There are few things that annoy me more than having chapped lips. It’s uncomfortable (and honestly, a little painful). I can’t stop myself from picking at the flakes, and lipstick is a no-go. But worst of all, it feels like nothing I do seems to help. That’s perhaps the most frustrating part of chapped lips—there’s just no quick solve. Anyone else share the struggle? Well, I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, so I set out to do some serious research on how to moisturize lips… specifically without using chapstick. From providing a comprehensive guide to the type of skin on our lips to asking our editors for their favorite lip-hydrating products, I think I’ve cracked the code to cracked lips. Read on to find out why chapstick isn’t the answer (gasp, I know), and the best practices to lock in lip moisture—for good.  

Feature image by Claire Huntsberger.

Image courtesy of Shani Van Breukelen

Why does chapstick not always work?

A major source of my chapped lip frustration is consistently using certain products without seeing any results. So I tapped celebrity aesthetician Brittany Blancato to find out why chapstick isn’t the answer to how to moisturize lips. 

“Our lips are delicate and thin. Typically chapsticks are only offering a temporary hydration relief while combining other ingredients that may cause irritation,” says Blancato. Once that temporary hydrator seal evaporates, as it quickly does, your lips can feel even drier than they did before. She notes that this creates a cycle of chasing hydration without relief, and in the meantime, the lips become more dry and scaly. Basically my issue to a tee. In her viral Instagram video, Charlotte Parler also points out that the skin on our lips doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands), which is why they tend to get so chapped. 

Image by Teal Thomsen

How to create a “Moisture Sandwich” for your lips, according to Charlotte Parler

Charlotte Parler, one of the founders of Dieux Skin and skin care enthusiast, shared her lip-soothing secret on Instagram… AKA my recent savior. Her three-step technique for how to moisturize lips is called the Moisture Sandwich and is designed to not only moisturize, but trap it all in for long-term effects. Implement this into your skincare routine or use as needed. You can thank her later.

  1. Moisten your lips with a sip of water. As I mentioned earlier, Parler notes that this is extra important because the skin on our lips does not have any sebaceous glands, so the water is a great base. 
  2. Lather your lips in a generous coat of lip balm or cream. Following the sip of water, the balm or cream brings immediate moisture to the lips. In her video, Parler uses La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Balm, which is a multi-purpose Vitamin B5 cream for dry skin. 
  3. Top it all off with an ointment. This is the third and most important ingredient of the Moisture Sandwich because it traps in all that work you just did and forces your lips to absorb the water and the cream. It’s the top piece of bread keeping it all inside (gotta keep the metaphor going). You can use Aquaphor or Vaseline (I love these mini lip tubs) for this step. 

Yes, you might look crazy, but it’s better than flaky lips. I like to do this at night before going to bed so I can let The Sandwich ‘feed’ my lips as I sleep.  

Watch Charlotte Parler’s Moisture Sandwich Tutorial here.   

Image by Michelle Nash

Behold: Our Editors’ Favorite Products for Dry Lips

Bridget Chambers
  • Editor
  • Instagram

Bridget is a creative soul who joined the Camille Styles team in October 2020 to balance her life as a business honors and marketing student at the University of Texas, Austin.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Why I recommend it: This is the last thing I do before I go to sleep, and one of the first things I’m thankful for in the morning. It’s always my answer when someone asks me how to moisturize lips. It uses Laneige’s “Berry Mix Complex,” which is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C, along with their “Moisture Wrap” technology to lock in hydration—all night long. The Moisture Wrap technology is a combination of hyaluronic acid, a humectant (attracts water from the air or skin), and other minerals to act as a barrier on your lips. This product is definitely a cult favorite, as every single one of my friends has it, too.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $22

Stacey Lindsay
  • Contributing Design Editor
  • Instagram

Stacey Lindsay is a broadcast and print journalist, and an editorial consultant. She previously worked as the senior articles editor at goop and as a news anchor and reporter. Having written for numerous national and international publications, Stacey is currently also a consulting senior editor at The Sunday Paper and the editorial director of both September Letters and PrimaFoodie.

Merit Tinted Lip Oil in Warm Clear

Why I recommend it: MERIT nailed it with this formula. Clean, efficacious, and free of any potentially toxic additives, this sheer oil leaves my lips super hydrated with the slightest sheen that lasts. Best yet, it never leaves any sticky residue. I always have one of these in my purse, on my desk, and in my makeup bag. 

(Note: For a hint of color, I also just bought Merit’s new Signature lipstick in Millenial—which I love.)

Merit Tinted Lip Oil in Warm Clear


Merit Tinted Lip Oil in Warm Clear, $24

Edie Horstman
  • Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant
  • Instagram

Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.

