Best Ways to Relieve Chapped Lips

Chapped Lips (photo:

Chapped lips, which are also referred to as cheilitis, are a prevalent and uncomfortable problem. To eliminate chapped lips without causing further dryness, home remedies can be effective.

Compared to the skin on other areas of the body, the skin on the lips is thinner and more delicate. Additionally, the lips are exposed to various elements such as the sun and cold, dry air, which increases their vulnerability to dryness, cracking, flaking, and peeling.

The lips do not possess oil glands, which makes it impossible for them to generate moisture on their own. However, the use of natural moisturizers can be beneficial in providing relief.

This article outlines the ways to alleviate chapped lips using nourishing substances that can rapidly ease any discomfort or pain. Furthermore, it examines the reasons behind chapped lips and ways to prevent them.

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1. Use a good lip balms


Not all lip balms are created equal, and some popular brands may actually contain ingredients that have a drying effect on the lips.

For instance, many lip balms include menthol or other mint flavorings, which can create a refreshing feeling but can also leave lips more chapped than they were before.

There are several common drying ingredients found in lip balms, such as menthol, camphor, and phenol. It's best to avoid scented and flavored lip products since these ingredients can also contribute to dryness.

Instead, try to find lip balms that contain moisturizing and soothing ingredients like petroleum, lanolin, beeswax, and ceramides. These can usually be found at pharmacies, health stores, or online.

2. Try natural lip remedies


Consider trying natural remedies for chapped lips, as there are several effective options that may already be available in your kitchen.

To soothe and moisturize dry lips, try applying the following directly to your lips:

- Aloe vera: This gel is found inside the leaves of aloe vera plants and contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories that can help hydrate and soothe damaged skin. 

- Coconut oil: Made from the flesh of coconuts, this oil has anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an emollient, which means it can soften and soothe the skin. 

- Honey: This highly moisturizing substance is a good treatment for dry lips and also contains antioxidants and antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections from developing on extremely dry or cracked lips.

- Cucumber: This gentle fruit can moisturize the lips and may contain vitamins and minerals that can improve their appearance. Green tea: Rich in antioxidants and minerals, green tea also contains polyphenols, which can reduce inflammation. Soak a green tea bag in warm water and gently rub it over your lips to soften and remove excess dry skin. This technique is gentler than traditional exfoliation.

Aloe vera, coconut oil, and honey all have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help prevent infection while also moisturizing and soothing the skin on your lips.

These remedies can typically be found at most supermarkets, but for harder-to-find ingredients like aloe vera gel or coconut oil, you may need to browse online.

3. Exfoliate the lips


To remove the dry, flaky skin on the lips, one can exfoliate them. This can be done using lip scrubs that contain sugar or baking soda to gently slough off the dead skin cells.

Chapped lips can be difficult to treat as the dry skin layer can prevent lip balms from penetrating deep enough to provide healing. Using a lip scrub can help remove this layer, allowing for better absorption of moisturizing and soothing ingredients.

When choosing a lip scrub, it's important to look for products that contain ingredients that can hydrate and soothe the lips. These can be found in drug stores or online, where there are also a variety of natural options available.

4. Drink water


Chapped lips can often be attributed to dehydration, which occurs when the body loses more fluids than it takes in. This can cause the body to pull water from certain areas, resulting in dryness of the skin, including the lips.

It's important to make it a habit to drink water throughout the day as people may not notice when they are even slightly dehydrated. Other symptoms of dehydration can include feeling thirsty, having a dry mouth, experiencing headaches, and feeling dizzy.

The daily recommended water intake varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and level of physical activity. It's important to ensure that you are drinking enough water to stay properly hydrated and prevent chapped lips and other symptoms of dehydration.

5. Use a humidifier

To maintain healthy skin, it's essential to ensure that it stays moisturized. However, staying in dry air for prolonged periods can strip the skin of its moisture, especially during winters.

While drinking water is a great way to keep the body hydrated, using a humidifier can help add moisture back into the air during winters. This can help combat the dryness caused by indoor heating systems and keep the skin adequately moisturized.

6. Avoid smoking

It is advisable to steer clear of smoking as it can harm the sensitive skin surrounding the lips, leading to dryness and an increased risk of cracking.

In addition to this, smoking can cause other oral problems, such as mouth ulcers and gum pain.

Quitting smoking can help alleviate the issue of chapped lips, as the skin starts to heal and improve shortly after one stops smoking.

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Preventing chapped lips


People often engage in unconscious lip-touching behaviors, such as licking, chewing, and pulling, without realizing how much they do it. These habits can become even more pronounced if the lips are unusually dry.

When the skin on the lips is dry and flaky, it can be tempting to peel it off. However, doing so can remove healthy skin and cause further damage, leading to longer healing times and even bleeding.

To prevent chapped lips, individuals can take several steps, such as using lip products that contain sunscreen, avoiding scented or flavored lip products, steering clear of products that contain known allergens, regularly exfoliating their lips, staying hydrated, and quitting smoking.

What causes chapped lips?


The skin on the lips differs from that of the rest of the face, as it is thinner and more delicate despite having similar underlying structures.

Furthermore, the skin on the lips lacks oil glands, which means it cannot produce moisture like the skin on the rest of the body.

Chapped lips can result from various external factors, but managing these factors can aid in the treatment and prevention of chapped lips or prevent them from worsening.

- Weather: During the fall and winter months, as the temperature drops, the humidity levels also tend to decrease. This can cause dry air to absorb moisture from the skin, resulting in chapped lips and dry skin for many people.

To avoid chapped lips and dry skin, it is helpful to stay away from cold temperatures.

- Lip Licking: When a person's lips become dry, they may have the instinct to lick them for some moisture. However, this habit can actually make the problem worse. While licking the lips may provide temporary relief, as the saliva evaporates, it removes even more moisture from the surface of the lips. 

- Drying Ingredients in Lip Products: Certain lip balms, lipsticks, and other similar products may contain ingredients that can exacerbate dry lips.

Some of these ingredients include:

  • Humectants, like glycerin, which are substances that prevent moisture loss.
  • Camphor
  • Menthol
  • Phenol

It's possible for people to have allergies to common ingredients in lip products, particularly fragrances or pigments. Using a lip product that contains an allergen can cause the lips to become dry, red, and chapped. 

- Damage caused by the sun: Extended exposure to the ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause significant harm to the lips, resulting in dryness and cracking.

Sun damage can also lead to a condition known as actinic keratoses, where crusty bumps appear on the lips. While these bumps are not life-threatening, they can become cancerous. Therefore, it is essential to remove them promptly.

- Medications: Certain medications, including antihistamines, chemotherapies, and diuretics, can cause dehydration as a side effect.

Topical acne medications may contain ingredients like salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide, which can cause dryness to the lips if they come in contact. This dryness can lead to chapping.


Chapped lips are a common and sometimes uncomfortable problem that some people experience only in winter, while others may have it throughout the year.

It is important to be cautious when purchasing lip products and make some lifestyle adjustments that can help to heal chapped lips and prevent them from recurring.

For individuals with chronically chapped lips, it may be necessary to consult a healthcare professional. Certain medications and medical conditions can cause dehydration and chapped lips. In such cases, the healthcare provider may recommend switching to a different medication.

If someone has tried various remedies for chapped lips without success, they may wish to contact their healthcare provider to discuss potential underlying causes and treatment options.

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