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Lip balm is a huge part of the typical beauty routine during the winter.  Deep condition the hair, thick lotion all over to prevent dry skin, moisturizer, and then a good coating of lip balm.  Many of us don’t even think twice about it.  Our lips get super dry in the cold and dry air, and we need that extra moisture, right?  But is it possible for you to actually become dependent to lip balm?  Some people claim that they can’t go more than an hour without reapplying, and they are never without at least one, usually more, tube on them at all times.

The answer is a little more complicated than yes or no because there are a few different factors that go into what might appear to be an addiction to all things lip moisture.  The good news is that if you feel like you have to have lip balm no matter what, there are some simple DIY ways to take care of your lips that will leave your lips smooth and silky!

My Lips Are Chapped; I NEED LIP BALM

This is what goes through most of our heads when our lips start to feel a little chapped.  Tight dry skin feels uncomfortable and can even split or crack and that’s painful.  Lip balm helps take care of those problems. Well, kind of.

Lip balm works by sealing in moisture and preventing evaporation on your lips due to dry winter skin.  Both of these things are important because our lips have the thinnest skin on our body’s and cannot produce their own moisture.  The problem with many lip balms on the market is they don’t do both of these jobs and actually create a dependence on their product. Some include ingredients that actually dry out your lips – making you apply more and more, to no avail.  You feel like you have to keep reapplying or else endure chapped lips.  This leads to a second problem.

You keep using lip balm that isn’t healing your lips, and because you’re using so much of it, your lips start to develop a sensitivity to the ingredients in the balm.  This can lead to things like contact dermatitis, rashes, and dry, flaky patches around your lips.  The exact opposite you want from your lip balm!  The even bigger problem is that you think your lips are just getting extra chapped, so you slather on more lip balm and keep making the problem worse.

Lip Tips

So how do we fix this problem?  We simplify our routine!  You don’t have to get rid of lip balms completely, there are times when you need  to seal in extra moisture like in the winter, but there are some simple rules you should follow.

  • Look for lip balms that have the least amount of ingredients or even better, make your own (find a few ideas below!).
  • Only use lip balm if you absolutely need it, don’t use it when your lips are not chapped and healthy.
  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated.  Not drinking enough can lead to chapped and dry lips.
  • Include some healthy fats in your diet as this will keep your hair, nails, and skin hydrated and healthy.
  • Don’t lick your lips!  This really drys out your lips and can leave them chapped and cracked.

Make Your Own Natural Lip Balm

It isn’t that hard to make your own lip balm, and it is the best way to make sure you’re actually taking care of your lips.  You can also customize your lip balm to your specific needs and heal your lips faster.  The good news is that you can find most of the things you need for lip balm right in your own home.  Coconut oil is going to be your new best friend along with things like aloe vera, essential oils, and organic sugar.

  1. DIY Lip Scrub – Exfoliating is a good way to get rid of old, dead skin and keep your lips chapped-free.  All you need for an effective lip scrub is some coconut oil and organic sugar.  You could also add essential oils or vanilla bean to make it your own.  Lip scrubs are also a good way to prepare your lips for moisturizing.
  2. Coconut Oil – For the simplest lip balm ever, you can just use plain old coconut oil.  Just use a little on lips when they feel chapped.  You can add in vanilla extract or peppermint oil for a little twist, but this is the most natural way to keep your lips healthy.
  3. Flax Oil – Flax oil is another good ingredient for your lips because it’s full of Omega-3s and good fats.  You can mix it in with your coconut oil lip balm or use it by itself.

For more ideas and instructions on how to make your own lip scrubs and balms, check out the Ultimate DIY Guide to Beauty.

Image Source: Nina Nelson/Flickr