What to do with chapped or dry lips?

I apply lip balm or petroleum jelly to my lips several times a day.  It is such an ingrained habit that I hardly notice I’m doing it.  Recently though I came across an article which made question the safety of using petroleum jelly.  It is not edible and I wouldn’t eat it, so why would I allow my skin to absorb it?
I am no scientist, but from what I have gathered from further reading, the difference between eating something and putting it on your skin is this:
  • When you ingest something, it goes through the proper digestive processes and the liver and kidneys attempt to process any toxins you have taken in.
  • When you put something on your skin, it may be absorbed into your body bypassing your liver and kidneys.  Any toxins taken in are not able to be processed properly.
It doesn’t sound good to me.  Plus now I’m not so sure that petroleum jelly is safe to use, I don’t think I want to use it anymore. 
There are homemade options out there based on beeswax, which is edible apparantly and edible oils.  The recipes on this site definitely look like they are worth checking out: homemade lipbalm recipe.
However before I rush out and buy the ingredients to make lipbalm at home, I have started to wonder if it is normal to constantly apply lip balm all the time.  It’s not something I’ve ever really thought about before.  I had a quick google, which is always a bad idea when it comes to health issues as there are so many sites out there that can panic you about these things.  However I am now wondering if it is worth a visit to the doctor, or whether I should just see what would happen if I stop applying lip balm. 
It would be great to stop applying lip balm continuously, to actually find the root cause of my dry lips and perhaps fix the problem, rather than mindlessly spending money on a sticking plaster solution, that may actually do me more harm than good.

What are your thoughts on this and how do you deal with your chapped or dry lips?  I would love to hear your comments and suggestions below.

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  1. Anonymous

    I have developed a mindset where applying lip balm/chap stick keeps your lips weak. I endure the dry lips as long as I can and only apply chap stick when it gets very painful. I had dry lips one time this winter, and after maybe only two applications, I have gone back to normal.
    When you keep applying that moisture, to me, it's like keep a wound always fresh and never able to heal. All I have are anecdotal observations but it works for me.

  2. Anonymous

    Unpetroleum Jelly by Alba – at Whole Foods. You can use that all day long 😀

  3. Zoe

    I have successfully avoided putting lipsalve on for the last few days! The first day or so, it tingled a bit. My lips are still a little dry, but are not cracked and do not hurt, which can only be a good thing! Thanks for the good advice!

  4. I'm also a lipbalm addict. I use those vaseline tins several times a day. Someone recently told me that because it acts as a barrier it can dry out your lips so you are better off using a moisturiser on your lips instead.

  5. Zoe

    Thanks for the tip – that's an interesting point! I also read / heard somewhere that dry lips can be a sign of dehydration in your gut and eating brown rice / avoiding dried fruit can help. I'm going to give it a go as after successfully avoiding using lipbalm for a few days I am back using it – a besswax based one this time…

  6. My understanding is that your lips should naturally look after themselves and it's only in cold windy weather it becomes a problem. I think If you apply a product all the time it stops your lips natural ability to take care of themselves. I wear lipstck/gloss sometimes and I do have a salve to put on them if the weather causes problems but I am more without than with iykwim. It will probably take a few weeks to adjust if you've been nurturing them 🙂

  7. Zoe

    I guess I haven't been very patient – it's too easy to reach for the lipsalve! Thanks for your comments.

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