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Before dabbling in natural beauty recipes, I wasn’t truly aware of all the different ways you can care for your lips. Each time I make homemade lip balm I discover a new ingredient or technique that makes my lips feel super soft. Because this is definitely the time of year I find myself reaching for lip balm more often. (In fact, I just had to go put some on. Okay, I’m back.)
Here are 5 DIY remedies for dry, chapped lips, including a recipe for one of my favorite DIY lip balms. Because you want them soft and kissable for summer, right?
1. Exfoliate with a honey lip scrub
This pumpkin spice balm breaks down all the ways honey nourishes your lips. But if you’re looking for the Cliff’s Notes version, just know that honey is a natural humectant that draws moisture into skin and it has proven wound healing, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help heal dry, split lips.
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Rub it into your lips with your finger – but be especially gentle with super dry lips. There’s no reason to rinse it off, just keep the honey on your lips. (Or eat it if you want, we won’t judge.)
You can even add a few drops of essential oil, such as lavender, chamomile or carrot seed, for added nourishment.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days. Reapply every few days as needed to keep flakes at bay.
2. Make a homemade lip balm
Honey lip balm is my fave, and this one is a dupe of Lush’s Honey Trap lip balm. It uses a whole host of moisturizers: shea butter, honey, almond oil and olive oil.
And white chocolate! Could it get any yummier? Plus the beeswax will create a layer of protection on your lips to seal in moisture.
Note: I also included a pinch of ground oatmeal and dry whole milk hoping for a slightly grainy texture so it would gently exfoliate with each application. But the effect on the texture was pretty minimal.
Combine the oils in a small bowl and add the vanilla extract (or other essential oil of your choice). Melt the beeswax in a microwave safe bowl in short bursts until almost melted.
Add the chocolate chips and heat again until both are fully melted. Combine the beeswax and chocolate mixture with the oils and stir to combine.
Quickly transfer to a clean container and wait for it to solidify (stick it in the freezer to speed this up). Use within 2-3 months.
3. Heal lips overnight with coconut oil
Every night I slather my kids’ lips with coconut oil. It sinks in faster than they can wipe it off! It’s probably the world’s easiest way to make your own homemade lip balm. You can combine this with a little honey and essential oils too, and your lips will be noticeably softer by morning.
Place the coconut oil in a small microwave-safe bowl and heat for 10-15 seconds until barely melted. Add the honey and essential oils and stir well.
Continue stirring until the oil has solidified and honey is well-mixed, then transfer to a lip balm container. Use within 2-3 months.
4. For cracked lips, try vitamin E
Try applying vitamin E directly to those super painful cracks in the corner of your mouth. Just pierce a capsule and apply with a clean finger. Layer over homemade lip balm or coconut oil to heal overnight.
Repeat 1-2 times a day as needed to heal lips.
5. Two things not to do
Some lip care ingredients will actually make chapped lips worse so avoid menthol, camphor and even cinnamon. Stick with natural oils that won’t suck the moisture from your lips. And avoid licking your lips as much as possible.
When the saliva disappears, your lips will feel drier than before. It’s better to keep applying a natural balm so don’t worry about becoming ‘addicted.’
Lip Balm FAQ
What else can I use beside shea butter and cocoa butter?
Any solid-at-room-temperature plant butter should work. We love coconut butter, mango butter or capuacu butter. That being said, shea and cocoa butter are typically the easiest to find and the cheapest, but use whatever works for you.
Did you mean vanilla extract or vanilla essential oil?
Our homemade lip balm recipe uses vanilla extract but you can use vanilla essential oil if you have it on hand. I’d recommend 2-3 drops at most.
Can I leave the beeswax out if I don’t have any on hand?
Beeswax gives the lip balm a firmer consistency. You can leave it out entirely, but expect a much softer, creamier butter blend.
Is there a vegan alternative to beeswax?
Will the honey separate and sink to the bottom?
If your oils are hot, the honey will naturally sink to the bottom and stay there as the mixture cools. I recommend only heating your oils until they’re just barely melted. Then adding your honey and stirring until everything cools completely.
You can also use an emulsifying wax to hold everything together, but you’ll still need to stir the oil + honey mixture until cool or the emulsifying wax won’t do much good.
How do you keep your lips soft and smooth? Let us know your best chapped lip remedy!
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Jennifer Haley, a board-certified dermatologist with extensive experience in medical, cosmetic and surgical dermatology.