Is Vicks Good for Chapped Lips?

is vicks good for chapped lips

Vicks VapoRub has been a common home remedy for many years, with people touting the benefits of a quick rub to clear up congestion in the throat or sinuses, but some claim that Vicks works well to moisturize the lips as well. Is Vicks good for chapped lips?

Vicks VapoRub can be used on chapped lips during the winter to moisturize them due to the concentration of petroleum jelly, a natural moisturizer.

Vicks has been used in a lot of different remedies, but although Vicks certainly does work for chapped lips, there are some cautionary tales that would suggest Vicks isn’t the best solution out there. The rest of this article will discuss whether Vick VapoRub is good for chapped lips.

Can I Use Vicks VapoRub on My Lips?

Vicks Vaporub can be used on the lips as a moisturizer and lip plumper. Vicks contains petroleum jelly, which works as a moisturizer for the lips.

As such, Vicks can certainly help to refresh your lips, especially if you’re dehydrated or if it’s cold outside. Vicks also serves as a lip plumper due to the effects of the menthols, eucalyptus, and camphor, which irritate the lips and cause them to swell, aka plump, slightly.

Vicks has also been reported to clear up darker lips, likely due to the effects of the camphor and eucalyptus, which serve as anti-bacterial oils, treating any infection that may cause the lips to darken. It is worth noting that some people report the opposite: the irritants in Vicks on the lips have caused darkening of the skin.

Can Vicks Burn Your Skin?

While Vicks does indisputably work as a moisturizer for chapped lips, it does also have some downsides. First, the menthols, eucalyptus, and camphor in Vicks can irritate your lips.

Yes, this does plump up your lips, but for some people, it can cause serious irritation or a burning sensation on the skin. For some people, this burning sensation is offset by the cooling feel of methol, but you should certainly avoid overapplying Vicks if you’re going to use it on your lips.

Additionally, some people have adverse reactions to Vicks on their skin, so be sure to test a little on the back of your hand first to see if it irritates your skin. Vicks isn’t meant to be a ChapStick, but it does contain many of the ingredients that make ChapSticks so effective.

When applying it to your lips, you’re going to get some in your mouth, and Vicks is very unpleasant to taste, so it’s recommended that you only apply a tiny amount to avoid excess irritation.

What Else Is Vicks Good for?

Vicks has been used for than just clearing up sinus congestion for quite a while. It should be noted that the following home remedies aren’t proven to work and shouldn’t take precedence over the advice of a medical professional.

Coughs, Fevers, and Sore Throats

Adding a mix of Vicks and milk has been said to have beneficial effects in easing the symptoms of coughs, fevers, and sore throats, likely due to the concentration of menthol. In all honesty, however, a cough drop can have similar effects with less risk ingesting a foreign substance.

Insect Bites and Stings

Due to the cooling effect on the skin, Vicks has been used to ease the pain of insect bites and stings. Dabbing a small amount onto the site of the bite or sting can help reduce irritation to the skin.

Nail Fungus

As it turns out, some ingredients in Vicks are effective in treating nail fungus. As a pesky condition that’s hard to get rid of, Vicks is a good option to try if other courses of treatment should fail.


Applied topically, Vicks functions as an analgesic, providing pain relief to the joints afflicted with arthritis. It is not, of course, a cure for arthritis, but it can certainly reduce discomfort.


Applying a topical treatment of Vicks can help reduce the discomfort and irritation associated with hemorrhoids. It should also be noted that for some people, Vicks may irritate the area further, creating addition discomfort and pain.


Vicks has been shown to have moisturizing effects on the skin for a variety of dematological issues. From cracked heels to chapped lips, the petroleum jelly and other essential oils in Vicks likely contribute to its effectiveness in moisturizing dry or dehydrated skin.

What Can I Use If I Don’t Have ChapStick?

If you don’t have ChapStick on hand, there are lots of great natural alternatives out there that can moisturize your lips.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has natural moisturizing properties and can work wonderfully to soften up your lips if they’re chapped.

Cucumber Rub

Cucumbers contain B5, which can sooth your skin and reduce inflammation. Rubbing the soft part of the cucumber on your lips for a few minutes can add some much-needed moisture. You can also use cucumber juice and apply it to your lips.

Petroleum Jelly

The main ingredient in the moisturizing component of Vicks, petroleum jelly is a great rub to moisturize and soften your lips.

Green Tea

Green tea works well for healing up your dry and chapped lips. The polyphenols in green tea function as anti-inflammatory agents and serve to freshen up dry lips in no time.

Final Thoughts

Vicks VapoRub can certainly be used on the lips as a moisturizer, but as with any beauty product, you should test it by only using a tiny amount to check for any adverse reactions.

Vicks can have several benefits on your skin, ranging from the moisturizing effect of petroleum jelly to the plumping effect of eucalyptus. Just try to avoid getting any in your mouth. Vicks can be dangerous if consumed in too high a quantity, so always exercise caution when applying something new to your lips.

Vicks also has many other uses for topical application that can address problems with dry or cracked skin, nail fungus, and joint pain, making it a versatile go-to in the medicine cabinet for everyone.

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