Winter is a magical time full of cozy sweaters, twinkle lights, and the perpetual smell of cinnamon. But dropping temps also bring with them chapped lips, which are painful and make smooth lipstick application virtually impossible. Sure, you could slather your lips in the Chapstick you may or may not find at the bottom of your purse—or you could try one of these home remedies for chapped lips. From easy DIYs to simple lip-hydrating tips, these are the foolproof ways the experts soothe flaky, chapped lips from home. Go forth and apply that Ruby Woo with abandon.
DIY Coffee Scrub
One of the best ways to help winter-ravaged lips is with a gentle exfoliating scrub. "I mix a generous amount of Iconolab Renewal Face Oil with some ground coffee and massage the mixture well onto clean lips. Then I let it soak in for a few minutes and wipe everything off with a warm washcloth,” celebrity makeup artist Min Min Ma says.
Honey and Lemon Exfoliator
"Lemon, sugar, honey and ground cinnamon create a lip scrub that will create a nice sheen after use. Use a toothbrush to apply the scrub, and leave it on for around 30 minutes," says Sadie Peak, owner of The Spice & Tea Exchange. Note: Don't use this scrub if your dry lips have split; the lemon will not feel good. But for lips that are simply lacking in a little moisture, this scrub will leave them soft and hydrated.
Celebrity esthetician Gina Mari uses a DIY lip scrub every night before she goes to bed. Her recipe: a teaspoon of coconut oil, a teaspoon of raw sugar, and a dash of cinnamon. "This combination will help nourish chapped lips while lightly exfoliating dead skin cells," she explains. "Coconut oil is known for its hydrating and healing properties, which will instantly add moisture to the lips. The raw sugar has uneven edges which helps eliminate any loose or dead skin. The cinnamon acts as a stimulant giving your lips a rosy, plump look." Apply generously to the lips and gently scrub.
DIY Your Own Lip Balm
This lip balm recipe from Jennifer Rose Goldman, founder of Essential Rose Life, involves a bit more effort than simply mixing together some ingredients, but the end result is well worth the effort. The recipe makes six balms.
1 1/2 tbsp. olive or avocado oil
1/2 tbsp. beeswax (for a vegan version, use ¼ tablespoon candelilla wax instead)
1/2 tbsp. shea, cocoa, or mango butter
5–10 drops of lavender and citrus essential oils (equal parts of each)
Place water in the bottom of a double boiler, and the lip balm ingredients in the top. Melt the ingredients over medium-low heat. Pour into the lip balm tubes, wait for them to fully cool, then enjoy.
Beet Lippy Recipe
What's better than lip balm? Why, a tinted lip balm, of course. Pip Waller, herbalist, holistic healer and author of The Herbal Handbook for Home and Health, shared her recipe for a nourishing balm that gives lips a hint of color. Bonus: The color comes from beets, which are also very hydrating. It makes five to six balms.
4 tsp. St. John's wort oil
1 tbsp. fresh grated beet
1 tsp. beeswax
8 drops orange essential oil
8 drops lemon essential oil
Pour the St. John's wort oil over the beet. Let sit in a covered jar for three days; then strain and squeeze out all the oil (wear gloves because the beet stains). Gently melt the beeswax into the beet oil. Remove from heat, stir the essential oils thoroughly, and pour into lipstick molds.
Steam Your Lips
Here's a fun fact: Your lips don't have any sweat or oil glands, which is why they dry out so easily. "Lack of humidity also drys out your skin, lips, and mucous membranes," David Barbour, co-founder of Vivio Life Sciences, says. "Steam can help replace some of your facial moisture, and as an added bonus, open up your pores."
Go for Basic Coconut Oil
More proof that coconut oil is a miracle product: It can also heal dry lips. "Coconut oil is readily available in most places and can serve as a soothing balm for chapped lips," Chirag Shah, MD, co-founder of Accesa Labs, says. He adds that it's also anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Coconut oil can also improve skin health in addition to providing anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits.
Fill Up Your S'well Bottle
Sometimes you don't need fancy concoctions to solve your skin issues. Dr. Eugene Charles, director of the Applied Kinesiology Center of New York, has recommended this simple tip to his patients for over 30 years—and it's so simple. Drink. More. Water. "Chapped lips are usually a sign of dehydration," he says.
Add More Healthy Fats
The second tip from Charles that's had a 30-year success rate: Add more fats to your diet. "Dry lips, eyes and skin can also be an oil deficiency," he says. "Liberally include olive oil, fatty fish like sardines and wild salmon, and butter. Might we also recommend popping a fish oil supplement?