Dry, cold air takes a toll on your lips. “Chapped lips occur especially when our homes are heated. It's like we're sleeping in a dehydrator,” says Brigitte Mars, author of The Country Almanac of Home Remedies. Solve your indoor, dry air problem by using a humidifier and drink extra water (at least a quart a day), she says. Next, stop licking your lips, which dries out your lips even more. Then, to keep lips soft, ditch the store-bought lip balm (which can actually contain moisture-sapping ingredients) and try these do-it-yourself remedies for smooth, supple lips all winter long.
The first step to smooth lips is getting rid of flaky skin. Slough off the driest parts of your lips with a DIY exfoliator using ingredients found in your own pantry. Erika Katz, a beauty blogger at Bonding Over Beauty [http://www.bondingoverbeauty.com/] shares her home remedy for a tasty lip scrub. (The recipe doubles as a luxurious body scrub!) Combine a half-cup brown sugar with 2 tablespoons almond or olive oil. Add 5 drops honey and 3 to 5 five drops of your favorite essential oil (optional). Gently scrub lips, rinse with warm water, and immediately moisturize.
Stay away from commercial lip balms containing petrolatum, a byproduct of petroleum that tends to clog pores, Mars says. Home remedies made of plant-based products soak into your lips more easily and keep them feeling naturally quenched.
“The simplest thing you can do is slather on coconut oil,” Mars says. Adding five drops of your favorite essential oil (like mint) per one ounce coconut oil gives you an aromatherapy boost, too, she says. Shea butter and jojoba, hemp seed or avocado oils are similarly moisturizing.
One of the simplest home remedies for chapped lips is to eat a healthy diet. Foods high in natural oils and omega-3s and 6s help moisturize your skin from the inside out—lips included. Add more lubricating foods to your diet like avocado, extra virgin olive oil and chia seeds (found in natural health food stores). An essential fatty acid supplement may help, too, Mars says.