Finding the best treatments for dry, cracked lips is something I’ve been working on for years. I started having issues due to peri-oral dermatitis due to allergies back when I was in grade 8 I started to get this awful, raw, red, peeling sore all around the outline of my mouth. It happened to be the year I started playing the flute so for months we thought that was the cause of my issue as the worst of the sore was at the bottom of my bottom lip where the flute would sit. After weeks of using alcohol swabs on the mouthpiece of the flute to ensure it was clean, and with a mouth that was getting progressively worse, more swollen, and downright gross, I was referred to a dermatologist.
After a consultation with him, his diagnosis was that I was allergic to gel toothpaste and chlorine. A week or two with a traditional paste toothpaste and my mouth was almost entirely back to normal. For the next 15 years or so avoiding those two things was enough to keep my mouth happy.
And then I went and broke myself. Since then, my already sensitive skin has become even more sensitive. I wore my body down and as a result, my skin seems to have suffered. Remember when I got that awesome bacterial infection all over my face? Such good times.
Anyway, since 2013 I’ve had more and more difficulty with my peri-oral dermatitis returning and wreaking havoc on my mouth whenever it likes. In the past couple years, certain foods have begun to set it off, and it continues to be more and more challenging to determine what is causing it. Zucchini and tomato sauce seem to be the two biggest culprits, but other times it seems to happen for no reason at all.
Over these last five years, I’ve become quite an expert on finding treatments that soothe my sore swollen lips and surrounding area so I thought a blog post was in order in case anyone reading this suffers from this same problem, or is in need of a treatment for dry, cracked lips in general.
Please note, some of the links below are affiliate links and if you should make a purchase I will earn a small commission. This does not change the cost to you.
This isn’t your average Burt’s Bees lip balm. While I love all of their products, this is the only one I go to when my lips are sore. While their other balms are great, the wax makes them too tough when my lips are sore. This is the lip balm I keep in my bag to use during classes. I have to say, being a fitness instructor and sweating so much certainly doesn’t help the issue.
In the photo above I’m showing their limited edition Candy Cane Lip Balm which is no longer available after Friday, January 26th but all of their lip balms have the same basic properties so should all work well. I worked with them on a campaign in November and that’s when I discovered that this lip balm was so amazing! At that time, it was the only thing that made my lips feel better – it seems as though the most effective product changes with each flare-up so it’s nice to have an assortment to choose from! I keep one of these in my purse at all times!
Another lip balm I bought on a whim when I was in Halifax with another of my flare-ups. As soon as I bought it I slathered it on and immediately felt so much better. Currently, this lives in my coat pocket so anytime I leave the house I have it with me.
A more pricey option at $24 but such a great one. They also make a version in Calendula that I still need to try but I expect it is also lovely. With a cooling burst of peppermint and soothing avocado oil, shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and jojoba oil it really does make your lips feel moisturized. And since I’ve been telling you where I keep them, this little baby stays by my bedside.
This is my saviour. It’s the most expensive at $30 but my absolute favourite. It’s not a lip balm, a lip mask is the right name. I use this at night and when having a flare-up a few times during the day to soothe the sore skin. The agave nectar and jojoba oil make them feel instantly soothed. It’s a lifesaver. And while it’s expensive, I’ve only just purchased my second tube, the first lasted me 21 months (I just looked it up) so when you look at it that way it’s not very expensive at all.
When I bought the new tube I also picked up the agave lip scrub and OH MY GOSH, it has helped so much.
I often tried to make a scrub out of coconut oil and sugar but it never really worked. This once again is a life saver. You scrub it on, clean it off removing the dead skin with it, and then top with the lip mask and I feel like a new woman! These two stay in the bathroom as they are more of a skincare treatment, but having said that, I do go for the lip mask when at home and during the day more than the other products because I find it so soothing.
If you are on a budget, I would suggest starting with the Burt’s Bees or Nova Scotia Fisherman lip balms but if you can swing it, go for the BITE Agave lip mask. It is a true lifesaver.
I also find that on occasion plain coconut oil can help, but not always.
I hope that if you suffer from sore, dry, chapped lips that you this post has brought you some new products to try, and I hope that you get some relief soon. Sore lips are no fun, and make eating (my favourite pastime) really unpleasant.
Do you have any other products you’d add to the list? Let me know!