You’ll Never Guess the Secret to Healing Chapped Lips

We tried the surprising cure for chapped lips: oil in belly button, recommended by yoga instructors and other natural health fans. Here's what happened.

Every winter, as regular as snow and ice, I get chapped lips. (And sometimes they flare up in the summer, too.) I get cracked lips that linger in spite of my attempts to appease them with Chapstick and balms, oils and glosses. Those all help a little, but the effects rarely last long.

But I recently learned of an antidote that piqued my interest: A friend of mine heard from her yoga instructor that applying oil in the belly button heals chapped lips. I had to try it myself. Here’s what happened.

The Test

For a week, every night before bed, I applied a dollop of oil to my belly button. I used coconut oil, because that’s what my secondhand source had suggested. Plus, coconut oil is natural, so I felt OK about smearing it onto my skin. (Here are eight more ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine.)

In the morning, my lips felt pretty good—frankly, not as slick as if they’d been freshly dosed with balm, but not as cracked and uneven as usual.

I tried it again, and after a couple of days, I noticed that dramatic cracking or splits weren’t happening as much, and I didn’t feel tempted to bite my lips all the time, which I do when they’re dry. I kept using my usual lipstick or gloss during the day, but the baseline lip I was starting from had gotten better.

The Verdict

I definitely recommend this method! My lips felt great, and it was essentially effortless, which is always a bonus when it comes to beauty routines. Plus, having coconut oil out before bed made me inclined to moisturize my hands and elbows, which yielded good results there, too!

Why It Works

I was curious to learn what made this technique so effective and was surprised to find very little about it online. It seems to be a tip that passes around by word-of-mouth and hasn’t gotten mainstream attention—yet. However, my research suggested that most proponents cite Ayurvedic medicine, a holistic healing method tied to acupuncture, for the efficacy. The belief is that the belly button is the source of energy connected to other parts of the body; to the mouth, the skin and even to health concerns like menstrual cramps.

We made a face mask from an avocado and yogurt—here’s what we thought.

Oils to Try

In addition to coconut oil, I tried olive oil and Weleda Skin Food. The most effective, and easiest to apply, was coconut oil.

Whatever you choose, make sure to use a natural oil, ideally one you’ve already tried on your skin or body. It’s so simple, yet so effective—definitely worth giving a try.

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Kelsey Dimberg
A former senior digital editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Chicago. Since 2010, she’s followed a gluten-free diet, and especially enjoys the challenge of baking sourdough bread and pizza dough. As a contributing writer for Taste of Home, she covers a broad range of topics but with a special emphasis on gluten-free cooking and baking. Outside of her gluten-free experiments in the kitchen, Kelsey is also the author of the thriller novel “Girl in the Rearview Mirror.”