When your mouth is the focal point of your face when speaking, it's no surprise that people tend to feel a little more self-conscious when suffering from dry/cracked lips. However, as the summer months approach, your lips are not only susceptible to becoming dry and chapped - but burnt too. Many people would tell you to just pop on some vaseline and get on with your day, while this isn't the most ethical decision from a sustainability view, it's not the ideal fix either.
Why do your lips crack?
Dry and chapped lips are a direct result of extreme weather temperatures - too cold or too hot, sun exposure, frequent licking of your lips or dehydration. Luckily cracked lips are easily fixed and with a few routine steps every day.
What you should do if you have chapped lips
While it may be ingrained in you from a child to apply vaseline to your lips, this is basically pure Petroleum Jelly, which is not a very Proverb friendly ingredient. You see Petroleum Jelly is exactly what it says on the tin, a derivative from the petroleum industry. Petroleum Jelly will commonly be called “Paraffinum Liquidum” or “Mineral Oil” on an INCI list. Used in nearly every cream you will ever touch, plus a key ingredient in lip balms.
When oil companies make the petrol it produces a by-product which is a thin, clear oil - Paraffinum Liquidum. They give it to the beauty industry as a filler ingredient, as it is unbelievably cheap, compared to replacing it with plant or seed oil. What it does do well is provide a barrier layer but so would shea or mango butter, it is just more expensive to make a lip balm with these in. So, I guess what we are really asking is, do you fancy rubbing a petrol derivative across your lips?
The longer-term issue with petroleum-based lip salves such as Carmex and Lypsil is that we have always found they make your lips feel good while they are on but they never seem to cure the issue so you just have to keep applying more.
Next up, you have to stop licking your lips, although this may feel soothing to the dry skin, this could potentially cause your lips to feel drier. In addition, you may need to change your toothpaste, as most mainstream toothpaste contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) - this is what causes your toothpaste to froth and create bubbles. In fact, it isn't actually a necessary ingredient that is going to benefit your teeth - so try and find yourself an SLS-free toothpaste.
Can you exfoliate your dry lips?
You can exfoliate dry lips, but you should be careful when doing so as a too harsh exfoliator may leave your lips feeling raw and may cause them to bleed. A natural and easy alternative is to exfoliate your lips with organic sugar. This is a highly-refined sugar that comes straight from freshly harvested cane, organic raw sugars are made close to cane fields in a sugar mill but crushing the freshly harvested cane. The resulting juice is clarified and filtered to remove impurities… making it perfect for applying to your lips!
Can your lips burn?
The simple answer to can your lips burn is yes, and this can be particularly painful if you are not applying a high SPF to your lips. Due to the thin skin around the area, lips can become sensitive and painful when burnt, to relieve some of this pain - apply a cold compress to the area or rub ice across the lips, making sure that it does not stick directly to the lips. To prevent this problem, try and use a lip balm formulated with SPF such as Sol de Ibiza lip balm, it is SPF 15 and comes in a cardboard tube so is plastic-free too.
What to apply on your chapped lips
If Vaseline and your regular lip balm are out of the question, then what other options are there? There are actually quite a few options to choose from that are both good options from a natural and organic point of view. Shea Butter is a natural anti-inflammatory and perfect for applying to chapped or broken lips - however, we would always suggest purchasing 100% raw unrefined organic shea butter as this is ethically produced without running the risk of being formulated with toxic chemicals.
Certified Organic Coconut Oil is a good option to mix in with the Shea Butter. However, we wouldn't recommend its effectiveness by itself, as it will soften the lips - but not moisturise as much as Shea Butter as you need this for the occultant barrier effect.
Another great option is to add honey to your Shea Butter and Coconut Oil concoction, as it is a brilliant ingredient for reducing inflammation while being a natural healer for the skin.
That rounds up all of our top tips for summer lip care, if you have any other tips we may have missed, let us know as we are always searching for more! Remember to follow us on social media @proverbskin to keep up to date with all of our new content.