9 Chapped Lips Remedies to Try This Winter

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Here’s how to heal chapped lips fast.

Use these expert tips to prevent and heal chapped lips this winter and beyond.

1. Resist the urge to lick chapped lips.

While saliva may provide a quick fix, it actually makes things worse in the long run. “Though it may sound counterintuitive, when you lick your lips, which are more sensitive than other parts of the skin, the saliva evaporates, leaving them drier than before,” Lance Brown, M.D., a surgical and cosmetic dermatologist based in New York City and East Hampton, New York, tells SELF.

This issue is usually more common in young kids than in adults, Dr. Fox says. It’s often called “lip-lickers dermatitis,” she adds. “Adults tend not to have it as much because we know better.” Still, it can be a natural instinct to quickly lip when your lips feel dry. Try your best to resist that urge.

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2. Wear moisturizing lip products.

Matte lipstick may look super chic, but it can be quite drying. When it’s cold and dry outside, opt for lipsticks that are moisturizing to help reduce dryness, Dr. Brown suggests. Or, better yet! “Try to wear lip gloss,” Debra Jaliman, M.D., board-certified dermatologist in New York City and author of the book Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist, tells SELF. Most lip glosses have some sort of oil or other hydrating ingredient in them, and the thick consistency can work like a barrier to trap in moisture.

You can also try this hack in lieu of lipstick: “If your lips are super chapped, then you can line your lip with lip pencil and wear a lip balm,” Dr. Jaliman suggests. “The lip pencil will blend into the lip balm so you will make your own lip gloss that is more soothing.”

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3. Choose the right lip-balm formula.

When looking for the best chapstick for dry lips, keep in mind that some ingredients in lip balm, like camphor, phenol, and menthol, can actually dry the lips out more, Dr. Jaliman says. She suggests looking for oil-based balms—these often make for the best lip moisturizers. “Look for wheat-germ oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and cottonseed oil in lip balms. These really moisturize the lips.” She also recommends looking for aloe vera and shea butter in your lip balm of choice.

To create a barrier that traps moisture, Dr. Brown suggests petroleum—yup, just plain old Vaseline or Aquaphor—will do the trick. It’s not going to hydrate, but it will prevent water evaporation from occurring. (Beeswax works too.)

This is where Dr. Fox’s advice rings true. “Plain Vaseline is inexpensive, easy to find, and [most people aren’t] allergic or sensitive to it, so we often recommend that,” she says. If you want something slightly more cosmetically appealing (and your skin isn’t sensitive), look for a petroleum-based product that has fragrance or color.

Try: Vaseline Lip Therapy Lip Balm ($6 for a 3-pack, amazon.com); Glossier Balm Dotcom ($12, glossier.com); Aquaphor ($5 for a 2-pack, amazon.com).

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