9 Remedies for Cracked Lips

Written by Allison

Cracked lips are the worst! Try these easy remedies to kiss them goodbye.

Having cracked lips is seriously painful. Every time you move your mouth (like, you know, to eat or talk, the basics) you can irritate the cracked skin and make it even worse. Healing your cracked lips can take some time, they are wounds after all, but so worth it. Hydration and protection are key for healing your lips back into tip top shape.

1. Get your body hydrated

We’re talking clear pee 24/7. Significantly dehydrated lips can be an indicator that you aren’t consuming enough water for your body (and yeah, you can prevent chapped lips). Find a big ol’ cup and drink a few full cups a day. Consider using a humidifier during dry weather too. They add moisture into the air which can be helpful if your skin is feeling tight or dry. Keep the humidifier by your bed or workspace if you can swing it.

2. Stop drying habits (picking/licking/smoking)

Anything touching your lips in a destructive way is going to irritate dry lips and can eventually lead to cracking. If you pick or bite your lips you’re actively causing tears in the skin of your lips that can lead to painful cracks. Licking your lips can cause your lips to dry out due to the water evaporating off of your lips. Also smoking. It’s just bad for you in all ways. Painful cracked lips can be the kick in the butt you need to stop smoking.

3. Gently Exfoliate Flakes Away

If your lips are cracked to the point of bleeding do not exfoliate yet. You’re not ready. Let your body heal for a hot minute before making matters worse with rough exfoliation. If you’re experiencing chapped lips or your lips are healed enough that rubbing them won’t literally open old wounds, you can exfoliate. Use a fine textured cloth, microfiber and muslin work well, and lightly rub your lips once a day. This can help remove flakes and eventually help to prevent them once your lips heal. After exfoliating be sure to use a hydrating lip balm.

4. Soothe and promote healing with a honey mask

Honey can be used as face mask and a mask for your lips. It’s a natural occlusive so it pulls water into the surface of your skin. It has also been used as an occlusive dressing for wounds (or cracked lips) for years. Take a relaxing bath, cover your lips in honey, and try your best not to lick it off. After letting the honey rest on your lips for ten to fifteen minutes you can rinse away with water.

5. Hydrate with an oil mask

Same thing goes for oils! If top notch hydration is what you need, an oil can help. Make sure you’re using edible grade oils for obvious reasons. In this case we suggest applying a layer of oil to your lips pre-shower. It will keep your lips hydrated and offer some protection if you take hot showers.

6. Avoid matte lipsticks

We know matte lips are all the rage but they can exacerbate dry lips. Rihanna literally just made a lip gloss so you know glossy lips are going to be the next big look. Use glosses or balms as your go-to lip look while your cracked lips heal.

7. Wear lip balm at all times

This one is pretty obvious right? It’s important for making sure that you keep your lips hydrated and to prevent harsh weather from making your lips even more dry. Check out our list of the best lip balms for dehydrated lips.

8. Check your toothpaste

We know this is a weird one. But, if you have recently changed toothpastes (like to one of those wild clay toothpastes) and your lips started to crack it may be that you’re allergic to a component in your new toothpaste. Keep it safe and check the ingredients against your old toothpaste to see if there are any differences. Switch back to your old toothpaste if the new choice is causing irritation.

9. Check your medications

Certain medications can have dry lips as a side effect. Double check any medications you are taking to see if this is the case. Do not stop taking prescribed medication until you can talk to your doctor. In the meantime keep your lip balm on and make that doctors appointment to see if a medication switch is right for you.

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About the author


Bio: She's a New Orleans based beauty writer, nail polish hoarder, and doughnut enthusiast. When she isn't camping out in her local coffee shop for hours on end, you'll probably find her taking selfies in front of every colorful wall she's ever seen. Follow along on Instagram @allisonmarieschmidt.

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