Here’s the bad news: cracked lips are one of those little annoyances of life that never seem to go away, no matter how much water you drink or how non-wintery the weather gets. Here’s the good news: Studies show cannabis can help.
In recent years, cannabis has become a mainstay in the beauty world as people use it to treat everything from puffy eyes to those annoyingly persistent pimples. Part of this is because the plant itself is just plain trendy, but it’s also because it has some scientifically-proven benefits when it comes to skin care. Here’s how it can help when your lips are dry and miserable:
When the skin on your lips becomes dry and starts to crack, it can cause painful cuts in the skin that sting relentlessly. Eating, drinking, talking, and even smiling can pull and stretch the sore, which can slow down the healing process and make the pain seem interminable.
Cannabis, as you may have heard, is a highly effective painkiller. Not only will its pain-relieving qualities make your lips hurt less, they could also help accelerate the healing process (or at least prevent you from slowing it down by picking at that dry skin in the corner of your mouth).
As is the case in any kind of open wound, sores caused by cracked lips are susceptible to infection. In fact, they’re even more vulnerable than injuries on other parts of the body, because we touch our faces and mouths so often. Our hands carry an astounding number of germs every day (just Google it), so each time you absentmindedly touch your cracked lips you’re introducing potentially harmful bacteria to your exposed skin.
There’s good news though — cannabis is a powerful antibacterial, which means it can kill off bacteria and reduce the chance of infection. It can also help to prevent further infection by protecting the wound against attacking germs.
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is the body’s internal regulator, controlling everything from sleep and appetite to fertility and pain. But one of its most important roles is ensuring that your skin is in its best possible condition. A set of chemicals in the body keep the ECS working at its best, and researchers have discovered that a set of chemicals in cannabis plants have much the same effect.
There are no oil glands on the skin of the lips, and their only natural lubricant, saliva, evaporates easily. This means that the body must constantly make more to keep your lips from drying out — but not too much, otherwise you’d literally be drooling. Consuming cannabis helps your ECS calibrate itself to produce the perfect amount.
When it comes to preventing dry, chapped lips with cannabis, topical products are the best course of action. These include lip balms, facial creams, serums, and body lotions (pro tip: you can use body lotion on your lips, but don’t use it on other areas of your face or it will block your pores). If they’re petroleum jelly-based, even better.
A nicely flavored lip balm is probably the product of choice for most people, as they’re affordable and won’t have a strong cannabis taste. They’re also easy to use: apply the lip balm by gliding it across the lips, over the corners of the mouth, and around the lip line.
Using a cannabis-infused lipstick could also treat and prevent cracked lips, provided it doesn’t have a matte finish. One last thing — try to avoid licking your lips throughout the day. We know it’s tempting, but it doesn’t help.