Chapped lips. Do you really know what dries your lips?

Face by Nicky Trynide

Do you know why you have chapped lips? There may be many reasons for this, though some of them may not be that obvious. Check why your lips dry up.

We tend to forget that the skin in different parts of our body has different thickness. It is the most delicate under the eyes, on the hands, on the neck, but also on the lips. That is why we often struggle with chapped lips in winter.

Chapped lips – what does it actually mean?

What does it mean when somebody has chapped lips? Such lips are excessively dry, rough and cracked. They are deprived of a protective lipid layer which can lead to water and nutrients loss. Such skin is irritated, can be soar or itch.

Chapped lips – causes

What makes your lips dry? The reason that directly affects their condition is the lack of sufficient protective barrier that could naturally prevent moisture loss – the skin on the lips lacks sebaceous gland and there is not enough melanin to protect them from UV radiation. However, our habits and lack of sufficient lip care worsen their condition even more.

Causes of chapped lips:

  • vitamin B deficiency;
  • bad weather conditions: frost, wind and humidity;
  • lack of protective lipstick;
  • licking lips;
  • matte lipsticks.

These are the most frequently mentioned causes of chapped lips but not the only ones. Few people realize that there are also a few less obvious reasons.

Less obvious causes of chapped lips

  1. Allergy – we know that there are many symptoms of allergy but not many people consider chapped lips as one of them. It turns out that this is a mistake. If you frequently struggle with chapped lips, make sure to perform an allergy test.
  2. Dehydration – another cause of chapped lips is dehydration. When we are dehydrated, the condition of our entire body deteriorates, the skin loses its elasticity and becomes gray. Lack of proper hydration is visible also on the lips.
  3. Breathing through the mouth – when we have a cold, we usually breathe through the mouth. At this time, the water in the skin of the lips begins to evaporate faster which leads to excessive dryness.
  4. Touching the lips – some people unconsciously touch the lips more much than their should. This also might be the reason for the poor condition of the lips. By touching, we often irritate the lips and transmit the bacteria.
  5. Genes – it may happen that the tendency for severely dry skin is inherited so it’s not easy to improve the condition of the lips. A good idea is to ask the family members to check it does not apply to everyone.
  6. The sun – chapped lips are also one of the symptoms of sunburn, which very often affects our face, as it is difficult protect the face fully from harmful UV radiation. Very thin skin of the mouth is extremely exposed to the sun, especially when we don’t use protective lipsticks.
  7. Air pollution – As strange as it may seem, whatever is in the air also affects our lips. People living in big cities are more likely to struggle with chapped lips because of being exposed to more air pollutants, fumes, toxins, or smog. Dry and heavy air is also one of the reasons.
  8. Rough pillow – if you happen to wake up with chapped lips, you may find that this problem causes improper bedding. A very rough pillow can irritate the skin, the result of which being chapped lips.
  9. Disease – dry lips are often one of the first symptoms of immunodeficiency that leads to illness. Sometimes a simple cold can cause dry, irritated and cracked lips.
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About the Author
Nicky Trynide

is a professional make up artist whose work has graced the runway and the red carpet as well as national and international television shows and magazines. Nicky credits his long and successful career in the industry to his innate ability to see and bring out the beauty in everyone. Growing up, his passion for his future profession was sparked by his mother and two grandmothers, all European-trained estheticians

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