There’s nothing worse than having chapped lips. My lips are constantly dry, and in my determination to avoid the pain and flakiness, I’m always equipped with lip balm. However, it never seems to fully heal my dry lips, and it turns out there might be a very obvious reason for that.

Harmful Ingredients in Lip Balm

Like so many products that we use, there are some chemicals in most lip balms that, it turns out, are not so great for us. There are a lot of ingredients that are used that feel soothing at first, but in reality are causing our lips to dry. This creates a never-ending cycle of reapplication without ever finding relief!

Before purchasing some more lip balm, check the ingredients list. Dermatologists recommend avoiding products that contain phenol, menthol, camphor, and salicylic acid, which all dry out the skin. Any artificial fragrance or flavor might also be contributing to your chapped lips, as these additives often cause skin irritation or allergies.

Natural Lip Care Solutions

So if we can’t use lip balm, what are we supposed to do? There are many natural solutions to chapped lips! Holding a cucumber slice between your lips is a great way to re-hydrate your moisture-starved pout, or take a cue from the women of Greece, who have been using olive oil to moisturize their lips for centuries. Simply apply some daily, maybe before bed, and watch as your lips eat that moisture up. It’s also very important to drink a lot of water—beauty comes from the inside too, and drinking a lot of water will help keep all of your skin hydrated. Another natural lip moisturizer that can help is sesame seed oil, which is most effective when applied after a bath or shower, as it helps to seal in the essential water and oils needed for replenished skin.

So next time your lips are chapped, you might just be better off skipping the pharmacy and heading to the grocery store instead!