Is Honey Good for Lips? A Detailed Walk-Through

A woman with a jar of honey.

Is honey good for lips? This is a common question for those seeking natural solutions for dry, chapped lips. Here, we examine the skin-benefiting properties of honey and its effectiveness as a lip care ingredient.

Honey’s Properties for Skin Health

Honey has been used topically for skin and wound care since ancient times. It offers several beneficial properties:

  • Antibacterial – Honey contains hydrogen peroxide[1] and beeswax acids that inhibit bacterial growth. This helps prevent infection in damaged skin.
  • Anti-inflammatory – Compounds in honey can help reduce skin inflammation that causes redness and swelling.
  • Humectant – Honey attracts and retains moisture in skin. This hydrating effect helps smooth dry, flaky skin.
  • Emollient – The thick, viscous texture of honey coats skin and seals in moisture.

These wound-healing and hydrating properties make honey well-suited for caring for dry, cracked lips.

Using Honey for Lip Care

Applying honey to the lips provides protective skin-nourishing benefits:

  • Soothes inflammation – The anti-inflammatory activity reduces redness, irritation, and swelling of chapped lips.
  • Locks in moisture – Honey forms a protective film that seals in moisture to hydrate dry lips.
  • Prevents infection – Antibacterial compounds in honey can protect cracked lips from getting infected.
  • Exfoliates dead skin – The grainy texture of raw honey gently scrubs off flaky dead skin on the lips.

For best results, look for raw, unprocessed honey which retains more beneficial enzymes and antioxidants.

Other Benefits for Lips

In addition to its direct skin-healing properties, honey offers other benefits for lip health:

  • Prevents licking of lips – Honey’s sweet taste may satisfy the urge to lick your lips, which dries them out more.
  • Soothes pain – Honey has mild analgesic and anesthetic effects which may temporarily relieve sore, cracked lips.
  • Safe for ingestion – Unlike synthetic lip balms, licking small amounts of honey off your lips is completely safe.

 Potential Drawbacks

Honey is well-tolerated by most people but does have some potential drawbacks:

  • Stickiness – The thick, sticky consistency of honey can be messy when applied to the lips.
  • Risk of allergic reaction – Those with honey or bee pollen allergies should avoid using honey on their lips.
  • Not vegan – Honey production does involve bees, so it is avoided by those following a vegan diet.

The Bottom Line

Research and traditional usage indicate honey can be an effective remedy for dry, chapped lips. Its antimicrobial and moisturizing properties help heal irritation and keep lips soft and supple.

Raw honey offers the most benefits. While sticky and not vegan-friendly, honey is a generally safe and effective natural option for restoring smooth, healthy lips.