Do you often find yourself reaching for lip balm to soothe your dry, cracked lips? Dry lips can be uncomfortable and even painful, sometimes making it difficult to eat, drink, or even talk. But what causes dry lips, and how can you get rid of them for good?
Dry lips are a common problem that most people experience at some point in their lives. Unlike skin, our lips don't have any oil glands, so they can't produce their own moisture. This means they're much more prone to drying out due to dehydration, exposure to harsh weather, or certain medications. While reaching for lip balm may provide temporary relief, it's important to address the root cause of dry lips to prevent them from recurring.
Fortunately, there are several simple and effective ways to get rid of dry lips and keep them moisturised and healthy. In this article, we will explore the causes of dry lips and provide practical tips and natural skincare remedies to help you get the smooth, soft lips you've been looking for.
What Causes Dry Lips?
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Here are some of the things that may be causing your dry lips, and how you can avoid them:
One of the most common causes of dry lips is dehydration. When your body is dehydrated, it can affect your skin and lips, causing them to become dry and cracked. By drinking plenty of water, you can help keep your body hydrated and prevent dry lips.
Licking Your Lips
Licking your lips may seem like a quick fix for dry lips, but it can actually make the problem worse. Saliva evaporates quickly, leaving your lips even drier than before. Additionally, the enzymes in saliva can irritate your lips, causing them to become red and inflamed.
Harsh weather conditions can also contribute to dry lips. Cold, dry weather can strip your lips of moisture, causing them to become dry and cracked — in winter, this tends to combine with hot dry air from indoor heating to lead to excessively dry lips. On the other hand, exposure to the sun's UV rays can damage and dehydrate the delicate skin on your lips.
Certain medications can cause dry lips, flaky skin, and sensitive skin as a side effect. These include medications used to treat acne, high blood pressure, and allergies. If you're experiencing dry lips and are taking medication, talk to your doctor to see if there are any alternatives that may be less likely to cause dryness.
Some people may experience dry lips as a result of an allergic reaction to certain foods or products. Common allergens include lip balms, toothpaste, and certain foods. If you suspect that you may be experiencing an allergic reaction, try eliminating potential allergens from your diet or routine to see if your symptoms improve.
There are also a few medical conditions and infections that can cause dry lips. Oral thrush is a common yeast infection that can lead to red, dry, cracked skin around the mouth and dry lips. It's caused by yeast overgrowth and is easily treated with antifungal medication and creams. Angular cheilitis is another common dry lip condition. It shows up as inflammation in the corners of your mouth, plus painful dry skin and cracking at the corners of your lips.
Dry lips may also be an effect of other medical conditions like a thyroid disorder or an autoimmune disorder. That said, there's likely no need to worry about medical conditions like these unless you have other symptoms — dry lips are very common and typically caused by more harmless things like dehydration and dry air.
5 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Dry Lips
Dry, chapped lips can be a frustrating and uncomfortable experience. Whether it's due to cold weather or dehydration, it's important to take care of your lips to prevent them from cracking and bleeding. Here are five easy ways to get rid of dry lips:
1. Drink More Water
One of the easiest ways to prevent dry lips is to drink more water. When your body is dehydrated, it can cause your lips to become dry and cracked. Drinking lots of water (at least eight glasses per day) can help keep your lips hydrated and healthy.
2. Use a Lip Balm
Using a lip balm is an effective way to keep your lips moisturised. Look for a lip balm that contains natural ingredients like beeswax, shea butter, or coconut oil. Apply the lip balm in a soft, circular motion over your lips throughout the day, especially before going to bed, to keep your lips hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry.
3. Exfoliate Your Lips
Exfoliating your lips can help remove dead skin cells and promote new cell growth, leaving your lips feeling soft and smooth. You can make a DIY lip scrub by mixing sugar with honey, coconut oil, or aloe vera; or you can purchase a lip scrub from your local pharmacy.
