3

votes

How do you treat chapped or dry lips?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created April 07, 2010 at 12:02 AM

For years I have always traveled with a chapstick in my pocket so that I may apply it to my lips several times each day in order to keep them moist and comfortable. However, the other day it occurred to me that it was a little odd that my lips felt dry enough to require an application of chapstick every hour or so. What did paleolithic man do whenever his lips felt dry? Did he ever even have this problem, or is it a problem of my own creation?

Anyways, my question is threefold:

1) Is chapstick primal/paleo, or at the very least not worth worrying about?

2) If so, what is your favorite chapstick/lip balm to use?

3) If not, what alternatives do you use to keep your lips moist?

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on July 17, 2013
at 08:17 PM

"the longer you leave your lips to sort themselves out the better they become." +1 so true for skin in general in my experience

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 04, 2013
at 03:18 AM

@Paleo Dave... really? Is it so far-fetched? The more lip balm you use, the more your lips need it. Just like antacids... they compromise your bodies natural mechanisms. It's common sense in all honesty.

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on April 20, 2012
at 02:07 PM

http://amzn.com/B000V70MWS

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:30 PM

wow, this is really interesting. I had no idea. My son is always putting lip balm on and I never thought anything of it. We'll try to wean him off it. Maybe I'll buy some of that Blistex when we're in the US in May

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:28 PM

Lansinoh? Bag Balm? My only caution with lanolin is that (I was told by my doctor) it is possible to activate a wool allergy/sensitivity by continuous use of lanolin if you're already predisposed to allergy. I love my wool clothing so I've been reluctant to use lanolin. It does have a high melting point though. ;-)

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 08, 2010
at 01:18 PM

I used to have a girlfriend who was addicted to Carmex. She always had a tin with her and put some on every few minutes.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on April 08, 2010
at 07:10 AM

no, it seems not......

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on April 07, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Wow, lip balm addiction. Seriously, is there anything out there that doesn't have a goofy conspiracy theory attached?

46fe06f485fdc33eaf7eafbd434376d9

(65)

on April 07, 2010
at 02:14 PM

Hey thanks for the great info Louisa. I have suspected for a while that my lips may have grown accustomed to applying lip balm all the time, instead of them just naturally staying moist. I'm going to try to start weaning myself off it today

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 02:14 AM

Or perhaps the remedy was perpetuating the malady?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:52 AM

Alex, some of those ingredients may be harmful to your health. You should check out your specific lip balm here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/company/Dr._Hauschka_Skin_Care%2C_Inc./

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:51 AM

Alex, some of those ingredients may be harmful to your health. You should check out your specific lip balm here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/brand/Dr._Hauschka_Skin_Care

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24 Answers

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5
Medium avatar

(7073)

on April 07, 2010
at 08:28 AM

I have read that it is possible to become addicted to petroleum based lip balms, this site has some good info on the toxicity of chapsticks and other balms:

An extensive article on lip balms appeared in the November 13, 1997 issue of Newsday. Titled ???Paying for Lip Service,??? the article discusses several points in the quest for defining the addictive qualities of lip balm.

The author asked several experts:

Which helps explain why you can diligently apply ???medicated??? lip balm several times a day and still suffer from chapped lips. The tingling sensation you get from those products usually comes from menthol, camphor or phenol. ???All those things are drying and irritating,??? says Paula Begoun, a well-known critic of the cosmetics industry whose new book, ???The Beauty Bible??? (Beginning Press, $16.95), is due out this month. She says she suspects that these ingredients are routinely used ???to make the consumer think something is happening. If you want a cooling sensation, drink some cold water.???Known as counter-irritants, camphor and menthol dry out the lips, a necessary step for healing cold sores, but too extreme for ordinary dryness. Phenol???s main purpose is to kill bacteria and help prevent infections and should be used only in severe cases, not on a daily basis. Users, meanwhile, often find the pleasant tingling habit-forming. ???You get so accustomed to that cooling, soothing sensation, that it???s like, `Yeah, I need that in my life all the time,??? ??? says Gordon Espinet, a makeup artist for Toronto-based M.A.C. cosmetics and a dry-lip sufferer. Subjected to this constant irritation, it???s not surprising that your lips don???t get any better.

