how to fix dry chapped lips in winter and every season

How to Fix Dry, Chapped Lips in Winter & Every Season

Oh winter - the season of highs and lows. Magical holiday magic mixed with freezing tundra temps and their accidental side effect - dry, chapped, flaky lips. If you've tried everything and your lips are still parched, this one's for you. Keep reading for:

  • Why do I get chapped lips?

  • How to fix chapped lips

  • How to prevent chapped lips

  • The lip balm that will finally put an end to your dry, chapped lips

how to fix dry chapped lips

Why do I get chapped lips?

Chapped lips, also known as actinic cheilitis in the medical world, is super common and also très annoying. Sometimes it seems like we're doing everything right, but still the chapped lips remain - clearly they're not very good at reading rejection signals. Keep reading for the whys you might not have considered (and how to fix them):

The Environment

The skin on your lips is unlike the skin everywhere else - it's super thin and much more delicate. Plus your poor, fragile lips are constantly exposed to the elements - they don't get mitts, pants, or any sort of cover like the rest of your body.

Thanks to this 24/7 exposure, they can get dry, flaky, and cracked from cold weather, dry indoor air, and beaming sunlight.

The lips are also sans oil glands and so can't produce their own moisture like the skin on the rest of our body.


Dehydration happens when your body loses more water than it consumes. To try to maintain balance, your body pulls water from other areas of your body (like your skin and lips) to keep vital cells hydrated. Then, since your lips were forced to give up their much-needed water, they're left feeling extra dry and cranky.

The fix: reach your water goals everyday to keep your lips and skin happy and hydrated. Most medical professionals recommend around 2-4 litres depending on your local climate, amount of daily exercise, and overall health.

Licking your lips

Once your lips are already dry, the instinct is to lick them to rehydrate. Though you're adding liquid and it usually feels better in the moment, this habit actually pulls moisture from your lips and makes matters drier, not better.

Drying Lip Products

Many lipsticks, glosses, and even "hydrating" lip balms can actually create and worsen the irritated, chapped lips situation. Ingredients like methanol, salicylic acid, camphor, artificial flavors, pigments, and preservatives, and especially fragrances can irritate the lips and up the dryness factor.

On a side note: did you know that brands don't have to disclose any ingredients in their fragrance? They're only required to list the word 'fragrance' on the ingredient label which can contain literally any ingredient in the world including formaldehyde, phthalates, methylene chloride, parabens, and acetone.

And, since you're putting these products on your lips, where you will definitely ingest a good portion of it, (studies show most women ingest about 1/2 lb of lip products per year), this is a good place to choose clean and fragrance free.


If you're experiencing chronically dry, peeling lips, your medication(s) could be to blame. Drugs like antihistamines, diuretics, chemotherapy drugs, and acne medications like accutane can cause severely chapped lips either from dehydration or increased sun sensitivity.

Vitamin deficiencies

B vitamins are vital to healthy skin, so a deficiency in any of the 7 B vitamins can wreak serious havoc on your skin and lead to chronically dry, cracked skin and lips. Low iron can also contribute to chapped lips.

How to treat chapped lips

Lip balm

A high-quality, ultra-hydrating lip balm is the easiest treatment for chapped lips. Our organic, sustainably sourced lip balms are made with deeply nourishing wild harvested ingredients that soothe, moisturize, and heal the lips.

Our lips balm are designed to not only hydrate the skin and seal in moisture, but act as a barrier between the elements and your fragile lip skin. Applying lip balm is our favorite way to love on and treat chapped lips (clearly, we made a whole company out of it!)

blue heron botanicals lip balms for severely dry chapped lips

Drink water

As we mentioned earlier, chapped lips are often a sign of dehydration. Drink copious amount of H20 to prevent dryness and if you're already in the dry lip desert, start your drink-more-water campaign stat.


Especially in the extra dry winter months, a humidifier can help add moisture back to the air and replenish lost moisture in your skin and lips. An all-natural treatment for chapped lips that will glowify your skin too.

Resist licking and picking

Every time you get the urge to lick your lips, apply a lip balm instead - your lips will thank you. Ditto for biting or picking flaky, peeling lips which can further irritate the skin and slow the healing process.

How to prevent chapped lips

how to fix dry chapped lips

Use a lip balm regularly

We all start piling on the balm when our lips get dry, but if we use it before the situation gets dire, we can prevent the chapped lips situation from ever becoming a thing. Keep a stash in your car, your purse, beside your bed, and in your car so you always have a healing balm on hand.

