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Is Vaseline Bad for Chapped Lips?

by
author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
Is Vaseline Bad for Chapped Lips?
Vaseline containers being unloaded in London, England Photo Credit Cate Gillon/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Dry skin is not exclusive to your face and body. Particularly in the harsh winter months, your lips can become dehydrated, cracked and flaky, leaving them chapped and in need of moisture. Vaseline is a name brand of petroleum jelly, an occlusive emollient that is recommended for the treatment of chapped lips. This product benefits your skin by helping it to retain more moisture and repair itself.

Causes

Dry weather can wreak havoc on your skin’s moisture barriers, as can indoor heat during cold weather. When your skin and lips lose moisture, they become inflexible, which causes cracking and scaling. Breathing through your mouth can dry out your lips, as can licking them. Saliva evaporates rapidly, leaving your lips drier than before. Not drinking enough liquids can also cause your skin to become dehydrated and in need of a moisturizing product like Vaseline.

Treatment

Whenever you go outdoors, apply a petroleum jelly like Vaseline to your lips. This oil-based product will moisturize dried-out lips, as well as reduce moisture loss. Apply this product multiple times throughout the day, as well as each night before bed. Keep using it even after your lips have healed to keep your skin hydrated.

Benefits

Petroleum jelly, an occlusive emollient, coats the outer layer of your skin with oil to stop the loss of moisture, thereby keeping the hydration locked in your lips. Vaseline petroleum jelly contains a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and waxes, which the manufacturer states will melt into your skin’s barriers and help strengthen and repair them. It is purported to protect your lips from the elements and help your skin to naturally hydrate itself from the inside out.

Considerations

Though petroleum jelly is not typically an irritating product, you may experience an adverse reaction to it, such as a stinging sensation or a contact allergy that results in a rash. Apply the product to a small area first to check for any reactions. Discontinue use and see a doctor if any allergies develop.

Warnings

If your lips are severe chapped or do not heal after a week of applying petroleum jelly, see a doctor. Severely chapped lips sometimes may be caused by a rare underlying medical condition.

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