Ever since, I’m leery when it comes to “medicated” anything, even the simple tube of medicated lip balm to heal chapped lips.
By the way, did you know that technically, Chapstick is a brand of lip balm? Just like Kleenex is a type of facial tissue. I find this funny, simple because I grew up calling all the sticks “chapstick,” regardless of their actual brand. (And I called all the tissues “kleenex” too!)
Back to medicated lip balm – my dad has always kept a tube in his pocket for as long as I can remember. He still does in fact.
I carried on this tradition myself, seeing how handy it was to be able to reach into my pocket and pull out lip balm anytime my lips felt the tiniest bit dry. Or because I felt like wearing a bit of shine.
My lip balm of choice was the original jar of Carmex. I liked the smell, I liked the subtle sting and I thought I was doing something good for my lips every time I used it on my dry lips.
Have you ever heard that phrase that Carmex (or any type of “chapstick”) can be addicting? Well it turns out there’s some truth to that…
The purpose of using lip balm is to heal chapped lips, right? Well let’s take a look at some of the reasons why we have chapped lips in the first place.
5 Causes for Chapped Lips
1. Licking the lips
Licking your lips provides temporary relief, but the saliva evaporates quickly and takes away much needed moisture from your lips as this happens.
2. Lack of humidity and/or cold weather
When there’s no moisture in the air, your body will naturally be drier. Think of airplanes, high altitudes and arid climates. If you find yourself reaching for more lotion, your lips might be chapped for the same reason.
3. Sun exposure
The sun will dry out your lips just like your skin. Even on a cloudy day, your lips can become chapped from sun exposure.
4. Salty and/or spicy foods and/or excess citrus
Different people react differently to different foods, but if your lips are chapped and it’s not for one of the more common reasons above, it could be because of the food you’re eating.
5. The ingredients in your lip balm
I never thought that the ingredients in my lip balm would be the reason for having chapped lips, but it’s true! According to this news article:
Dr. Monte Meltzer is the chief of dermatology at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He says lip balm often includes ingredients that cause a tingling, such as salicylic acid, phenol and menthol. Some of these are exfoliants that cause lips to peel. In turn, the lips become thinner and less able to protect against the elements. So people need to apply again, and the vicious cycle continues.
In all of the research I’ve done for ingredients in lip balm, these are the ones that are most recommended to avoid:
So then, what ingredients are okay? Look for lip balms that contain these natural and nourishing ingredients:
- cocoa butter (natural SPF)
- shea butter (natural SPF)
- mango butter
- nourishing oils (like olive, coconut and/or palm)
You guys know I’m a huge fan of Bend Soap Company. We use their goat milk soap to wash our hair and exclusively on our bodies because it doesn’t make my skin break out. I also love their natural deodorant. They’ve now added a line of lip butters to their store and they are SO soothing! They have four scents: sweet orange burst, eucalyptus spearmint, mango and unscented. Best of all, here’s the list of ingredients:
Shea, cocoa and mango butters; beeswax; coconut and palm oils; honey; vitamin E and essential oils
Check out their newest line of all natural and healthy lip butters here and make the swap from damaging lip balm to nourishing lip balm!
Aside from using a natural lip balm that doesn’t have destructive ingredients, here’s a very simple process to heal chapped lips naturally.
How to Heal Chapped Lips Naturally
1. Hydrate from the inside
In short, drink water. It’s good for your body, your skin and your lips!
The simplest lip scrub can be made from one main ingredient in your pantry: sugar. White sugar or brown sugar both work equally as well. Start with 1 teaspoon and add a drop or two of olive oil or honey so you create a thick paste. Massage onto your lips and rinse off. Do this weekly to help rid the dead skin cells.
Moisturizing is important to heal chapped lips, but so is choosing a moisturizer that won’t damage your lips at the same time. Use the two lists above – the ingredients to avoid and the ingredients to look for – when you’re shopping for lip balm. If you can’t find any locally, definitely give the lip balm from Bend Soap Company a try!
Take a look at your lip balm – does it contain any of the harmful ingredients above? Consider making the small switch to an all natural lip balm to heal chapped lips year-round!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Bend Soap Company. I’ve been using Bend Soap Company products in my homefor a long time now, and as always, I would never recommend anything on Crumbs that I wouldn’t recommend to a close friend or neighbor, and all opinions here are my own.