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11 Natural Ways to Cure Chapped, Cracked, and Peeling Lips

Neha has been writing beauty articles for many years. She is passionate about skincare and natural remedies.

Got chapped lips?

Got chapped lips?

Got Chapped Lips?

It's important to take immediate action when your lips start to chap—otherwise, your lips and the corners of your mouth run the risk of developing painful cracks. These homemade remedies can help.

What Causes Chapped Lips?

This is the million-dollar question. It comes down to a lower-than-normal moisture retention ability, but several things can cause that, including the following:

  • The most popular cause is licking your lips too often. Saliva removes moisture from the lips, leaving them peeled and flaky. Habitual licking also removes the protective oily layer on your lips.
  • Too much caffeine is another cause because of its dehydrating effects.
  • Winter winds can also make your smile disappear. The cold weather results in drier skin.
  • Ironically, lip balms are sometimes at fault. Lip balms with alcohol content such as phenol and menthol can cause the skin to dry.
  • The sodium lauryl sulfate often added to toothpaste to produce lather has a drying effect. If your lips feel dry every time you brush your teeth, then there is a need to change your toothpaste.
  • Allergy to some metals such as cobalt and nickel can also cause your lips to crack.
Castor oil

Castor oil

11 Natural Remedies

Here are 11 easy and natural ways to cure your dry and chapped lips:

1. Castor Oil and Petroleum Jelly

Try applying Castor oil to your lips, then cover them with a thin layer of petroleum jelly. Your lips will start to heal and back to normal within a week.

2. Glycerin

Glycerin helps to raise the moisture level of the skin. It is one of the best natural humectants, which relieve dryness by sealing in the required moisture. Try applying a few drops of glycerin to your lips before going to bed. This will repair the damaged tissues, speed up the healing process, and protect the lips from climate conditions.

3. Mustard Oil

While it might sound counterintuitive, applying mustard oil to your navel in order to soften your lips is an age-old ayurvedic remedy in India. You just have to massage few drops of mustard oil in your belly button, preferably at bedtime or after taking a bath. The idea behind this is to keep the belly button moist with the oil of mustard seeds.

4. Humidifier

If dry air, sometimes caused by cold weather, is your problem, then use a humidifier.

5. Fresh Milk Cream

Many people love softening their lips with fresh milk cream or unsalted butter, which provides moisture. Apply it twice a day.

6. Water

If dehydration is the cause of your problem, check your water intake. Make sure you stay hydrated at all times and remember that soda, tea, juice, and coffee are not substitutes (they can actually make the problem worse!).

7. Sunscreen

Avoid extreme temperatures and excessive exposure to the sun. If you are going out when UV rays are strongest, then wear good quality sunscreen to shield your lips from the sun’s damaging rays.

8. Iron Supplements

If you have tried a number of remedies to no avail, then possibly you are suffering from anemia, low iron, or a low red-blood-cell count.

Headache, tiredness, and severely chapped lips are signs which indicate that you are deficient in iron. If these match your symptoms, have a doctor check for iron deficiency.

9. Gentle Scrubbing

To get rid of dead skin, wet your toothbrush, dunk it in baking soda, and scrub your lips gently in circular motions to remove flakes.

10. Honey

Apply a little honey with the aid of a wet finger. Honey is a humectant with natural anti-bacterial properties.

11. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera’s excellent healing properties help to heal dry and burned lips. You can apply aloe vera gel or fresh aloe vera pulp directly to your lips to cure them.

Best of Luck!

Chapped lips can be painful, but luckily, as you can see with this list, homemade remedies abound. Each of these treatments is gentle and very effective. All you need to do is to find out the best one for yourself.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why would just my bottom lip peel all day long?

Answer: Only your bottom lip peeling for a prolonged period of time could be a sign of a medical condition. It could be actinic cheilitis, and can be successfully treated.

Question: Can deficiency of vitamin B12 cause chapped lips?

Answer: Vitamin B complex is required to maintain healthy hair and lips. Deficiency of Vitamin b12 can lead to dry and chapped lips.


David mundati on October 03, 2018:

What is the answer to my question?

Shali young on October 04, 2017:

After suffering from chronic lip peeling for almost 5 years I finally found a simple solution. I just had a baby and decided to breastfeed. In the hospital they gave me modela nipple cream. One day after showering I decided to put some on my lips. My lips would go through a cycle of peeling and feeling smooth. In the mornings I would wake up, brush my teeth then as I wash my face I would wipe the dead skin off my lips with my rag. By the end of the day my lips were peeling. When I applied this cream to my lips I immediately felt a difference. My lips felt great. At the end of the day I noticed my lips hadn't peeled. The next day I applied more after brushing my teeth and washing my face. Mind u no dead skin came off when I washed my face either. I applied more and noticed again that at the end of the day no white peeling lips again. I instantly fell in love with this cream and finally felt there was hope of having normal looking lips again and it was so simple. I sware by this. If you have an issue with peeling lips or lips that turn white after getting wet or after eating then u have to try this. Go to Walmart and buy a tube of 'modela' nipple cream. Wash your face one last time and get all the dead skin off and apply this cream to your lips. I promise you won't regret it. At night I really lather up. But its so simple. I have been using this for almost 2 weeks and my lips haven't peeled yet. After peeling daily for the last 5 years I am happy to say I have found my cure and wanted to let you guys know what finally worked for me so maybe it can help u too. Now, I would suggest getting only the modela brand. The other brands did nothing for me, they just made my lips feel really sticky. This brand modela is totally different. It feels like a Vaseline but works waaayyy better. It's healing my lips and bringing them back to life. I absolutely love it

Millie on January 25, 2017:

Aloe yaaaas

femaleadda on November 14, 2016:

Castor Oil really works pretty well for chapped. It is heavily moisturizing.

da don on April 13, 2015:

Thank you.

Lucy on June 19, 2014:

Thank you for the home made recipes shared here..I have been suffering from dry peeling lips for a very long time,and OMG i can't remember how long it is since i have been trying these remedies from using vaseline alone to mixing Vaseline and Castor oil but without success. my lips will remain moisturised for a couple of minutes and after its dry and peely and this leaves me feeling miserable and uneasy facing the public....i live at the coast and the humid area doesn't help. any miraculous suggestions will be appreciated

Kiran Fernandes on May 30, 2014:

I am from Mumbai, and staying in Goa at the moment. Since I'm staying in the western part where the climate is humid, I'm used to it. I recently paid a trip to Delhi, and was there for just 2 days, and in those two days, my lips became really dry. I really liked the place, but the dry climate was kinda hurting my lips... Will be coming to stay in Gurgaon for a year or more to do a course there... So since I will be staying for a long time, I was thinking of a way to avoid my lips from drying out. This site helped me a bit.

I think that you made an error... Its not Castrol oil, but Castor oil... Do correct it...

ddd on April 23, 2014:

thanks doctors for your help

Neha Sadana (author) from India on August 05, 2013:

You are right Chitrangada that lips are so delicate and sensitive to apply any chemical products. Natural remedies are safe and gentle to the tissues of lips. Thanks for reading and voting up...I am glad:)

Neha Sadana (author) from India on August 05, 2013:

Thanks for stopping by and sharing the hub, Younghopes!! These homemade remedies will surely help you to cure your chapped lips, go ahead and try....:)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on August 05, 2013:

Nice hub on natural cure for chapped and cracked lips. Especially for something as delicate as lips, I think one should opt for natural ingredients only.

Very useful and informative hub! Voted up!

Shadaan Alam from India on August 04, 2013:

Thanks for sharing these interesting tips, i m sharing this one, i always suffer from chapped lips, hope these would help me out