Give your lip line some love with these top tips for keeping dryness and soreness at bay
Come winter or summer, it can be common to find that your lips are feeling drier and more delicate than usual. The onslaught of cold air or sun can leave them feeling parched, and if left unprotected against the elements for long periods of time, you may find that they start to flake, peel and even split. Ouch.
The good news is that there’s lots of things that you can try to help treat and prevent chapped lips. From lip balms to home remedies, there’s a treatment out there to help keep them smooth, supple and crack-free – whatever the weather.
What causes chapped lips?
Extremes in temperatures can be a common trigger. This is why many of us find that constantly flitting between cold air and central heating in the winter months can wreak havoc on our lips. Likewise, in the summer, lips can become drier and start splitting after being out in the sun for long periods of time.
Do you often lick your lips when they feel dry? It may provide a quick dose of instant relief, but it could actually make peeling worse. How? As the saliva evaporates, lips can become more parched, making them more susceptible to moisture loss and cracking.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may find that you have dry lips, too. Dry mouth can be caused by dehydration as a result of not drinking enough water, excess sweating or after being ill. It can also be a side-effect of certain medications and may be more likely if you tend to sleep with your mouth open at night.
What’s the best way to help stop chapped lips?
They say that prevention is better than cure and so to help stop chapped lips in their tracks, protect them against the elements. If it’s really cold outside, try covering your lips with a scarf. If it’s sunny and hot, use a lip balm with a minimum of SPF15 to safeguard lips against sun damage.
The ultimate home remedy for helping to prevent dry and chapped lips? Drinking water, as dehydration can make them worse. The government’s Eatwell Guide recommends aiming for six to eight glasses of fluid a day (lower fat milk and sugar-free drinks such as tea and coffee all count towards this). If you’ve been exercising or it’s an especially hot day, though, you may need to drink more.
It can also be helpful to use a humidifier in your bedroom to add moisture to the air. This may help prevent your lips from drying out (especially handy if you snore or you breathe through your mouth at night).
If you or your partner snore, our guide to the best snoring and sleep aids is a bedtime must-read.
What is the best treatment for chapped lips?
If preventative measures haven’t been able to keep dryness at bay, what’s the next best thing for chapped lips?
From overnight treatments to lip balms, here’s what to have in your SOS kit to soothe and help stop soreness from getting worse.
Top tip: avoid “tingly” products. Opt for replenishing formulas that contain soothing emollients and occlusives such as ceramides, petroleum and beeswax to calm and lock in moisture.
There might be a bit of trial and error involved but don’t let that put you off. According to the NHS, some people may be sensitive to some fragrances and ingredients, so it can be worth trying a few different lip balms out if one isn’t working for you. As well as the top picks below, you can explore more great options here.
Best lip balm for chapped lips
• Size: 10ml
This intensive lip balm soothes chapped lips and a raw and reddened lip line, too. As well as calming licorice extract, it also contains soothing evening primrose oil and hydrating panthenol and glycerol to help parched lips become softer and suppler.
Best cream for chapped lips
• Size: 4.7ml
• Non-comedogenic (formulated in a way that is not likely to cause pore blockages and breakouts)
When lips are chapped, they (and the skin around them) can feel extremely delicate, this is where this lip cream comes in. Formulated to reduce sensitivity and increase resilience to the elements thanks to biolipids, ceramides and the brand’s signature Thermal Spring Water, it helps offset dryness and reinforce the skin barrier over time.
You might also find our guide to the best moisturisers for sensitive skin helpful, too.
Best treatment for chapped lips
• Size: 7g
If you’re looking for an intensive overnight treatment, try this. Enriched with seven conditioning agents and oils, its high potency formula helps transform lips back to their best while you sleep.
Best tinted product for dry lips
• Size: 10g
This pick’s rosy hue and tube packaging give the classic Vaseline Jelly a new twist. Merging skincare with makeup, it contains 99-100% petroleum jelly to help lips feel and look great.
Best value lip balm for chapped lips
• Size: 4.25g
• Free of parabens, phthalates, petrolatum and SLS
As well as antioxidant-rich turmeric, this affordable balm is also enriched with moisture-boosting beeswax and jojoba oil to soothe and nourish dry lips.
Best lip balm with SPF
• Size: 4.25g
To protect lips against summer-induced chapping, this balm fits the bill. As well as an SPF of 30, it also contains protective aloe and vitamin E to keep lips smooth and soft in the sun all year round.