???Read what that product says it does and use it for that reason,??? says Espinet, who recommends M.A.C.???s medicated Lip Treatment for cold sores and severely chapped lips and a Vitamin E lipstick for milder cases of dryness. ???When it says to heal lips, don???t get into the habit of using it when lips are at their best.???

The article also says that many dermatologists maintain that the lips natural exfoliate every 28 days or so. This backs up the belief that lip balm just isn???t necessary. Even the products designed to ???heal??? also have a usage loop which keeps you hooked.

Alpha hydroxy acids, which were previously regarded as too harsh for the lips, have now been formulated to exfoliate this delicate membrane. Lip Revitalizer from Blistex ($1.89 at drugstores), introduced in October, contains two alpha hydroxy acids (lactic and glycolic acids) in a creamy base that you squeeze through a slanted applicator directly onto your lips. ???The whole idea is that it gets rid of flakiness on the lips and very fine lines,??? says Dr. Charles Zugerman, an associate professor of clinical dermatology at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and a consultant to Blistex. He recommends the product for both healing chapped lips and for ongoing lip maintenance. Be warned that Lip Revitalizer does have an enticing minty flavor that may cause you to lick your lips more, which only aggravates dryness (emphasis added by LBA).

I try not to use anything, but trust that the saturated fat in my diet is helping my lips stay moist from the inside - it works. I also try to stay hydrated.

I do occasionally use coconut oil in the height of summer when I am out in the sun and in the winter when it is very cold or windy, however, but I think it is very much like no soap and no shampoo; the longer you leave your lips to sort themselves out the better they become.

I've known several people, myself included, who found our lips getting painfully dry and chapped when we apply lip balm consistently. It's as if our lips stopped producing their own moisture. Fortunately, it's possible to wean yourself off of it, and your lips will start taking care of themselves naturally.

from this page

I have also used butter topically, which is nice, but tastes a little weird after a while.

On the whole, I need do nothing to my lips and have not done since stopping getting coldsores (hooray!) that happened after a month of going paleo - but you need to ease into this gradually to start with.....bump up the amount of coconut oil, cream and butter you consume as well as cutting back on the chapstick and you should feel a difference to your lips. Make sure you are exposed to weak sun from winter right through into the hot sun of summer and your lips will get acclimatized rather than go out on a blistering summer's day and expose them to the rays without protection straight off.

Medium avatar

(7073)

on April 08, 2010
at 07:10 AM

no, it seems not......

5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

(2475)

on April 07, 2010
at 06:00 PM

Wow, lip balm addiction. Seriously, is there anything out there that doesn't have a goofy conspiracy theory attached?

46fe06f485fdc33eaf7eafbd434376d9

(65)

on April 07, 2010
at 02:14 PM

Hey thanks for the great info Louisa. I have suspected for a while that my lips may have grown accustomed to applying lip balm all the time, instead of them just naturally staying moist. I'm going to try to start weaning myself off it today

A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

(951)

on April 08, 2010
at 01:18 PM

I used to have a girlfriend who was addicted to Carmex. She always had a tin with her and put some on every few minutes.

Bf57bcbdc19d4f1728599053acd020ab

(5043)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:30 PM

wow, this is really interesting. I had no idea. My son is always putting lip balm on and I never thought anything of it. We'll try to wean him off it. Maybe I'll buy some of that Blistex when we're in the US in May

Ed7403e397077dd1acdbf25c7f6e56ce

(3452)

on January 04, 2013
at 03:18 AM

@Paleo Dave... really? Is it so far-fetched? The more lip balm you use, the more your lips need it. Just like antacids... they compromise your bodies natural mechanisms. It's common sense in all honesty.