Remember though, the ingredients in your lip balm matters. Applying lip balm is only helpful when its stacked with hydrating, healing ingredients and free from drying, irritating additives. 

Protect your lips from the elements

Just like you protect your hands with mitts and feet with shoes, give your lips some cover with a scarf or balaclava when the temps drop and the wind picks up. Also, opt for lip balms with ingredients like cocoa butter, coconut oil, shea butter, and red raspberry seed oil which offer an extra layer of sun protection.

Look out for allergens

Exposure to allergens can worsen chapped lips. If you're using a lip balm around the clock and still have dry lips, your lip balm may be the culprit. Scan the ingredient label for common allergens like almond oil, soybean oil, lanolin, fragrances, and artificial colors and preservatives.

Meet Your New Favorite Deeply Moisturizing Lip balm

lip balm for extremely dry chapped lips

Handcrafted in Northern California, using the highest quality wildcrafted medicinal herbs, essential oils, and carrier oils selected for their unique ability to heal, moisturize and protect the delicate skin of your lips, Blue Heron Botanicals Lip Balms are your lips' new best friend. They're a cult favorite among the outdoor crowd for a reason.

All our balms are made by hand at our Founder's off-grid property in Humboldt County that is 100% solar powered and many of our ingredients are right from her backyard and hand-picked at peak season. 

Unlike other lip balms that must be reapplied constantly, our formula sticks around for the long haul with a higher wax and nut butter content in place of the slippery oil in many other formulas.

Not to mention, our lip balms are made from 100% PCW recycled paper, are 100% home-compostable, AND each product sold saves a baby sea turtle + removes plastic from critical nesting beaches - a win for your lips and the planet.

Some of the soothing and moisturizing ingredients in our lip balms that have changed the lives of dry-lip-havers everywhere

Say goodbye to dry lips for good with deeply hydrating ingredients that truly heal your poor parched lips:

Beeswax (Cera flava )
Beeswax is naturally hydrating, making it a great treatment for dry lips. Beeswax is also packed with antioxidants and has antibacterial properties which help prevent infections in cracked lips. Ours is locally sourced from small beekeepers within Humboldt County. 

Red Raspberry Seed Oil (Rubus ideaus)
Red Raspberry Seed Oil is a rich source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids and antioxidants. These natural antioxidants help fight damaging free radicals that are caused by sunlight and other environmental stresses and soothe irritated skin.

And the best part: it has built-in natural sun protection! The potential UVA and UVB protection afforded by raspberry seed oil is reportedly similar to titanium dioxide with an SPF protection factor of 28-50.

lip balm for extremely dry chapped lips

Organic Shea Nut Butter(Vitellaria paradoxa formerly Butyrospermum parkii)
Deeply hydrating, shea butter acts as a barrier against harsh weather conditions.

Organic Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)
Incredibly soothing and nourishing, cocoa butter helps soften and moisture the skin while creating a barrier between fragile skin and the harsh elements.

Sunflower Oil (Helianthus annuus), Organic
Rich in oleic acids, fatty acids, and vitamins A, D, and E, sunflower oil is deeply nourishing and conditioning for the skin. It works wonders on dry, damaged skin and lips.

Organic Comfrey Leaf and Root (Symphytum officiale)
Allotonin, a chemical found in comfrey, speeds wound healing and is a super effective treatment for dry lips.

Organic Lemon Balm aerial parts(Melissa officinalis), Organic
Anti-viral against the herpes viruses and calming for both skin and spirit. Read our blog on lemon balm and cold sores for more on this incredible ingredient!

Your chapped lips questions answered

How to rid of chapped lips fast?

A high-quality lip balms with hydrating ingredients can heal chapped lips fast. Drinking lots of water can also help restore moisture to your chapped lips.

Why won’t my chapped lips heal?

Your chapped lips may not be healing if you're constantly in cold, harsh weather without cover, if you're using drying lip products, if you're deficient in b vitamins, or if you're not drinking enough water.

How can I heal chapped lips naturally?

The easiest natural fix for your chapped lips is to drink more water. Next is a hydrating lip balm made with natural, organic ingredients.


Have any questions on dry lips or lip balms? Send us a message and ask an Herbalist!