The Best Complete Guide to Fixing Dry, Chapped Lips – Everything You Need to Know

It’s like I have a bad habit called chapstick sometimes, and the only fix is, well, more chapstick. My lips were trying to beat Arizona out of a title with how dry they were and I thought there was no fix in sight until I got these amazing tips from a dermatologist. Who knew dry, chapped lips were not a defining character trait but something fixable.

person pressing dry lips on a wet glass
Lips need TLC – source

Here are the best tips for fixing dry, chapped lips. To put it in perspective, I have combo skin that leans towards dry and sensitive. I also have eczema albeit infrequently and am allergic to random things in clothes, which I at least know are not polyester or cotton. Love oversharing too.

By the way, chapstick is the name of a brand, and lip balm is the product. Yes, I learned that yesterday and had to spread this fun-ish fact to everyone I knew unprompted.

Without further ado, read on to find out how to fix your lips today!

What Causes Dry Lips

The lips have a very thin skin barrier when compared to the rest of the body. This lack of a sealing layer causes us to lose a lot of moisture easily and quickly from the skin.

As we get into the winter months, it gets even worse as there is less humidity and more cold wind that can dry the lips out even faster.

While the lips have oil glands, the skin doesn’t lock in the moisture well.

Can You be Addicted to Chapstick?

Can you become addicted to chapstick lip balm? Yes and no. 

The ingredients don’t cause an addiction, but you can make a habit of applying them. And in theory, if you are using lip balm 24-7 constantly, the lips may not develop a barrier to protect them from the environment.

You can become reliant on lip balm as the body gets used to the protection lip balms offer, but you need lip balm.

Ingredients that Cause Dry Lips

Some ingredients in lip balm may cause allergic reactions, dermatitis, or irritation. This can lead to inflammation, even more dryness, and redness, which makes you apply more and more.

Look at the ingredients in your lip balms to make sure you have no known negative reaction to them.

Castor oil is a common trigger for irritation.

Other potentially irritating ingredients are beeswax, propolis, cinnamates, fragrances, and essential oils. All bodies are different, however. I use a popular beeswax lip balm with no problem, but others may find it harsh with the peppermint

Ways to Fix Dry Lips

So how do we fight dry lips? 

Double Moisturize

Use a serum like hyaluronic acid or a soothing ingredient like chamomile and lock it in with a moisturizer.

Or, even better-

Slug it Up

As in slugging with a petroleum product.

Not snail mucin, though with all the moisturizing ingredients in snail mucin it might work.

Ingredients to Heal Dry Lips

Here’s a list of ingredients to look for!

Ingredients to lock in moisture – petrolatum, mineral oil, dimethicone,

Ingredient to support and hydrate – ceramides, panthenol, and humectants like hyaluronic acid.

Products to Use (not sponsored, not affiliate)

Cera ve healing ointment or Aquaphor is amazing to use and should be good for almost everyone.

Personally, I have no problem with beeswax and find them very protective, so I stick to Burt’s bees.

Tips to Beat Dry Lips

Here are some tips that seem unrelated but actually affect the state of your lips.

Stop Licking Your Lips

This can cause a form of dermatitis that causes irritation, redness, and inflammation.

Maybe you want to moisten the lips, or maybe you have something tasty on the lips, like a sugar exfoliation. The saliva on the lips can cause more evaporation, and the enzymes in the saliva can cause irritation, and lead to dry irritated lips.

Also, get rid of that sugar scrub.

Stop Exfoliating.

You do not need to be exfoliating your lips. The top layer of the lips is always too thin and sensitive, it’s doing its best, and exfoliating is just punching down. By exfoliating with either chemical exfoliates like AHA/BHA or mechanically exfoliating, you are basically removing the thin, almost non-existent top layer of the lip skin.

Stop Using Lip Masks

They are a treat-yourself type of thing, but they aren’t that good usually. They usually have fragrance, which is ok in a wash-off product like a cleanser, but lip masks stay on sensitive, thin skin.

Quick Reminders for Lips

Here are some quick reminders for lip wellness!

  • If your current lip balm has a known irritant, like castor oil or fragrance, check your habits. Do your lips feel ok or are you constantly applying? If you have no issues, you can keep using your lip product.
  • When using a lip mask, do make sure it has calming ingredients with no flavor or fragrance.
  • Stay hydrated! Dry lips can also be a sign of dehydration in the body. 
  • Eat well to help support the body in making you strong. Food is the building block of who we are, and how we heal and grow stronger.

The Takeaway

Dry lips are not your lot in life, you can fix them and maintain them with these tips!

Lips are skin, just like the rest of you. It is a special, thin, sensitive part of you, so it should be treated well.

Use good, hydrating ingredients, double up on moisture, and seal it in with a vaseline product. Make sure your current lip balm is treating you well, and that you aren’t having to apply it constantly.

There are some ingredients we want to avoid, such as common allergens like bee products, irritating fragrances, and castor oil. However, remember that if you tolerate it, you do not need to change your lip product.

Stop using exfoliation on the lips as they need TLC not more reason to peel and be thin.

Stay hydrated, eat well, destress, and watch how wellness flows into total wellbeing.

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