What causes CHAPPED lips?

Dry, chapped lips can be very uncomfortable, so it’s important to know what the main causes are to help you prevent them.

Chapped Lips

Along with our fingertips, our lips have the most sensory cells and are therefore our most sensitive connection to the outside world. The skin on our lips is so soft and thin that the blood vessels can be seen through it, this is what gives our lips their red colour. Our lips don't have any sebum or sweat glands, which are responsible for supplying our skin with oil and moisture. The corneal layer, which protects our skin from harmful environmental influences, is very thin on our lips.


  1. Cold: the most common cause of dry chapped lips is the rapid change between hot and cold. That’s why we have chapped lips especially in winter.
  2. Incorrect care: only in very rare cases are the ingredients of conventional moisturisers suitable for the soft and sensitive skin on our lips, dry lip treatment requires specific care.
  3. UV-radiation: as lips have almost no pigments, they need to be well protected from  exposure to sunlight.
  4. Stress: long days at work, along with mental stress, have a negative effect on the condition of our skin, with our lips being no exception - too much stress can cause cracked lips.
  5. Dehydration: not drinking enough water can dehydrate you, leading you to have chapped lips which are cracked.
  6. Be careful of what you consume: drinking too much alcohol, smoking, eating very spicy or acidic food can all make your lips more dry.

Making small changes to your lifestyle can really make a difference in the health of your lips and after seeing the results, you'll never want to go back!

dry lips treatment


There is nothing worse than having cracked lips that feel sore and dry. There are many steps you can take to prevent dry and chapped lips occurring in the first place.


Your lips cannot produce any moisture for themselves. So to avoid chapped lips, be sure to give them plenty of care to stay soft and beautiful.

  1. Exfoliate: Exfoliate lips to remove excess skin cells to avoid crusty lips, massage your lips twice a week with a soft toothbrush and lukewarm water or you can use a special lip scrub.
  2. Don't lick your lips: Licking your lips regularly causes evaporation pulling the moisture away from your lips, further dehydrating them and leaving you with cracked lips.
  3. Find the best lip balm for dry lips: Be careful when choosing a lip balm, the oil content should be very high, and it mustn’t contain too much water. This is because if the water evaporates from the lips, they'll dry out even more
  4. Stay hydrated: Make sure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day and you get your 5 a day to avoid crusty lips!
  5. Use SPF: Use a lip product with SPF in to protect your lips from the damaging rays of the sun that can cause chapped lips.
  6. Use a humidifier: this will keep the moisture levels up in the room so your lips to not dry out and become cracked.
  7. Avoid food that is too salty or spicy: Crisps and snack foods unnecessarily dry out the lips.



There are lots of ways you can treat sore and cracked lips using just what you've got at home.
Home remedies and the best ingredients for dry lips


Honey has wonderful mousturising and antibacterial properties that can treat cracked and crusty lips. Honey can be used as a chapped lips treatment when applied directly to the dry lip area several times a day.
Home remedies and the best ingredients for dry lips

Shea butter

Shea butter contains Vitamins E and A, which are both perfect for moisturising and treating chapped lips.
Home remedies and the best ingredients for dry lips


Cucumber is a very simple natural treatment for dry lips that you're bound to have at home. Try gently rubbing a small slice of cucumber over your dry and crusty lips and then leave its juice on for 15 minutes or so before washing off. This will transform crusty feeling lips to soft and smooth feeling lips.

Don’t let chapped lips stop you from kissing

Having a good lip care routine and making use of home remedies should keep chapped lips away so that you can enjoy kissing your partner with your smooth lips whenever you please – kiss away!

Know when to seek medical help

If your chapped lips are particularly persistent or painful despite having good lip care, it’s best to see your GP immediately. Severe chapped lips could be an indication of other medical issues and it’s always better to get it checked out early.


Whether you're looking for something to treat your dry and crusty lips or just something to accentuate the softness and beauty of them, we've got you covered. Here are a few of the NIVEA lip care products we love that will guarantee you beautiful lips:
nivea lip 2-in-1 caring scrub with aloe vera

NIVEA Lip 2-in-1 Caring Scrub with Aloe Vera

NIVEA Lip 2-in-1 Caring Scrub with Aloe Vera both exfoliates and moisturises your lips to leave them feeling soft and smooth. The gentle particles exfoliate the lips and dissolve as you rub them together so there is no need to wipe them afterwards. Further enriched with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to provide further nourishment to your lips.
nivea active lip balm for men


Specifically formulated to meet the needs of dry and chapped lips for men, NIVEA Active Lip Balm for Men has a smooth texture that instantly melts into lips to leave them moisturised for 24h. With SPF15 to further protect lips against harmful sunlight.
NIVEA Coconut Lip Butter

NIVEA Coconut Lip Butter

NIVEA Coconut Lip Butter is enriched with shea butter and natural oils to deeply moisturise dry lips for 24h, leaving them feeling super soft. With a delightful coconut aroma.

NIVEA Hydro Care Caring Lip Balm

If your looking to give your lips an extra boost of moisture and protection then NIVEA Hydro Care Caring Lip Balm is one of our favourites. This lip balm allows you to experience long lasting moisture with added SPF15 to keep lips safe from sunlight. Further enriched with 100% Organic Jojoba Oil.
nivea poppy red lip crayon

Poppy Red Crayon

Fancy applying beautiful colour as well as moisture to your lips? Our NIVEA Poppy Red Crayon is enriched with natural oils to deliver effective moisture for chapped lips whilst also leaving a gorgeous long lasting colour affect.
dry lips treatment

Lip Balm

dry lips treatment

How does lip balm work?

Lip balms contain oils and moisturisers that soothe dry and cracked lips. They form a barrier on the skin’s surface, locking in moisture and keeping lips from cracking as well as preventing other harmful substances or environmental stresses affecting the skin below. When you seem to have cracked lips that won't heal Lip Balm helps create an extra protective, moisture locked layer to speed up healing.

Applying NIVEA Lip Care products can halt and slow the drying process. Preventing chapped lips and applying NIVEA lip balms is an essential part of a healthy daily lip care routine. Read our winter skincare guide for more tips on cold weather skin care.

A stubborn myth: lip balm is addictive!

The rumour has been around for a long time that once you start caring for your lips, soon you won't be able to stop. People believe that instead of protecting your lips from drying out, such products only make things worse. Wrong! In reality, it’s more of a familiarisation effect: if you use lip balm regularly, you'll get used to the soft feeling that it leaves on your lips. Without the fatty layer and the protection, your lips will feel dry, crusty and tight. That’s not necessarily the case, but nevertheless you'll want to use lip balm again.

Seductive lips

Colour for your lips

Got a date or a night with the girls? Lipstick is sure to catch the eye! To ensure your lips not only look great, but also make it through the evening feeling nourished, it’s important to bear in mind a few things: always moisturise your lips with lip balm before applying lipstick, to prevent them from drying out. Once home again, it’s essential to remove your lipstick.

Long-lasting lipsticks in particular can only be tackled with a very oily cleansing lotion or cream – apply generously and then remove the lipstick with a cotton pad. To ensure you wake up with delicately soft lips the next morning, never forget to moisturise your lips before going to sleep.

If lipsticks aren't your thing but you still want a flash of colour, check out NIVEA's Crayon lip care range, which gives you intense colour with long lasting moisture!



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