The lips are covered with a thin layer of delicate skin. This covering is not loaded with sweat glands that provide moisture to the skin nor does it have sebaceous glands that are responsible for providing the skin with natural oil called sebum. Sebum is responsible for constantly lubricating the skin, giving it its natural smooth and supple texture. Due to these factors, the skin on the lips is highly prone to dryness, peeling and cracking which could be a very painful and embarrassing condition. In extreme cases, the lips may also bleed. A change in temperature and humidity levels, exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun, dehydration, harsh cosmetics and a deficiency in vitamin B also contribute to these conditions. Constant licking of your lips can also cause skin to peel, flake or crack as the saliva tends to evaporate, further drying the lips. There are times when the enzymes present in saliva can also irritate the skin on the lips.
Since the skin on the lips is prone to sun damage, the use of lip products with a sunscreen component is recommended. Sunscreens tend to wear off in an hour or so. Besides, most people tend to lick their lips often thus nullifying the effect of the lip product used. Hence, reapplying the product whenever possible would ensure constant protection from sun damage. If you feel that a particular lipstick or lip balm tends to aggravate the condition, discontinuing its use immediately is recommended. Ensure that you clean your lips thoroughly and apply a layer of petroleum jelly on your lips before going to bed. Since dehydration is one of the main causes of peeling, drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day is recommended. A balanced diet especially rich in vitamin B is also recommended for the prevention of peeling lips.
Honey and coconut oil are known for their natural healing properties and their ability to reduce scarring and swelling. Apply a layer of honey or coconut oil on your lips while indoors to prevent peeling. A paste made with 1 teaspoon of gram flour, 1 teaspoon of milk cream and a pinch of turmeric powder is also beneficial in the treatment of chapped lips. Apply this mixture on your lips and allow it to dry completely. Once dry, gently rub it off. This process removes the dead skin cells while the milk cream nourishes the skin and turmeric fights infection causing germs and lightens dark lips. Rubbing the lips with a mixture of equal parts of glycerin and lemon juice is also beneficial in the treatment of chapped lips.