Aloe vera is a plant that has been used medicinally for many purposes for over 6,000 years. The watery, gel-like substance found in aloe vera leaves has soothing, healing, and anti-inflammatory properties that make it ideal for treating skin conditions, including chapped lips.

Pure aloe vera is safe to use on sensitive areas where other skin products shouldn’t go, like your lips and under your eyes. The medical literature researching aloe for chapped lips is limited, so it’s hard to be sure how effective it is. But anecdotally, some people say it works great and is easy to use.

The idea behind using aloe for chapped lips is mostly based on aloe’s healing properties. It may help heal several skin issues including:

  • wounds
  • burns
  • skin dryness
  • irritation

The key is the chemical composition of aloe vera gel. According to research, polysaccharides and growth hormones in aloe stimulate your skin to produce new cells. This helps wounds to heal more quickly.

Those same polysaccharides also bind moisture to your skin, which is helpful when you’re dealing with chapped lips.

Aloe vera also stimulates blood circulation to the area where it’s applied. It contains antioxidant vitamins like A and C, which may help neutralize damage from environmental toxins.

There are no clinical trials evaluating aloe vera in comparison to other remedies for chapped lips. But the healing properties of aloe and its use as an ingredient in many commercial lip balm formulas makes a strong case for using it on chapped lips.

Using aloe on chapped lips could moisturize the area. Chapped lips are often caused by dryness and sometimes inflammation. Since aloe is thought to have moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties, it may be helpful for chapped lips.

Burns

Aloe is also good to keep in mind when your lips are burned. Whether it was caused by sipping a hot drink or prolonged sun exposure, aloe can be applied as a soothing and healing ointment.

As the Mayo Clinic points out, aloe appears to shorten the duration of first- and second-degree burns.

Lip balm

You could use aloe by itself as a lip balm, but it’s best to mix it with other ingredients so that it stays put. Aloe’s slippery consistency means that it is absorbed quickly and easily by your skin, but it won’t stay on your lips to protect against the elements.

Beeswax, coconut oil, and mineral oil are ingredients to consider mixing with aloe if you’re looking to make your own DIY lip balm.

However, some commercially available beeswax may contain an ingredient called propolis, which has caused allergic reactions in some people. Before using beeswax as an ingredient, do a patch test on a small area of skin.

You might consider using pure aloe as an overnight treatment for chapped lips. But be warned — it will slide off and could end up on other parts of your face, as well as your pillows and sheets.

Rubbing a bit of aloe on chapped lips during the daytime hours might be more effective.

Hyperpigmentation

An ingredient called aloesin can be derived from the aloe leaf and is sometimes used to lighten skin. But there’s only one study that suggests aloesin could address areas of hyperpigmentation on your skin.

It probably wouldn’t hurt to try to use aloe as a way to lighten dark spots on your skin caused by medical conditions. But try not to get your expectations too high.

What we do know is that lips that are naturally darker won’t change their color, even with consistent application of aloesin or other aloe ingredients.

Aloe vera has several benefits for your lips, both when they’re chapped and when they’re not. These benefits include:

  • aloe binds moisture to your skin, making them feel less dry
  • aloe has anti-inflammatory properties that fight irritation
  • aloe infuses your lips with antioxidants that fight wrinkles and other forms of skin damage

There aren’t many drawbacks to using aloe for your lips, as long as you know you don’t have an allergy to it. Allergic reactions to aloe do happen, but they are relatively rare.

If you’re using aloe on your lips, you might ingest a tiny bit orally. The amount you’re ingesting probably won’t make a difference, but there are a few things you should be aware of.

Orally consuming aloe can counteract the effectiveness of certain diabetes drugs, increasing your risk of hypoglycemia. Taking aloe orally also has a diuretic effect. This can increase the effects of blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (Coumadin).

You can purchase pure aloe vera gel from many health food or pharmacy retailers. Simply glide on a small amount to the chapped area using your fingers, once or twice per day.

You can also get creative with the ways that you use aloe vera for chapped lips. A DIY lip balm that protects while it heals your lips is one way to do this. Just be cautious of allergies to any ingredients and be aware that DIY recipes are anecdotal.

What you need

  • 2 tablespoons pure coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon beeswax
  • 1 teaspoon shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera
  • 8 to 10 drops jojoba oil or almond oil
Healthline

How to make lip balm

  1. Start by melting the coconut oil and shea butter together in a double boiler over medium heat. Make sure to stir occasionally and turn the heat off as soon as these ingredients are blended. Let the mixture cool.
  2. Slowly add in the aloe vera to the cooled mixture.
  3. Last, use a dropper to add in the essential oil. Avoid menthol and camphor, which may dry your lips out further.
  4. Let the mixture firm in the freezer in small glass jars. Once it solidifies, take it on the go.
Healthline

If aloe vera isn’t effective for you, here are some other holistic alternatives you can try for chapped lips:

  • Coconut oil is a popular home remedy for chapped lips. Coconut oil may have soothing and healing properties, and also works to seal moisture on to your skin’s surface.
  • Avocado oil and virgin olive oil are both thicker oils that may seal your skin and infuse your lips with healthy proteins and fats.
  • Applying cucumber slices to your lips may work to soothe inflammation or redness as well as infuse your lips with moisture.

While these remedies may be supported by anecdotal evidence, there isn’t enough research to suggest they’re effective for chapped lips.

There isn’t much research to explain why aloe vera specifically works to help soothe chapped lips. But the documented healing properties of aloe give us some insight into why it might work.

Using aloe for your lips is simple, inexpensive, and has almost no downsides. For most people, it’s safe to try this home remedy for chapped lips.