4. Avoid Licking Your Lips
Licking your lips may provide temporary relief, but it can actually make your lips even drier. Saliva contains enzymes that can break down the delicate skin on your lips, causing them to become dry and irritated. Instead of licking your lips, use a lip balm to keep them moisturised.
5. Protect Your Lips from the Sun
Just like the rest of your skin, your lips can be damaged by the sun's harmful UV rays. To prevent dry lips caused by sun damage, use a lip balm that contains SPF, and wear a hat or seek shade when spending time outdoors.
Natural Remedies for Chapped Lips
The best chapped lip treatments use natural ingredients to soothe and hydrate the delicate skin on your lips, without any harsh fragrances or potential irritants. Here are some of the most hydrating ingredients for lips that you should look for in your lip care products:
- Shea Butter — a natural fat extracted from the nuts of the African shea tree, shea butter has moisturising and healing properties. It's rich in vitamins A and E, which help to nourish and repair dry, cracked lips.
- Coconut Oil — this versatile oil is rich in fatty acids that help to moisturise and reinforce the skin barrier, and it also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe and heal chapped lips.
- CBD – a newcomer in the skincare world, CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. It has a huge range of benefits for dry lips: it's a natural emollient that softens and smooths skin, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce swelling and redness, it has pain-relieving properties that can help to alleviate discomfort and soreness from cracked lips, and it contains antioxidants that help to protect the skin against environmental stressors.
- Hyaluronic Acid — this is a natural substance that's found in the body, and a popular ingredient in many skincare products, including lip balms, because of its ability to retain moisture. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water, which means it can help to keep your lips hydrated and plump.
- Vitamin E – this is a powerful antioxidant that helps to protect the skin from damage caused by free radicals. It's also a great moisturiser that can help to keep your lips soft and supple.
Lip Products & Ingredients to Avoid
If you're struggling with dry or flaky lips, unfortunately, there are plenty of lip products out there that could actually make your lips worse. Here are some of the ingredients and products that may actually be intensifying your dry lip problem:
- Flavoured lip balms – although they might smell and taste good, it's best to avoid these products as they contain artificial dyes and flavours that wreak havoc on your sensitive lip skin.
- Petroleum jelly – pure petroleum jelly (like Vaseline) is an occlusive moisturiser, which means that it creates a seal that locks moisture in. If your lips are already dry, however, it won't do much to restore lost moisture, and you may find it makes your lips feel oily but not hydrated.
- Menthol & eucalyptus – although these two natural ingredients can be healing and refreshing for your skin, they are too harsh for lip care and may cause irritation or stinging if applied to sensitive, flaky lips.
- Salicylic acid — an exfoliating acid with antibacterial properties, salicylic acid is good for treating acne and oily skin, but it's way too harsh for dry lips and it may cause irritation.
Learn more about natural vs. artificial ingredients in our Guide to Natural Skincare.
How to Keep Your Lips Soft and Moisturised All Year Round
Although dry lips are an inevitable part of life, they're thankfully easy to treat at home. You can reduce how often you get dry lips by drinking plenty of water, protecting your face from the sun, and wearing lip balm. When your lips get dry, gently exfoliate them with a soothing lip scrub and top it off with a rich lip balm to lock in moisture. It really is that simple!
The key is to choose the right lip balm for your needs. MotherSage CBD Lip Balm is an affordable-yet-premium-quality lip balm made with natural ingredients, expertly formulated to protect and soothe your lips for a softer, plumper pout all year round.
Our deeply hydrating lip balm harnesses the natural soothing, hydrating, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties of its key ingredient — CBD — to provide effective and quick relief for dry lips. It also contains healing ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, squalane, hemp seed oil, and vitamin E to nourish and protect your lips.
Just a small amount of lip balm every day will help form a protective barrier for your lips, keeping harmful toxins out and preventing moisture loss. At the same time, a good nourishing lip balm rich in antioxidants and fatty acids (like MotherSage's!) will also actively enrich the skin on your lips for a healthier, smoother pout.
Psst! You can now try out the entire MotherSage range with a 10% discount with our MotherSage CBD Gift Set.