The information I’m about to share with you (although personal) is quite helpful for those suffering from unruly winter lips. I used the following system to allow my lips to go from cracked and chapped, to soft and healthy without anything but a small set of nail scissors, soap, and water.
I, like many people, have a few bad habits. One of my bad habits is biting my lower lip. And no, not in a sexy, Anastasia Steele sort of way, more of a how a donkey with bad table manners would go about it.
The winter was always the worst for me. It didn’t matter how much chapstick I applied, it would always seem to get progressively worse with my ferocious vampire tendencies. I made a conscious effort to stop abusing my lips and really broke the habit. I thought after a little while it would get better and to some small extent it did but they still didn’t look healthy.
I went to the internet for answers. I probably tried every chapstick I could find. Medicinal, natural, you name it. I tried them all. Although some worked better than others, I realized now of them could offer the long-term benefits I wanted. The main problem with chapstick or lip balm is that there are ingredients that can make it addictive and can actually cause further damage to your lips.
I of course, turned to the natural route immediately after. I tried olive oil, avocado oil, aloe, everything. Although helpful, I was not getting the result I wanted.
Eventually, I talked to someone who changed things around for me and my less than perfect pout. I was telling a friend that I had not seen in a while of my dilemma and she told me how she went from a lonely lipbalm lover to a chapstick-free female.
Directions on how to transform your lips:
-Don’t apply ANYTHING on your lips. I am serious about the first direction…you can’t apply anything to your lips. No chapstick, no oils, nothing. It must remain balm/oil free.
-Layers of your lips will begin to grow and you will have pieces of skin hanging from your lips (I know, gross). You need to cut off those pieces with a small set of nail scissors. DO NOT CUT OFF ANYTHING THAT ISN’T HANGING. If it hurts to pull at it, do not remove it, wait until it has grown out enough to trim it with scissors.
-At night, before bed, take a very mild, natural soap and clean your lips with soap and warm water. Do not scrub. Instead, just lightly apply the soapy water to the lips and move your finger back and forth to rid lips of any bacteria. Do not tug at the skin.
Keep in mind that this is not a quick fix but rather a long-term solution if you can commit to it. It took me about five months to complete the process. For some people who are even more addicted to chapstick, it may take longer.
If you are not inclined to go this extreme, make sure you look for a lip balm that does not contain fragrances, menthol, phenol, or salicylic acid. These ingredients can actually worsen the condition of your lips overtime and some of these things have even been linked to cancer.
If you are going to try this system, be prepared for your lips to look a bit awful for at least a month. They will also bleed and chap severely but in my experience, it is worth it in the end. I hope this works as well for you as it did for me and that you can live chapstick free!
Photo Credit: Flickr/Orofacial