De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

(777)

on July 17, 2013
at 08:17 PM

"the longer you leave your lips to sort themselves out the better they become." +1 so true for skin in general in my experience

4
0fb8b3d6dcfb279b0f7e050d2d22510f

(4645)

on April 07, 2010
at 04:30 PM

coconut oil is the single best Paleo friend we have. Chap stick is a little thing unless you are hard core and if you are hard core maybe even coconut oil isn't Paleo if you are European, so do what you think is best for you.

3
A3bb2c70384b0664a933b45739bac32c

on April 08, 2010
at 01:43 PM

Since going paleo I rarely get chapped lips any more, even in the snow. The only time I have a problem is when I do not stay properly hydrated. You may need to increase your fat intake. Chapped lips can also be a sign of vitamin deficiencies. The linked article also has some good tips for treatment. You may also want to give up the chapstick for a while. It may be making the situation worse.

2
E18c40bdee44277b049bc4c101aa206b

on April 07, 2010
at 01:26 AM

Sounds crazy but i use extra virgin olive oil. Mainly as a face moisteriser - but that includes the lips....

Its affordable, natural, widely available and effective!

Was used by ancient Greeks and Romans for similar applications.

Also id look at whether there was some underlying cause as to why your drying out so much....having to apply lip gloss every hour sounds like something is messing you up along the way.

Perhaps a soap or a food item?

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 02:14 AM

Or perhaps the remedy was perpetuating the malady?

2
A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:49 AM

Perhaps in colder or drier climates, chapped lips may have been a problem, like today. But I doubt paleo man was using Burt's Bees Lip Balm, let alone Blistex. ;)

You have to be aware that you're going to ingest a portion of what you put on your lips. Unintentionally, of course, but it happens. Burt's Bees Lip Balms can sometimes include beeswax and sometimes soybean oil. Gotta watch those ingredients lists!

I use nut oils to both moisten my lips and exfoliate dead cells. I was using a Vitamin E oil until I discovered that they started putting soybean oil in there. So now I'm using kukui nut oil. Jojoba oil, almond oil, or coconut oil will work as well.

Once per day, in the morning or at night, should work just fine to exfoliate and keep lips healthy.

1
870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:06 PM

I see I'm awful late to this party, but learn from my mistake.

Cute tin of coconut oil (recycled container from mints) + hot day + purse + left in car = FAIL. OMG the mess.

There's a reason all those horrors like beeswax and petroleum crept into chapstick. There are practical reasons for having something with a high melting point.

I don't use anything on my lips anymore. I do use a sugar scrub on them periodically at home to exfoliate and that seems to take care of things for me as long as I am getting enough fat in my diet.

Re being hooked on the tingling sensation: there is a delightful product called "Lip Venom" that is cinnamon oil in a carrier oil (I haven't looked at the ingredient list lately, I'm sure there are non-paleo additional ingredients) which produces the bee-stung effect and it is quite a kick when you get used to it. There's also a version with sparkles in it (I know this is way too frivolous for Serious Paleo Types). I reserve the term "addiction" for more serious vices however.

1
0614d4eb85f31154d38d9b7f36c3987f

(120)

on April 07, 2010
at 02:08 PM

I agree with Louisa. I use coconut oil on my lips, usually before bed. I also use shea butter in the winter. My husband, on the other hand, uses the medicated tingly stuff, and applies several times a day. I think that staying hydrated, and getting enough good fat in your diet goes a long way to resolving problems with dryness. Lips, skin, scalp, whatever.

0
Medium avatar

on January 18, 2014
at 08:11 AM

I am trying to treat my chapped lips. There are a variety of ways to treat chapped lips and that too naturally. These treatments include:

  • Applying a lip ointment such as vitamin E Applying lip ointment that contains she butter.
  • Applying a lip ointment that contains lanolin.
  • Drink plenty of water Eat the right foods, especially foods that contain water.
  • Use a humidifier.
  • Protect your lips when you are outside.
  • Try not to lick your lips.
  • Try not to overuse lip balms or lip sticks, especially while your lips are chapped.

