of using aloe vera gel is that you do not need to wash it off. Just take a pea size gel on your fingertip and gently apply it on your lip.
In case it is difficult for you to extract aloe vera gel at home, you can use any marketed gel too. However, make sure that you choose a product with a minimum amount of chemicals. 

Note:  Do not rush out in the sun just after applying aloe vera gel. This can cause sunburns

Apply sunscreen for chapped lips

Most of us don’t go out without applying sunscreen on face and body. It protects dermal layers from tanning and other harmful effects of the sun. But do you apply sunscreen on lips? If your answer is No, then this might be the reason for your chapped lips.
Your lips don’t have any melanin (a pigment that protects the skin from sunburn), it needs more protection from the sun than any other body part. Applying sunscreen will also help lock in moisture in your skin, protecting it from the dehydrating effects of direct sunlight. So, make sure to apply some sunscreen on your lips before leaving your house.
A sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 is considered to be the best. In case you want to apply a lip colour on your lips, apply sunscreen under it.

Humidifier for chapped lips

A humidifier is a small electronic device that is used to maintain an optimum humidity in enclosed spaces by releasing moisture in the air. One of the major reason for chapped lips is dryness and lack of hydration of dermal layer of lips. The condition becomes even worse in winters and dry summers. So, by using a humidifier, you can protect your lips from drying without the need to make and apply specific concoctions. However, before you use a humidifier, here are some precautions you need to take:

  • Do not sit directly in front of the humidifier, place it at a distance of 2 meters from you 
  • Don't use the humidifier for long. Too much humidity for too long can lead to mould growth
  • Clean the humidifier daily to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Also, change its water regularly 
  • Try using distilled water to avoid the accumulation of minerals in the device. If these mineral particles are released in the air they can cause breathing problems
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated (Read more: How much water to drink in a day)
  • Avoid excessive use of lip balms and other cosmetics on lips 
  • Some lip colours, especially some matte finish lip colours tend to absorb moisture from your lips, making your lips dry and chapped in just a few applications. Avoid using such cosmetics
  • Never use sunscreens with para-aminobenzoic acid. This chemical is commonly present in most of the sunscreens and can generate an allergic reaction in many people
  • Wherever possible, opt for natural products
  • Remove your lip colour as soon as you come back home
  • Do not forget to scrub your lips twice every week
  • Before you go to bed, apply some natural lip balm like aloe vera gel, coconut oil, cocoa butter or almond oil on your lips. Leave these on overnight to get smooth and moisturised lips the next morning
  • The most important step you can take for your lips is to quit smoking. Smoking, along with its other serious side effects increases dryness and pigmentation in your lips, making them look dull and unsightly
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References

  1. Brisbane City council. DIY coffee body scrub. Brisbane, Australia. [internet].
  2. Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 27;19(1):70. PMID: 29280987
  3. E. R. H. S. S. Ediriweera, N. Y. S. Premarathna. Medicinal and cosmetic uses of Bee’s Honey – A review. Ayu. 2012 Apr-Jun; 33(2): 178–182.PMID: 23559786
  4. Amar Surjushe, Resham Vasani,D G Saple. Aloe Vera: A short review. 2008; 53(4): 163–166. PMID: 19882025
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Sun Exposure
  6. U.S food and drug administration. Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun. US. [internet].
  7. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Humidifiers and health
  8. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Lip moisturizer poisoning