Coconut oil is an awesome natural product that serves various purposes. From adding a pleasant nutty aroma to culinary dishes to moisturizing skin and helping with hair growth, this seed oil is an all-rounder that has rightly secured its place in every pantry.
And the latest addition to this extensive list is its usefulness in restoring and improving the appearance of lips.
Interesting, isn’t it?
Join me as I tell you how coconut oil can do wonders for your lips and provide the tender loving care that they deserve.
What is Coconut Oil?
For thousands of years, Asians have used coconut oil in cooking, for hot oil treatments and body massages. This oil enjoys great importance in Ayurveda, the traditional form of herbal medicine practiced in India, where it is used as the base for various medicines and skin and hair care products.
As the very name suggests, coconut oil is extracted from the fleshy, edible part of ripe coconuts. It is formed of saturated fatty acids which make it rich and dense. Coconut oil solidifies at low temperatures and is a very stable oil.
There are several ways by which coconut oil is extracted and you can identify the method of extraction by the label on the product.
- Unrefined, cold-pressed organic coconut oil is obtained from fresh coconut pulp and is the purest form of the oil. It is rich and creamy in texture and has a distinctive smell and taste.
- Refined coconut oil is derived from dried or baked coconut kernels using chemical solvents or physical extraction methods. The beneficial properties of the oil deteriorate when it is extensively refined.
Coconut oil is a very popular cooking medium in Asian countries like India and Sri Lanka. So, if you have ever attempted authentic Asian recipes, you may even have this tropical oil lying around in your pantry.
What Makes Coconut Oil Useful for Dry and Damaged Lips?
Have you ever noticed that the skin on your lips is very delicate compared to the rest of the skin on your body?
This is because they are formed of a mucous-like membrane and lack sebum-producing glands that are present in the rest of your body. As a result, your lips are highly susceptible to dryness and chapping and quickly succumb to unfavorable environmental conditions and show signs of damage.
So, it is essential to use oily products with excellent moisturizing properties to keep the skin on your lips soft and supple. In case your lips are dry and damaged, it also becomes necessary to repair existing damage and restore it to health.
Lip balms and creams may seem like the easy solution for these problems. However, I wouldn’t recommend this option as such products contain chemicals that you may ingest. Coconut oil is a better alternative as it is safe even if it goes into your stomach.
You may already know that coconut oil is one of the best natural moisturizers available. This is because virgin coconut oil contains a unique combination of fatty acids which are beneficial in skin care.
Here are some more reasons why coconut oil is the best product to use on your lips:
1. Coconut oil has excellent anti-microbial properties
Almost fifty percent of the fatty acids in coconut oil is lauric acid, which kills harmful germs like bacteria, viruses and fungi. So, it is an excellent solution for skin that is affected by infections or wounds.
2. Restores moisture balance of skin
Coconut oil is an emollient, which means it is a non-cosmetic moisturizer that prevents dryness and chapping of lips and keeps it hydrated. The fat content in the oil also helps to improve moisture levels of the skin, when applied topically. By providing intense moisturization, coconut oil makes the skin soft and supple.
3. It is non-irritating
Coconut oil is a natural oil that has been used for centuries without causing any unwanted side-effects. Unlike other lip balms and creams that contain synthetic agents and chemical fragrances that trigger allergies and are unsafe to ingest, this is safe to use. Even people with sensitive skin can apply it to their lips and experience the benefits of this treatment.
4. Repairs existing damage
Coconut oil contains Vitamin E, a powerful anti-oxidant that keeps skin smooth and protects it against chapping and cracking. The ingredients in coconut oil also promote collagen production that help to repair damaged skin and results in fresh cell growth. This helps to heal the damage and restore the original appearance.
5. Has natural Sun Protection Factor
The skin on your lips is highly prone to sun damage every time you step outside during the day. Coconut oil is a natural source of SPF and forms a protective barrier for lips, shielding it from the harmful rays of the sun. It prevents your lips from getting burnt, while controlling dryness and peeling that are caused by sun exposure.
Different Ways to Use Coconut Oil to Care for Lips
Now, let us get on to the interesting part—how to use coconut oil on lips.
There are two main ways in which you can do this.
1. On Its Own
All you need is a small bottle of unadulterated, virgin coconut oil. Simply apply few drops of it to your lips once or twice per day and leave it to absorb into the skin.
You can also combine it with natural ingredients like honey and apply the mixture to your lips at bedtime. This will give it more time to get absorbed by skin. So, it will work better on your lips.
Note: Coconut oil is rather oily and wet when used alone. If you use it on your lips before applying lip make-up, it may interfere with the way your lip make-up settles. So, it is a good idea to wipe off any excess before you apply your lipstick or lipliner.
In such cases, you may be better off using it in a lip balm, the details of which I will share now.