0
De1095b2ba29c1035f00428cbfe3cc7c

on July 17, 2013
at 08:21 PM

eating fat - avocados, coconut oil, fatty pork, butter

and just lick your lips rather than put stuff on them as you have a natural self made lubricant right next to your lips, your saliva! and a natural applicator, your tongue!

0
2006ccb2b60f9cc5ba5e8eff8a7abc46

on July 17, 2013
at 04:19 PM

drink plenty of water and be sure you are getting balanced electrolytes. eat more raw butter, egg yolks and raw fat in general. dairy fat is excellent for moistening the skin from the inside out, but you should be careful to keep your cal/mag and sodium/potassium balance in check. you may need to supplement, also b 12 deficiency is a common cause of cracking lips and skin. omega 3 supplments or eating a ton of fatty fish will also be beneficial. do not wash your skin with harsh chemicals, avoid eating or drinking acidic food or drink.

use a good natural balm like those suggested above, avoid those with soy or almond oil, go for beeswax which will seal in moisture, shea, jojoba and coconut oil. experiment with these you may find one irritating and causing the flaking of the lips in the first place

also be sure you know ALL of your food allergins, due to allergies things like pineapple and almonds will cause my lips to chap and peel and its horrible, even in small quantities. be sure you know precisely what to avoid, get a blood test, you might be surprised.

and if you do opt for blood tests (HIGHLY SUGGESTED) check you mineral and vitamin levels as well, almost all ailments stem from some sort of basic nutrient deficiency that sometimes the body cannot overcome by diet alone. supplements are great for bringing the body back in balance temporarily so that it may heal and begin to properly absorb and assimilate on its own again, temporary may be 2 weeks, months, a year, but be vigilant and mindful if new symptoms arise or to take breaks when symptoms diminish to see how the body can do on its own.

0
A53f1e3f9101f65d576a34918e507181

on July 17, 2013
at 02:57 PM

always depends on what kind of chapstick you use. if you use most of the artificial crap (pardon my language) you find at the store, then yeah chapstick is bad for you. if you're using homemade or organic chapstick made from natural moisturizers found in nature like coconut oil, beeswax, aloe vera, eucalyptus, then you're probably good to go!

0
99c4d2a5ff6686132c6f403a3b8e9a80

on May 06, 2013
at 11:51 AM

A lip plumper can help you make your pair of puckers fuller, thicker as well as prepared to entice any individual. Working on the principle of using the body’s organic dampness and employing micro-collagen granules, lip plumpers can generate outcomes which last up to 8 hours. So go ahead, amaze everyone. Your friends will be left wondering exactly how on the planet you've got such a stunning set of lips and your boyfriend simply wouldn’t be able to keep his eyes away from them.

0
3936d8e4644e08775d1fb8ee483765a0

on March 22, 2013
at 08:20 AM

Glossy lipstick, unflavored lip balm, petroleum jelly, aloe Vera and Vitamin E ointment are all common remedies for soothing cracked lips. Rubbing a cucumber slice on your lips daily for about 10 minutes is also known to be effective, as is applying a drop of sweet almond or olive oil. There are many lips plumper in market that will help you to plump your lips and make luscious. This product maxolip reviews might be helpful for you also.

0
C8b2136ef95ba6aac211825ff38cc0e9

on January 04, 2013
at 07:07 PM

Unrefined shea butter. It actually does work, really well, for me. It moisturizes, but the main thing is it exfoliates the peely dead skin off starting immediately. I have a jar I mixed myself with emu oil and coconut oil (kept it half or more shea though) and a little essential oil for scent. I use it all over, lips and face included.

0
A45af235ed4dd0b4f548c59e91b75763

(1936)

on January 04, 2013
at 06:53 PM

Hot sauce... I know it sounds crazy, but it really works. The hotter stuff seems to work best for me.

