Fight the Chap: 5 Best Ways to Soothe Our Winter Lips


Winter can turn lips dry, cracked and painful, making kissing, talking and eating a chore. Ease them back to healthy with natural lip care.

If eyes are the windows to our souls, then our lips are the sentinels to our attitudes in stilettos. We use to them whisper, scream, shout and kiss, while simultaneously dressing them up in vibrant shades to telegraph our moods. So it’s not surprising that people go nuts if they feel like their lips are in jeopardy. If you could only have chocolate or lip balm on a desert island, which would you choose? Any further questions?

No doubt about it, our lips are extremely sensitive and deserving of heartfelt sonnets. Our lips are actually quite fragile, which is why the wind, cold, and low humidity can wreck such havoc on them. They are made up of three to five layers of skin, while the rest of our face has 16 layers. They lack hair and sweat glands, which mean they don’t have the usual layers of sweat and oil to protect them. This is why our lips chap so easily.

So can we do to soothe them? Many of us grew up on the petroleum stuff, flaunting our Chap Sticks in the mirror like we were Blondie singing “Heart of Glass.” As we’ve previously reported, Chap Stick was invented by Dr. C. D. Fleet, who decided that petroleum jelly would be the best short-term fix for dry lips. But petroleum doesn’t absorb into the skin, so it’s really just keeping your skin from breathing, not healing. Ultimately, this can make them more chapped in the long run. See also: it’s made of petroleum so, you know, gasoline.

So you want a nourishing, healthy balm to protect and heal your winter pout. Jessica Wu is a dermatologist in Los Angeles. As Dr. Wu explained to Web MD, “skin heals better when it’s kept moist, so I suggest wearing an emollient balm or ointment rather than a waxy stick treatment.” Just be sure to use products that don’t make baby seals cry.

With our Days of Chap Stick firmly behind us, we’re left staggering about the wastelands of winter, licking our lips in desperation, standing outside drugstores staring in the windows while everyone inside dances around, waving their Chap Sticks over their temporarily moisturized pouts. Just kidding—we’re totally kicking ass with a ton of awesome natural and organic lip products. Welcome to five fantastic ways to sooth and heal your winter lips—without petroleum and other harsh elements.


1. Best Everyday Moisture: Organic Lip Balm by Aubrey Organics ($2.95)
There is one balm to rule them all—and this is the Organic Lip Balm from Aubrey Organics. Certified organic by QAI, Inc., this product contains coconut oil, olive oil, and Vitamin E. Available in a multitude of flavors, it’s so affordable that you can keep several stashed around your house or person, which I may or may not do because God help me if I can’t find my Organic Lip Balm.


2. Best Vegan Balm: Vegan Lip Balm by S.W. Basics of Brooklyn ($4.00)
Not a fan of beeswax? The Vegan Lip Balm by S.W. Basics of Brooklyn uses plant-based Candelilla wax to sooth your parched pout. All ingredients used in this product are either certified organic, Fair Trade or sourced from small family farms. Also containing organic and fair trade cocoa butter, it comes in highly-delectable flavors that are surprising strong for a single .15 ounce balm.


3. Best Hydrating Color: Tinted Lip Conditioner by Ilia Beauty ($24.00)
Yes, we are established fans of Ilia Beauty’s lip products.  Simply, it’s because they work, and they work well. The Tinted Lip Conditioner offers up a deep color in multiple shades while soothing your lips as well as any lip balm. Made with 85 percent organic ingredients, including organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter, and Vitamin E, the Tinted Lip Conditioner provides a lasting color with an intense hydration.

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4. Best Therapeutic Moisture: Balmy Days Balm by Ilia Beauty ($24.00)
Lips already staging a revolt due to winter conditions? Consider this healing balm from—I know, I know, but this line is awesome—luxury lip care curators Ilia Beauty. This colorless product provides a deep, restorative hydration with the aforementioned 85 percent certified organic ingredients, as well as bioactive botanicals. Creator Sasha Plavsic also incorporates fresh pomegranate and essential oils of jasmine and orange blossom, all free of synthetic preservatives, fillers and petrochemicals. Not a bad place to pick up where your Chap Stick left off.


5. Best Homemade Relief: Olive Oil Sugar Scrub by Strawberry Hedgehog (Market Price)
Tracy Perkins is the founder of the luxury vegan body care line Strawberry Hedgehog. Exclusively for EcoSalon, she recommends this easy-to-make lip treatment you can whip up in your own kitchen. (Or if you’re pressed for time, you can buy the finished product here.)

To make: Combine one part organic fine sugar and one part organic olive oil. (A “part” can be range from a teaspoon to a cup, just make them equal.) If you’re feeling really decadent, a drop of vanilla extract makes it amazing. Make a small jar of it—something like a sterilized leftover jam jar—and use it once a week.

To use: Dampen your lips and the area around them with warm water. Apply the scrub in GENTLE circular motions until the sugar dissolves. This is great way to boost circulation and shed excess dead skin. Rinse with warm water, then slather on shea butter or your preferred balm.

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Flickr/Mitya Kuznetsov 

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.