With the dry season still holding up strong till March in West Africa and Winter in the northern hemisphere also doing its thing for a few more weeks, you know what that means for skin, especially black skin. Dry skins, cracked feet and chapped lips. Skins, you could hide with clothes and feet with shoes and socks but for your lips, how are you gonna hide that? If you have been in the habit of ignoring your lips’ cry out for moisture, this is the very season they pay you back. In actuality, chapped lips go beyond winter, harmattan and dry seasons and could be as a result of a wrong cosmetic product or the harsh rays from the sun. Another common cause of peeled lips is dehydration! So what can you do to prevent chapped lips? Staying hydrated and keeping your lips moisturized are the major things to do.
And what can you do to cure or repair already chapped lips? While some may try to just gloss up their chapped lips, flip their hair and strut in nonchalance, that’s not going to solve the underlying problem. Whatever the cause of your chapped lips may be, there are several effective ways to moisturize your cracked lips back to supple life. Here are 6 DIY natural remedies that will help you repair chapped lips…
Sugar exfoliation mask
Photo: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash
Lip masks are very helpful in getting rid of chapped lips but before you begin to use the mask, you must first exfoliate your chapped lips to get rid of dead skin cells. You can make your own lip scrub with ingredients right off the shelf.
Things you’ll need:
1 tbsp. of an exfoliating ingredient, such as sugar or sea salt
1 tbsp. of an emollient, such as honey or oil
A small bowl or container for mixing your ingredients
A cotton swab to apply the scrub
A damp washcloth to wipe off
How to make a sugar or salt exfoliation mask:
Mix the salt or sugar with the oil or honey in a bowl or container.
Dip a cotton swab into the scrub and apply the scrub to your lips in a circular motion using gentle pressure.
Wipe off using a damp washcloth.
Once your lips have been exfoliated, apply one of the following home remedies to help soothe, moisturize, and protect your chapped lips.
Coconut oil moisturizer
Photo: Tijana Drndarski | Unsplash
Unlike most of the skin on your body, your lips have poor barrier function. This means they’re more sensitive to the elements, like the wind, heat and cold than the skin on other parts of your body. There are a lot of benefits of coconut oil, especially with regards to chapped lips.
How to use coconut oil on your lips:
Apply coconut oil to the chapped lips as needed throughout the day using a cotton swab or a clean finger to dab the oil onto your lips.
Aloe vera exfoliation gel
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Aloe vera has a number of uses and is best known as a home remedy for sunburns. Its anti-inflammatory properties and soothing effect make it a great choice for treating chapped lips, too. You can buy organic aloe vera in a gel form, or you can use the fresh part from the leaf of an aloe plant.
How to use aloe vera on your lips:
Cut a leaf off the plant and slice it open to scoop out the gel.
Store it in a container and apply the gel to your lips with clean fingers as needed.
The enzymes in aloe vera have mild exfoliating properties, so you’ll want to limit your use of aloe vera to just two or three times per day.
Please note that some people are allergic to aloe vera. You need to be sure that you’re not by testing a little bit of the gel on a tiny part of your lips to see how you react to it.
Photo: Alexander Mils | Unsplash
Honey can help moisturize your lips and protect cracked lips from infection. It also works as a mild exfoliator and can help remove dry, dead skin from your lips.
How to use honey on your lips:
Choose organic honey and apply to your lips throughout the day using clean fingers or a cotton swab.
While honey is typically safe, people with pollen and bee venom allergies should avoid honey and honey products. This works great magic only if you don’t get tempted to keep licking it off.
Photo: Kimia Zarifi | Unsplash
Avocado butter works well as an emollient and thickener in lip balms. It isn’t greasy and is well-absorbed by the skin. It also contains several fatty acids and antioxidants known to benefit the skin, including oleic and linoleic acid.
How to use avocado on your lips:
You can buy organic avocado butter or make your own at home blending organic avocados in your food processor to turn it into a buttery paste. To use on chapped lips, apply as needed with clean fingers or a cotton swab. Again, no matter how tempting, do not lick it off.
Dermatology researchers recommend using white petroleum jelly throughout the day and before bed to moisturize and soothe dry, chapped lips. Petroleum jelly seals in water longer than oils and waxes. It’s also inexpensive and readily accessible. So after that passionate kiss, you might want to top up your petroleum jelly. If you have sunburned lips you’ll want to find another option because petroleum jelly seals in the heat from burns.
Other tips that will help repair your chapped lips faster…
Don’t lick your lips; licking your chapped lips may seem like a good way to moisten them when they’re dry, but saliva evaporates quickly. Licking your lips will cause them to dry out even more after the saliva evaporates.
Drink plenty of water to keep your lips and the rest of your body hydrated. This cannot be overemphasized.
Use a humidifier: If the air is dry, you can use a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air.
Avoid lip products that contain irritants: Many lip products contain chemicals that can dry out your lips. Choose products that don’t contain fragrance, dyes or alcohol.
Protect your lips: Cold weather, heat, wind, and sun all contribute to chapped lips. Protect your lips with a moisturizing lip balm that contains sunscreen before heading outdoors.
Breathe through your nose: Mouth breathing can cause dry mouth and lips so focus on breathing through your nose and speak to a doctor about sinus and allergy medication if your nostrils are often congested.
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