2. DIY Coconut Oil Lip Balm
Enhance the benefits of using coconut oil for your lips by adding other natural ingredients and creating your own customized lip balm. The main benefit here is that you know exactly what goes into the lip balm since you make it yourself. So, you needn’t worry about any unwanted side-effects from synthetic agents.
Lip balms using coconut oil give your lips a natural glow and aren’t as oily as when you apply the oil directly to your lips. They are also easy to store and carry when you are on the go.
Here are two very easy lip balm recipes that you can whip up in no time at all.
Recipe 1: Coconut oil with aloe vera lip balm
Aloe vera is another superstar of the herbal world, with excellent skin repair and rejuvenating abilities. When you combine aloe vera with coconut oil, you have an amazing combination that will not only moisturize the skin on your lips, but also correct existing damage and produce visible improvement.
So, let us look at how to make this lip balm.
Coconut oil and aloe vera gel in equal quantities
Beeswax or carnauba wax — half the quantity of coconut oil and aloe vera gel used
- Mix the wax and coconut oil and melt together till they are combined.
- Cool the mixture completely and then mix the aloe vera gel into it and blend thoroughly.
- The mixture will set at room temperature. However, you can also refrigerate it to speed up the process.
Recipe 2: Coconut oil and cocoa butter lip balm
Both coconut oil and cocoa butter are intensely moisturizing ingredients with very subtle, but pleasant fragrances.
So, the blend of these two in a lip balm is bound to make a huge difference in the overall health and appearance of lips. Here is the recipe to follow:
Coconut oil and cocoa butter in the ratio 2:1
- Measure and grate the required quantity of cocoa butter.
- Melt it in a pan and gently mix in the coconut oil till it is fully incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and freeze it for an hour.
How Long Does Coconut Oil Take to Produce Results?
There is no hard-and-fast answer to this as there are several factors at play.
Firstly, the effectiveness of the oil depends on the extent of damage present. If your lips are extremely dry and chapped and have scars or pigmentation marks, the skin-repair ingredients in coconut oil will take longer to correct the damage.
The improvement in appearance will also depend on how consistently you follow through with the treatment you choose. Unless you regularly apply oil to your lips and take good care of it every day, it will take longer to show any sign of improvement.
Finally, the extent of improvement will also depend on the quality of product used. Choose better-quality organic coconut oil for the purpose, and it will be more effective in delivering results.
Tips to Help You Get the Most Out of Coconut Oil Treatment for Lips
Like any natural treatment, using coconut oil on lips can take days to produce visible results. Nonetheless, here are some tips that will help you speed up the process and make it more effective.
- Don’t compromise on quality: As we saw earlier, there are different types of coconut oils in the market. Of all of them, cold-pressed virgin coconut oil is the purest form that produces best results in skin care treatments. So, invest in high-quality virgin coconut oil from a reputed brand to get the most out of your treatment.
- Exfoliate your lips to improve absorption: Coconut oil will be better absorbed by clean skin that isn’t clogged up with dead cells, dust or grime. So, gently exfoliate your lips twice a week to enhance absorption of the product. Slough off the dead cells with a natural scrub of sea salt and honey and follow up with coconut oil to make sure it is absorbed better.
- Make it part of a holistic treatment approach: The overall improvement in your condition is also linked to other lifestyle factors. So, pay attention to staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet. Also limit exposure to the sun as harmful sun’s rays can cause damage to the delicate skin on your lips.
- Clean up all traces of makeup before application of coconut oil: Most cosmetics contain harsh chemicals and unfriendly ingredients that clog up pores and prevent your skin from breathing. Limit the use of such cosmetic products and make sure you remove all traces of them before applying coconut oil to your lips.
Any Possible Side-effects of This Treatment?
The main benefit of choosing all-natural ingredients like coconut oil for skin care is that it rarely produces any side-effects since it is free from irritating chemical agents and fragrances. Most people with tree-nut allergies can safely consume and apply coconut oil, without any issues.
However, in very rare cases, coconut oil may trigger rashes or hives. So, always do a patch test before you start using coconut oil on your lips on a regular basis.
In my opinion, most allergies related to coconut oil are most likely triggered by the other ingredients present in the oil you choose to use. This could be preservatives in the product or other additives that contain chemical agents. When you choose pure, unadulterated coconut oil of high quality, this issue shouldn’t occur.
Based on personal experience, I will vouch for coconut oil as an effective remedy for various skin care conditions, including dry and chapped lips. Use it to replace your store-brought lip balm and give yourself the advantage of an all-natural, reliable and safe product.
Just make sure that you choose an organic, high-quality brand for your daily skin care needs and you will be rewarded with rosy, luscious lips that look healthy and feel soft and supple.
So, if you haven’t tried it already, make this healthy switch to using coconut oil on your lips right away.