4 Simple Steps to Heal Dry Lips

4 Simple Steps to Heal Dry Lips

By Maren Stratte and Elizabeth G Stratte, MD


Coldness, dry weather, sun damage, and frequently licking your lips are just some of the reasons your lips might feel dry and chapped. Here are the tricks to have soft, supple lips year-round:

1.  Reduce Irritants

Use non-irritating lip balm, lipstick, and other products that you apply to your lips. If your product tingles or stings, you’re actually irritating your lips, so switch to one that is simply soothing.

Ingredients to avoid while your lips are chapped:



Flavoring; Cinnamon, citrus, mint, and peppermint flavors can be especially irritating to dry, chapped lips




Octinoxate or oxybenzone

Phenol (or phenyl)

Propyl gallate

Salicylic acid


Ingredients that can help heal chapped lips: 

Castor seed oil



Hemp seed oil

Mineral oil


Shea butter

Sun-protective ingredients, such as titanium oxide or zinc oxide

White petroleum jelly


2. Avoid Exfoliants

A nice lip scrub might seem like it's just the trick for dry lips however, scrubs can do more harm than good. If a scrub is too abrasive, it can damage tender tissues and make make chapped lips worse. Apply a non-irritating lip balm (or lip moisturizer) several times a day and before bed. If your lips are very dry and cracked, try a thick ointment, such as white petroleum jelly. Be kind to your kisser.

3. Always protect

Use a lip balm that offers SPF 30 or higher with one or more sun-protective ingredients like titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Remember to apply the lip balm every 2 hours when out of doors.

4. Fight the urge

Try your best to stop licking, biting, and picking at your lips. When lips feel dry, it may feel natural to wet them by licking them, but this can worsen the problem. As saliva evaporates, your lips become drier. Whenever your lips feel dry or you are tempted to pick, reapply your soothing lip balm instead.

By following these tips...
for chapped lips, you should have noticeable improvement in 1-2 weeks. To prevent your lips from chapping again, continue applying lip balm whenever it’s dry indoors or outside. Contact our Skin Solutions Store for recommendations on soothing lip balms.

When to see a dermatologist?

If the above recommendations don’t help, see a board-certified dermatologist. Your chapped lips could be caused by something aside from dry weather. An allergic reaction, yeast infection, or something more serious can make your lips feel dry and uncomfortable. Actinic cheilitis is a precancerous condition that turns one or both lips dry and scaly. Your dermatologist can diagnose the cause.

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