5 Tips to Treat Chapped Lips

by Gio
treat chapped lips

It happens every winter.

Cold temperatures and harsh winds suck all the moisture out of my lips, getting them all dry and chapped. It’s ugly. It’s uncomfortable. It’s painful. When they crack… Ouch!

Enough is enough. If you know something’s gonna happen, you can prepare for it, right? That’s what I do now. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tips to prevent and treat chapped lips, so that when winter strikes, I’m ready for it.

What Causes Chapped Lips?

Chapped lips happen when your lips don’t have enough moisture.

Here’s the deal: unlike the rest of your skin, lips have no oil glands. Plus, they’re thinner, too. This makes them more susceptible to dryness.

The common culprits that suck all the moisture out of them are:

  • Certain medications
  • Chemical peels (tell your aesthetician NOT to exfoliate your lips!)
  • Licking your lips often
  • Little humidity in the air during the cold winter months
  • Unprotected sun exposure
  • Using harsh ingredients, like Vitamin A, on the lips

Related: The Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin

Need help creating the best skincare routine for you dry skin? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Dry Skincare Routine Cheatsheet” (it includes product recommendations, too!).

What Are The Best Chapped Lips Remedies?

Now you know what causes chapped lips, let’s see what you can do to prevent and treat them:

1. Never Lick Lips

When my lips are dry and cracked, I REALLY want to lick them. Just to get some relief, you know?

But that would only make things worse. *sighs* Licking your lips gives you instant relief… and two minutes later they feel even drier than before!

Blame it on saliva.  Saliva makes moisture evaporate, drying out lips even more.

la roche posay cicaplast levres repairing balm

2. Wear Lip Balm

I’m a lip balm junkie. I have like a dozen at home and use them every day.

But when my lips get chapped, I switch to richer formulas. Rich formulas use oils and butters that create a barrier on the skin that keeps moisture in + protects them from the harsh winter weather, germs and other enemies. This way, they heal faster.

I also steer well clear of anything with camphor, menthol, phenol, and alcohol. They all have one thing in common: they’re super irritating.

Best picks:

Related: La Roche Posay Cicaplast Baume B5 Lips Full Review

coola liplux spf 30 original formula 01

3. Wear Sunscreen Every Day

No, I don’t apply my face sunscreen to my lips. There may be ingredients in there that are totally safe for topical application, but dangerous when ingested. Don’t risk it.

But you need a way to get SPF on the lips. UV rays make chapped lips worse, so protecting lips from them is so NOT optional.

Bonus points if your lip balm has SPF. If not, don’t worry. Use a lipgloss or lipstick with SPF. They do the trick too.

The important thing is that you use it every day. UV rays can penetrate through clouds and windows and be reflected on snow. Just because you can’t see the sun, it doesn’t mean it’s not damaging your lips.

Oh, and reapply as often as you can during the day.

Best Picks:

Related: Coola Liplux SPF 30 Original Full Review

4. Wear Hydrating Lippies And Glosses

Just because my lips are chapped, doesn’t mean that I’m willing to give up makeup. Feel the same?

If so, switch to more hydrating formulas. They plump up your lips with moisture so those cracks don’t look as obvious.

Instead, stay away from matte lips. They emphasise every line and crack. (Don’t worry, you can go back to them once your chapped lips have healed).

Best picks:

5. When All Else Fails…

Go to the doctor. If you’ve tried everything and nothing worked, you need the help only a professional can give you. Go on and book an appointment.

I know you think I’m exaggerating this, but dry lips can also be a symptom of an underlying condition, such as a vitamin deficiency. Your doctor will be able to tell what’s wrong and prescribe the appropriate treatment to get you and your chapped lips well again.

How do you treat chapped lips? Share your fave tips and products in the comments below.



Tavia February 11, 2010 - 2:54 pm

This is what usually happens to me when the weather outside is very cold or very hot. I made that mistake to dry my lips and I know that is bad. Lately I’ve tried to keep a lip balm in my bag all the time. 🙂
.-= Tavia´s last blog ..Update: MAC Pret a Papier Summer 2010 Collection + Added Photos =-.

beautifulwithbrains February 11, 2010 - 8:51 pm

Tavia, that’s too bad! But with the cold weather we’re having (it’s freezing here and I’m sure it’s much colder where you live), it’s easy to get chapped lips. I hope these tips will help and that’s good that you always have a lip balm with you. I have too and apply it often. Our lips need moisture in this cold! 🙂

Dao February 11, 2010 - 9:46 pm

I hate lip balms that has some sweetness with passion. For those who constantly lick their lips, those lip balms definitely do not help at all.
.-= Dao´s last blog ..Baby Doll FOTD =-.

beautifulwithbrains February 11, 2010 - 10:24 pm

Dao, I agree with you. It’s already bad to lick your lips, but those lip balms can make things worse.

Mylanqolia February 11, 2010 - 11:42 pm

I’m ashamed to say that I bite my lips, since I stopped to bite my nails (thanks to your post on the sucject). 🙁 So, I wish my lips would only be chapped. But great advice as always. By the way, are the lips on the picture yours? Damn, they look so full. You should definitely show your lips of the day! 🙂
.-= Mylanqolia´s last blog ..Artistic stuff: Frog queen for VD =-.

beautifulwithbrains February 12, 2010 - 12:48 pm

Mylanqolia, I’m glad that post about nails helped you. I hope you’ll stop biting your lips now though, that’s not good hun! *hugs*

Yep, those are my lips and thanks. That would be a good idea but I’m afraid my lip combos aren’t as pretty or creative as my eye ones. I always wear such bright looks on the eyes so I tone the lips down by using pink glosses or lippies. Having said that, I’m trying to use more bright shades on the lips lately. 🙂

Charlotte February 12, 2010 - 10:16 pm

Great tips, thank you!

beautifulwithbrains February 12, 2010 - 10:17 pm

Charlotte, you’re welcome. 🙂

All Women Stalker February 13, 2010 - 12:34 am

*sigh* I’m so bad at the “don’t lick your lips” part.

beautifulwithbrains February 13, 2010 - 8:51 am

All Women Stalker, that’s such a hard habit to break! But I’m sure you can do it, a little at a time. Your lips will thank you 😉

prettybeautiful February 14, 2010 - 4:10 pm

when i use clarins hydraquench cream mask on my face, i usually also apply it on my lips together. it works really well to hydrate, especially on chapped lips i can see immediate results

beautifulwithbrains February 14, 2010 - 9:27 pm

Prettybeauiful, ohh that sounds really nice! I need to check it out then, thanks for sharing.

Emma February 16, 2010 - 12:14 am

One word-Vaseline. I’ve been using it since I was a kid and it’s the only product which does the trick.
.-= Emma´s last blog ..How To Machine Wash A Wool Coat =-.

beautifulwithbrains February 16, 2010 - 7:03 pm

Emma, I agree, vaseline is great. It is an effective moisturizer and so inexpensive!

underestimate September 1, 2011 - 1:58 pm

I have been trying everything to prevent chapped lips. My lips have been mistreated for a while so nothing really works. I ex foliate and put on Vaseline but my lips become the same after a while. i think the reason is my lips have been mistreated for a couple of years when I was a child. Some people I know never put any Vaseline or anything on and still never have any chapped lips ever. Why?

beautifulwithbrains September 1, 2011 - 6:20 pm

Underestimate, I’m sorry to hear that. Do you exfoliate and apply vaseline daily or only when your lips are chapped? Usually, moisturizing them daily should help prevent them from becoming chapped.

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