Dry, cracked lips can be uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. Unfortunately, they can occur during any time of year, especially in cold weather and in dry climates. Fortunately, there are a few ways to deal with them.
INSIDER spoke to four skin-care experts about their best pieces of advice for dealing with chapped lips.
Here are some of the best ways to soothe and soften dry lips.
Use a lip balm that contains SPF and nourishing ingredients, like sunflower-seed oil or beeswax
She said she recommends using a lip balm that contains coconut oil, sunflower-seed oil, and beeswax because those ingredients "soften and hydrate" your lips. She also said you'll want to use a balm that has SPF to "protect against harmful sun rays."
You can get rid of dry, flaky skin by exfoliating your lips with a simple sugar scrub that you can make at home
Chelsea DiPilla, a licensed medical aesthetician at Center City Dermatology in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said she has a simple process for taking care of dry, cracking lips.
First, she said she mixes one-part sugar and one-part coconut oil to make a paste. Then, she rubs the mixture onto her lips using "gentle, small circles," being careful not to rip the delicate skin.
After exfoliating, she said rinses off her lips to completely remove the sugar and oil. Lastly, she applies a balm that "provides calming powerful antioxidants while restoring the barrier function of the skin."
She said if she doesn't have lip balm handy, she simply applies more coconut oil to her lips.
Coconut oil, cocoa butter, and aloe vera are great natural moisturizers
In addition to over-the-counter lip balms, there are natural remedies that can help soothe chapped lips. Tamara Ische, spa director at The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Los Angeles, California, said she recommends "dabbing a bit of coconut oil, cocoa butter, or aloe vera on your lips right before bed."
Laurie J. Levine, MD and dermatology chair at ProHEALTH Care, said she is also a fan of coconut oil and she recommends applying it frequently and keeping some in a leak-proof container in your bag or pocket.
Simple petroleum jelly can effectively soften your lips
Dr. Levine told INSIDER that standard petroleum jelly "works wonders, especially overnight." Just liberally apply it to your lips just before you head to bed.
You may want to avoid licking your lips and using certain products if your lips are chapped
Dr. Levine said that when your lips are feeling chapped, you should avoid licking your lips and applying lip plumpers, waxy lip balms, and long-wearing lipsticks, as they might make your lips feel even drier.
Try drinking more water to keep your lips hydrated
"Dry lips are typically a sign of dehydration, so first and foremost be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day," Ische told INSIDER. "Proper hydration keeps skin and lips supple and healthy and helps prevent chapping and cracking in the long term."