My lips are very sensitive and in cold and/or dry environments; they tend to crack open and bleed profusely. This problem can leave blood on my lips making it looked I just a ate a large bloody lunch. I am not looking for medical advice as I already know what to do about this, which is use moisturizers on my lips. The moisturizers usually fix me up (I've been clear for about a year), but sometimes I forget or lose my moisturizers.

I can't go out and buy ingredients, meaning I only have what is in my backpack (books, pencils, pens, etc) but nothing edible or fluid except water.

And I think I've tried about everything:

  • Rubbing water or other fluids on my lips - These work momentarily, but eventually dry out my mouth even more.

  • Someone told me to use oils my body generates - This is gross, but wouldn't work anyway as I am not that oily. Plus, I wouldn't want to do anything that might be gross and infectious.

  • Leaving my mouth like that - My mouth is fine for about a 3 hours but afterward, they begin to dry out and my lips start cracking.

  • Buy junk food - I have tried using the grease from potato and other chips, but the salt burns and makes my lips swell. Any food would be limited to what can come out of a (coin operated machine) vending machine.

  • I don't want to use any kind of lipstick or other makeup.

By moisturizer, I mean products like Lip Balm. I didn't name all the products I use because I thought that would not be necessary.

What can I use to moisturize my lips on the go?

  • 1
    Applying mustard oil on navel heal cracked lips.
    – cartina
    Commented Dec 31, 2014 at 9:02
  • 1
    No idea if this would work, but if you want to try using your own natural oil the skin on the nose is probably the best place to find it. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_sebum
    – bdsl
    Commented Feb 4, 2016 at 12:53

5 Answers 5


What you could do:

How to Heal Chapped Lips Without ChapStick:

  • Stay Hydrated. The thirstier you are the drier your lips will be. Also, try to stay in rooms that aren't dry, but this is not always realistic.

  • Never lick your lips. Licking your lips and adding other water-like items just dry your mouth out more. They work for the time that it takes them to dry out and then they are worthless.

Avoid products that contain alcohol, flavours or fragrances, which can be more drying.

You can even try adding moisturiser before you go somewhere so that you can last longer without it. Whenever adding moisturiser make sure not lick your lips or don't let anything touch it, otherwise you will have to apply more often.

  • Try not to touch your lips or mouth with anything. Keep even water bottles away from your mouth. Your mouth will dry out faster if you rub all the moisture off.

  • Buying a candybar and rubbing that across your lips should help. The bar has less irritating salt. Candy bars with gooey centers or chocolate outsides(plain chocolate, etc) help more than hard shelled candies, like M&M's. Taking the chocolate cover to a candy bar and rubbing with that helps, but avoid bars laced with peanuts if you are allergic. Make sure to avoid bright dyes(like blue, orange, red, etc) that coat the candy and ingredients that you can't eat.

  • Borrowing hand lotion with natural ingredients also works. Make sure they are natural and avoid things you don't know and are allergic to. Never borrow lip balm, this is severely disgusting. If you know someone you can try getting lip balm from the bottom of their stick, this way they have not used it yet.


You can also solve the problem by making sure you don't forget or lose your moisturizer.

To guard against forgetting your moisturizer: buy an extra stick and keep it in your backpack permanently. Don't remove it from your backpack when you get home. To guard against losing one, keep two sticks in your backpack permanently, in different compartments.


The best approach is two-fold -- first of all, recognize the cause of dry lips: dehydration! Make an effort to drink more water. Another thing that helps me is to place a humidifier in my room while I sleep. I tend to breathe through my mouth when I sleep, and the extra water in the air helps keep me from losing too much water. I know it's tempting, but don't lick your lips when they feel dry. It'll only dry them out more.

While you've said you've tried stuff like chapstick, certain people are very sensitive to certain ingredients common in most moisturizers (me included). Instead, try going with petroleum jelly/Vaseline. It'll help moisturize to prevent cracks, and help protect them while they heal. It's also safe to have close to your mouth, and doesn't have a weird taste. You can pick up little travel-sized containers of it from the travel toiletries section of most stores that are easy to throw in a book bag. I keep a little tub in my bag and a big one at home, so I don't have to risk misplacing either by moving them between bags. It's also great for dry/cracked hands, feet, knees, etc.


Just to add some points regarding long term prevention, rather than an immediate solution.

You mention skin oils (sebum) as "gross". I would therefore guess that you are carefully washing your hair and face with shampoo, soap or other cleansers to keep them "oil-free and fresh". If you are female, you probably use make-up and other cosmetics on your face and also cleansers to take them off again (but at the minimum you seem to use lip balm).

All of these things may alter the sebum production in your skin. I want you to realize that sebum in itself is your body's own totally natural way to keep your skin and hair healthy and clean and shiny. It is no more gross than the tears that keep your eyes moisturized and dust-free or the saliva that keeps your mucous membranes in your mouth moisturized and healthy and initiates your food digestion process :-) I don't think outside substances can effectively replace your body's own function (provided your body is in good health, of course).

So I suggest to consider if any of your routines may be detrimental to your skin, and perhaps try to adjust them.

  1. Many people wash their hair (and face) with a weak bicarbonate of soda (a.k.a. baking soda, bicarb) solution followed by a rinse of diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) or lemon juice, which strips away less sebum than soap does, and so normalizes sebum production after a while. You can google the exact procedure, but be aware that bicarb solution is still harsh, so dilute as much as possible and rinse out as quickly as possible. Others go even further and wash with only water. Keep in mind that your skin will need time to adjust and may overproduce for the first while (oily skin and hair with unpleasant body odor). There are ways to alleviate it (in the same articles). It does improve. Be warned however that you should not jump back and forth between methods, if you decide to do this, go all the way.
  2. Taking long baths or showers in hot/steamy water may also dry out your skin.
  3. Cosmetics may also dry out your skin especially moisturising products. Consider phasing them out. This may include some lib balm sticks, which may also actually dry out lips.
  4. As mentioned by others, stay hydrated. Drink water, but small quantities at regular intervals (e.g. half a glass every 15 mins) rather than big quantities at once.
  5. Be aware of what you eat. Some foods (e.g. sugars, refined (white) starches, processed foods, and heated or chemically-treated oils (like in fast food or cheap cooking oils) may cause your tissues (including skin) to become less than optimally healthy (unfortunately often typical student foods). Your diet should include lots of fresh (preferably raw) vegetables and fruits (mostly veggies, though). It should also include enough healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, butter, avocados, etc.) with every meal. A moderate amount of red meat is probably good. Most modern diets or "eating lifestyles" like clean eating, paleo, banting, modernized Atkins, etc. are not too far off regarding general guidelines. (Eating healthy will also help in the body odor department, if you are worried about that).
  6. Iron deficiency may also cause dry skin. So again you should include at least small amounts of red meat, eggs etc. in your diet. And don't worry about the cholesterol in the foods, that recommendation is now deprecated.
  7. Regular vigorous exercise (working up a sweat) is also helpful in a number of ways. It improves blood circulation, gets the lymph system going which helps to detox, flushes out pores, and distributes sebum.

Sorry for the long post, seems to have lost track into to a general health sermon, and you are worried about your lips only :-)


This is weird and if you have abosoulultey nothing steamed potatoes, gently rubbing steamed cut potatoes on your lips help but to make sure rub it about every hour or so because it can wear off overtime or while you eat.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.