Beauty Ingredient: What Helps Chapped Lips?

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Dawn RobnettDawn is the owner of Seattle Hill Soap Company and formulates natural and safe soaps and skin care items that are enhanced by herbs, botanicals or clays. You can find Seattle Hill Soap Company at Seattle Hill Soap Co. 

'Tis the season for dry chapped lips. Did you know that your lips do not have oil glands? Because of this, it’s very important to make sure they are protected especially if you plan on being outdoors in harsh weather or wind. It’s very important to note that not all lip products are created equal. So what helps chapped lips?

When looking for a lip protectant to prevent chapped lips, you want a product to have emollients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, lanolin, etc. There will usually be a certain amount of wax, but avoid products that are primarily wax as they do nothing to provide moisture to the lips.

Lip Balms 2-28-2012 

I use various waxes in my lip butters because I like using specialty oils that are known to moisturize the skin such as tamanu, pumpkin seed and cranberry seed oils. Oils, when combined with butters, will not form a balm, so wax is needed to thicken the product. Also, waxes help with the duration the product stays on the lips. If you simply rub shea butter on your lips, it doesn’t last very long.    

An important item to take note of is what flavoring ingredient the lip product contains. If it has camphor, menthol or peppermint, avoid it. Many of the medicated-type lip products contain them and those ingredients in a lip product cause skin irritation that will keep lips from healing and keep them constantly irritated. Occasionally, I get requests to make peppermint lip butter and I will not do it for that reason only. There’s nothing worse than reaching for a product to help your skin and it has the exact opposite effect.

If you have chronic irritated lips due to over use of medicated lip products, I recommend talking to your doctor. Several years back, my doctor prescribed an anti-inflammatory ointment that I applied to lips a couple times per day. After a week, my lips were healed and back to normal. On advice of my doctor, stay away from medicated lip products! Now I use lip balm only when they feel dry or I plan on being outdoors for more than an hour or so. I have had healthy happy lips ever since.