Naturium’s Phyto-Glow Lip Balm

Why I recommend it: Say hello to deeply moisturized, glossy lips. This product from Naturium is the best of both worlds: A super hydrating lip gloss and a nourishing lip balm. I wear it all day long, but I particularly love it before going to bed. Made with plant squalane and shea butter, your lips will feel silky smooth in no time. I have this lip balm in clear, but it comes in a few different tints!

Naturium’s Phyto-Glow Lip Balm


Naturium’s Phyto-Glow Lip Balm, $14.19

Suruchi Avasthi
  • Food Editor
  • Instagram

Suruchi is a writer, food stylist, photographer, and self-proclaimed ice cream obsessive. She is passionate about food storytelling and highlighting her favorite ingredients through creative and seasonal recipes.

LiveTinted, Unity Balm Gloss

Why I recommend it: This gloss is a must have in my bag and on my desk at all times. I’ve ditched all my other chapsticks for this one product. The uber-hydrating formula is packed with squalane, hyaluronic acid and vitamins C & E, giving it all those bonus skincare ingredients on top of the hydration. Unlike other glosses, it’s not sticky and it lasts on my lips for hours. Plus, I like that it adds that extra bit of shine for something special. I can also dab it on my skin for extra shine and hydration, which is much appreciated because I love a product that can function in multiple ways.

LiveTinted Unity Balm Gloss


LiveTinted Unity Balm Gloss, $20

Caitlin Clark
  • Instagram

Caitlin Clark is a writer and editor covering beauty, wellness, and design. Formerly the style editor for D Magazine in Dallas, she has written for a mix of Texas magazines and national brands such as Well+Good, publishing features, essays, profiles, and the occasional reality television think piece.

Revision Skincare Youthful Lip Replenisher

Why I recommend it: It’s difficult to describe my pure love for this product. When your lips are chapped or cracked, there’s nothing like it. Even when your lips aren’t chapped, there’s still nothing that works quite as brilliantly as Revision’s product. Glide on the gooey substance (armed with hyaluronic acid, shea butter, and antioxidants) and your lips will feel plumped and quenched for hours. The only downside is that the product is so gooey and sticky, you might prefer it as a night treatment only. However, if you don’t mind a little Lancome Juicy Tube-style consistency, gloss away all day.

Revision Skincare Youthful Lip Replenisher


Revision Skincare Youthful Lip Replenisher, $27.45

Anne Campbell

Anne Campbell is a Texas-born style and design consultant with an emphasis on interiors. She is currently the co-owner and founder of Campbell Landscape Architecture with her husband Cameron and project manager for Austin-based interior design firm, Sarah Wittenbraker Design.

The Lip Balm from Augustinus Bader

Why I recommend it: Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce you to the lip balm to end all lip balms. This super nourishing one from Augustinus Bader is super clean, vegan, and offers sustainable packaging. I love slathering all over my lips at night, in the morning, and just about anytime my pucker needs a little love. What’s more? This can double as an eye balm, as well. Told you… wonder balm!

The Lip Balm from Augustinus Bader


The Lip Balm from Augustinus Bader, $38

Isabelle Eyman
  • Instagram

Copywriter by day, freelance editorial writer by night, and a bibliophile at any moment in between, Isabelle writes to immerse herself and readers in new narratives and contexts. She is passionate about celebrating and illuminating the seemingly small but beautiful details to be found in every moment.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1

Why I recommend it: I move around a lot, but the single consistency of my humble abodes seems to be an interest in locales that require an extra bit of hydration infused into my skincare routine. And because I’d describe myself as an old soul at heart, I like to keep tradition alive with Kiehl’s. (Hey, don’t try to fix what’s definitely not broken, right?). I have a tube of their Lip Balm #1 on me at all times (in my purse, on my desk, and strategically stashed away in my glove compartment). Smooth and soothed lips, guaranteed.

Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1


Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, $10

Brandy Joy Smith
  • Instagram

Brandy is a maternal wellness coach and content creator based in Los Angeles, California. Her passion lies in coaching women into and through the many transitions of motherhood as it relates to self, career, and family while offering supportive, realistic advice on parenting.

Three Ships Buttercream Hydrating Lip Mask

Why I recommend it: I’m constantly changing purses and diaper bags so I never remember to pack a lip hydrator. In the particularly dry months I use this lip mask during my Sunday wind down bath ritual, but you can use it up to twice a day if you want. I love that this product is 100% plant-derived and leaves your lips soft and supple. 

Three Ships Buttercream Hydrating Lip Mask


Three Ships Buttercream Hydrating Lip Mask, $18

What are your favorite products for a hydrated pout? Keep the list going in the comments!

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