Lip skin is thin and lacks the protection of hair or the lubrication of oil glands. As a result, it is particularly susceptible to damage from sun exposure, warns the American Academy of Dermatologists. The organization recommends using lip balm with an SPF of 15 or higher during sun exposure. Meanwhile, if you have sunburned lips, you can find comfort in readily available materials.
Try potato juice, recommends the San Mateo County, Calif., Health Department. The starch in the potato feels cool to the skin and can help soothe a burn. Grate a potato and leave the shreds to drain in a colander, or puree raw potato in a blender. Apply the juice to the lips, then let it dry. Leave on as long as possible.
Spread a few drops of vitamin E oil along the lips, particularly after eating or before sleep, to keep the oil on the skin for as long as possible. Pure vitamin E oil can prevent scarring, promote the formation of new skin and can also be used with children. A 2009 study in the “Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery” found that children using topical Vitamin E pre- and post-surgery experienced improved wound healing. Parents should obtain high-quality oils and use the lowest possible dosage with children to prevent toxic reactions.
Aloe Vera Gel
Apply a small amount of pure, unscented aloe vera gel, suggests the Mayo Clinic. Aloe vera can reduce both sunburn pain and inflammation, leading to less peeling. However, ingestion of aloe can have laxative effects, which may be a problem for individuals prone to licking their lips. If you have access to aloe plants, you can peel the top, thick layer off of a leaf and rub the inner flesh of the plant along the affected skin. However, this juice may dry quickly, unlike commercial aloe vera products, which contain additional oils to prevent evaporation and prolong the therapeutic effect. Pregnant women and children should use aloe vera with extreme caution and ideally, under professional guidance, to prevent unwanted side effects.