Lip balm protects tissue-irritated skin

We’ve got a twofer on lip balm hacks!

Megan’s smart workaround during cold season:

My 2-year-old caught the inevitable winter cold and had a very runny nose. Despite my best efforts using premium tissues and warm wet washcloths to keep his face relatively snot-free without irritating his skin, his nose, upper lip, and cheeks still chapped. He hated having lotion applied to his face so I gave him his very own tube of lip balm (orange-flavored) and let him go to town covering the lower half of his face with it. I clearly labeled the lip balm as his and kept it near the tissues. After each nose-wipe he got to use his lip balm and he loved it. His chapped skin cleared overnight and as a bonus, he smelled like oranges!

And Catherine found lip balm works well as “thumb balm,” too:

My eight-month-old son sucks his thumb, and he’s not picky about left or right. (His twin sister prefers a binky.) But now that it’s winter and the air is dry, his thumbs are getting chapped and cracked. I slathered them with baby moisturizer but of course he sucked it all off right away. So then I slathered them with unflavoured lip balm. It’s made for lips, which are often wet, right? So it’s waxy enough to withstand repeated sucks. The chapping has healed and he can suck without causing further damage.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. Sandy says

    When my twins were little, their doctor recommended Aquaphor for my son’s chapped little thumb, because it’s completely safe for babies. One of the nurses mentioned she uses it as lip balm. I tried it, and it cleared up my baby’s thumb, and it’s the best lip balm I’ve ever used. I guess I turned this hack inside out!

  2. Pam says

    another product for the chapped thumb is nipple cream – I had a tube leftover and the tube says it’s safe for babies to ingest – cleared up the chapping immediately!

  3. Stephanie Pearson says

    Vaseline! My husband, baby, and I use it to clear up red noses, lips, anything! And if you look at the ingredients to aquaphor, it’s mostly petroleum. Hmmm…

  4. says

    I realize Megan’s two year old hated lotion, but Neutrogena Norwegian Formula body lotion is the only lotion I’ve tried that ALWAYS works. At least for me, my wife, and our two year old daughter. The stuff comes in a big bottle and costs 2x the other lotions, but well worth it in my experience.

  5. Caroline says

    I went to Target a few months ago searching for lotion for my daughter’s chapped thumbs (because she too sucks them). Every lotion I looked at Aquaphor, Eucerin, etc said to call the poison center if it was ingested. It certainly wasn’t something I wanted to put on my daughter’s thumb for her to suck off. So I went home and found the Baby Faces stick from Gerber that we had left from when she was little. It recommends using it on lips and didn’t have a warning about ingesting so we’ve been using it.

  6. Noonie says

    I have sensitive skin on my face and some creams can burn, that could be why the kids don’t like it. Flavored chapstick is a great idea. I have been using lanolin (leftover from breastfeeding) for my chapped lips and I now put it around my sons mouth. Works great and it’s ok if he ingests some of it.

  7. Kyotocutie says

    I love Badger Balm’s “Sleep Balm” for this purpose. It soothes and protects raw skin, and has a wonderful calming (not medicine) smell. They also have a version with a milder scent for kids, but the adult version is strong enough to penetrate stuffy noses, kinda like Vicks Vapor Rub, except not icky.

    My nephew called it his “sleepy time medicine” and even when he wasn’t sick, I sometimes put a little on his nose or temples for a calming effect.

  8. says

    Yes, I am a skeptic. And, I was in fact, proven…wrong! I was truly amazed with this powder. We’ve had a beautiful week or so of hot, sunny, sunscreen worthy weather. So it was a fantastic time to try out this powder. My skin is stupidly fair, and I’ve got to use an SPF50 on my body, chest and face, and at least an SPF15 on my lips. My skin burns, and never tans, and more often than not, I will blister. My skin does not like the sun. I tested this powder for five days, applying to my face and chest (my main problem areas for sunburn), and applied my liquid sunscreen (SPF45) to my arms and shoulders, for a comparison. I can honestly say, hand on heart, this powder works as well as a liquid sunscreen. My face did not burn, nor did my chest. You may question how I knew it had worked…well, because on the day after I stopped testing this product, and I had not used any SPF protection, my skin burnt. It is truly fantastic, and I really do recommend this product. Especially considering the small price tag.