Most lip balms are made of mineral oil, which is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. This toxic oil coats the lips making them seem smooth, but in actuality it's like a layer of plastic on the lips/skin which prevents it from breathing. Natural moisturizing cannot occur, making chapped lips worst by drying them out even more. Using Petroleum Jelly is just as bad.
Then there's the issue of artificial colors and flavors that do the same thing. They make matters worst and are most likely made with fragrance or synthetic dyes that cause cancer, damage the immune system, and cause brain issues. The same can be said for any food or cosmetic that contains these ingredients.
Here are some real ways to combat chapped lips:
- Stop licking lips. Human saliva drys out the lips and leaves it exposed to dry air. So try to break the habit of licking lips. It doesn't help matters if one is wearing a tasty artificially-favored gloss that promotes licking.
- Drink more water. Chapped lips occur mostly in the cold autumn and winter months when air is dry from heaters and fireplaces. This means dehydration is most likely a factor. Make sure to get plenty of water, not only from drinking, but from fruits and veggies with a high water content as well.
- Go for the greens. To keep lips/skin from drying out, make sure to eat loads of awesome dark greens. Broccoli, spinach, lettuce, and dandelion are particularly rich in vitamin A which encourages cell turnover, deters dryness, and helps keep the skin supple. I have a great example of this, because it seems like I was immune to dry lips all season and then I went out and ate some crappy food at a restaurant. The next morning, no joke, my lips were all chapped and cracked open down the center. All because of poor food choices! Let your food be your medicine, even for chapped lips.
- Get some sun. Again, this isn't a coincidence that chapped lips happen more in the overcast months of the year. Some time in the sun helps heal dry skin and eczema, and the same goes with lips because of the much needed vitamin D. Perhaps it's time to book that dreamy vacation in sunny paradise.
- Exfoliate in the shower. This helps so much, and I wish I would have learned about it sooner! The skin on our lips is practically the same as the skin on our body. If in need, a good exfoliation works wonders. I find that this is easiest in the shower after the lips are dampened by water. Just take a soft wash cloth and gently buff dry skin off in a circular motion. This will be an instant improvement, and it's now a part of my normal routine year-round to help keep chapped lips at bay.
- When in doubt go without. The body knows what it's doing and it wants to heal itself. We just have to be kind to it, and stop getting in the way. If you want to take the natural approach to healing it faster, try applying jojoba oil (recommendation because it's a light oil and similar to the skins own sebum), olive oil, or coconut oil. This is especially helpful right after a shower or bath because water strips the skin of moisture.
Good luck, keep at it, and it will improve. Promise.