Cold, dry weather is only one reason your lips may be feeling chapped and unhealthy. Let’s find out how to prevent and fix dry lips!
What causes dry lips?
The lips don’t have as much of a barrier as the rest of our skin. So we tend to lose a lot of moisture to the environment (that’s the first and probably the most significant factor). Since they don’t have that top layer of skin, they’re naturally not as good at holding in moisture.
If you compound that with low humidity in the winter or a lot of wind that dries them out, it just makes sense why our lips can be a total nightmare in winter.
Some people will tell you that your lips are dry because you don’t have oil glands on the lips and that’s not true. We definitely have oil glands on the lips. When looked at under a microscope, we see that the lips have specialized oil glands that we call Fordyce glands. So we definitely have oil glands in our lips! It’s just that the skin can’t lock those oils in as effectively as the rest of the face.
Because we don’t lock in moisture that effectively, we start using things like chapstick to help.
Can you get addicted to chapstick?
In the normal sense of addiction? No, chapstick does not contain addictive ingredient/drug that signal to your brain and get you hooked per se. But using it, for some people, may start a vicious cycle.
However, you can develop an irritation or allergic reaction to your lip balm. In that case, what ends up happening is: the lip balm causes irritation and dries out your lips so you feel the need to apply more. Which causes the irritation to flare up even more, trapping you in an endless cycle.
The most common allergens can be castor oil, fragrances, cinnamates, propolis or beeswax.
Should you exfoliate your lips to get rid of flaky skin?
Another thing that can affect your lips is anything that removes skin from your lips like exfoliation.
Lips, generally, don’t need to be exfoliated. When we exfoliate our skin, what we’re trying to do is remove that dead layer of skin cells on top called the stratum corneum. Our lips, however, tend to have an extremely thin to no stratum corneum whatsoever. Naturally, what we end up exfoliating is that healthy top layer of skin. Which can make the irritation so much worst!
That being said, when your lips have been struggling with dryness for quite some times, you should get rid of the flaky skin that has developed. Otherwise, you’ll start picking at it. It’s not Halloween yet, a bloody lip is NOT CUTE!
In conclusion, to stay safe, exfoliate no more than once a week. And if you feel like you don’t really need it, then skip this step completely.
Can lip masks help with dry lips?
So what’s a lip mask, you ask? A lip mask, in general, is a very thick moisturizer that we use overnight for intense hydration.
They are both great but here’s a tip to make them more effective:
Use hyaluronic acid, and lock it in with the mask.
This way, you get double the hydration.
How to fix dry lips?
This is how you fix dry lips in 5 simple steps:
- Stop peeling your lips: no chemical/physical peels;
- Be careful that you are not allergic to the products you use;
- Use a moisturizer;
- Follow it with a good lip mask;
- You’re good to go!
Do you need some product recommendations?
Yup, the tried and true Vaseline! Especially if you use a moisturizer underneath it.
The Burt’s Bees Lip Balm line is great! Especially the Beeswax Lip Balm.
But you should be careful. They use beeswax (as stated in the name) and occasionally castor oil. So, avoid the brand if you’re allergic to those ingredients.
I hope this small guide helped you. See you in the next post!