0
B1002c0e81abb760e87ec46d9caedcf1

on January 04, 2013
at 06:45 AM

I guess Burt's Bees is helpful cauz it contains honey and i heard honey is beneficial to moisturized skin.

0
72652d856b9263f2519e94ad5e04ea56

on January 04, 2013
at 03:04 AM

Try QuenchTx Lip Butter. QTx Lip Butter works wonders on dry lips. See what Elvis Duran and his team say about our lip butter. 5% of proceeds get donated to fight cancer in children...food for thought next time you are out buying lip treatment:)

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 20, 2012
at 07:33 PM

It's a bit weird you're all talking about external stuff. Not one thing keeps my lips soft for more than an hour or two.

The two main things that keep my lip issues under control are retinol and D3. Taking 15k UI of D3 cures it, but I'm not sure whether it's a good idea to take that much (I try doing it with food now). Liver + oysters + sun does the trick most of the time. Too bad there hasn't been a sunny week for 10 months now.

0
65bf1ca7071028018c6d8305d0ddcd76

(3049)

on April 20, 2012
at 02:48 PM

If you want a topical balm that doesn't melt in your pocket, try badger balm:

Creamy Cocoa - Cocoa Butter Lip Balm By Badger CA$5.95

INGREDIENTS Olea Europaea (Extra Virgin Olive) Oil*, Therabroma Cacao (Fair Trade Certified Cocoa) Butter*, Cera Alba (Beeswax), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Oil, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe) Extract*, and CO2 Extract of Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Rosa Canina (Rosehip), & Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn Berry)* *= Certified Organic

0
B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on April 20, 2012
at 01:19 PM

For skin besides not washing I use 100% lanolin. Also if you expose it to red light it can convert to active D3. I find coconut oil both refined and virgin to dry my skin out. Making sure I eat at least 4 tablespoons of butter a day also seems to keep things moist.

Lanolin is cheap I just got 4 small tins for a couple bucks. They last forever. I think it used to be popular with breast feeding women to rub on their nips. Not sure what people are using now. Also it doesn't come off easily so for lips it is great.

870fdea50f2a9f1cd2890c8e22549300

(2056)

on April 20, 2012
at 01:28 PM

Lansinoh? Bag Balm? My only caution with lanolin is that (I was told by my doctor) it is possible to activate a wool allergy/sensitivity by continuous use of lanolin if you're already predisposed to allergy. I love my wool clothing so I've been reluctant to use lanolin. It does have a high melting point though. ;-)

B9cc28905ec54389c47cde031d709703

on April 20, 2012
at 02:07 PM

http://amzn.com/B000V70MWS

0
50ea1c0dc61e885dbbc0e18ce6da6990

(0)

on April 07, 2010
at 09:48 PM

Anytime you put artificial or non food substances on your lips (or in your ears for that matter) you are inhibiting the body's ability to create it's own protection. The effect on the lips is cumulative and long lasting.

Once you've balmed, you've subscribed to a lifetime of embalming. Nut and seed oils are the best, then give your lips a rest.

0
903cd4b4318eed2261d3b0c002224f60

on April 07, 2010
at 05:53 PM

Drink more water.

0
8347d512bca9b034d53da40dab8cd21c

on April 07, 2010
at 03:10 AM

I stick with Burt's. Stick! No pun intended there. I prefer it to Blistex or the other options that seem more medicine-y. I don't really apply a whole lot, so potentially eating it is not much of a concern for me. :)

The ingredient list can be found here (link).

0
7e1433afbb06c318c4d90860d493c49d

(5959)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:28 AM

My absolute fave lip balm is Dr. Hauschka Lip Balm.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:52 AM

Alex, some of those ingredients may be harmful to your health. You should check out your specific lip balm here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/company/Dr._Hauschka_Skin_Care%2C_Inc./

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on April 07, 2010
at 12:51 AM

Alex, some of those ingredients may be harmful to your health. You should check out your specific lip balm here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/brand/Dr._Hauschka_Skin_Care

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