How To Get Rid Of Dry Lips, According To Experts 
How To Get Rid Of Dry Lips, According To Experts 

How To Get Rid Of Dry Lips, According To Experts 

6 minutes read

Want to know how to get rid of dry lips, once and for all? First, it’s important to understand how to recognise that you have dry lips, and what causes them. Beauty Daily spoke to skin experts, and asked about the causes of dry lips and how to treat and prevent them – so you won’t have to suffer anymore. 

What exactly are dry lips?

Do a self-check test if you’re wondering what dry lips look and feel like. First, see if you have one, two, or all of the main symptoms, including dryness, flaking, peeling, swelling, cracking, or worse, bleeding. If you tick some or all of them, bingo. You have chronic dry lips!  

Experts say the skin on our lips is the thinnest on the body. But unfortunately, it is also one of the most sensitive and delicate, making it more prone to damage. 

Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager, explains, “The lips don’t have a protective layer. It neither has sweat nor sebaceous glands which are responsible for producing the hydrolipidic film, the skin’s bodyguard.” 

This makes them vulnerable to external aggressors and susceptible to becoming dry and flaky.

What causes dry lips?

Woman appplying a lip balm

What are dry lips a sign of? “Several factors cause lips to dry: from environmental factors and lifestyle choices to certain health conditions or medication reactions, all of which can lead to loss of hydration, irritation and inflammation,” Wedad Abdelrahman, NHS Consultant Dermatologist tells Beauty Daily.  

Here are six common causes of dry lips: 

  • Environmental factors: Constant exposure to environmental factors, such as sun exposure, fluctuating weather conditions, harsh wind, and dry air, are common culprits of dry lips.
  • Drinking too much alcohol: Dehydration is one of the leading causes of dry lips. The next time you’re drinking and socialising, make sure to keep yourself hydrated by drinking water after each alcoholic beverage.
  • Excessive lip licking: If you think lip licking can solve your chapped lips issues, you’re entirely mistaken. Instead, you’re making it worse. Experts say saliva aggravates dryness, which is why your lips seem to get drier and drier the more you try to lick and fix the issue.
  • Spicy and salty food: Experts suggest refraining from consuming too much salty and spicy food, which can irritate your lips and cause inflammation.
  • Cosmetics: If you feel certain sensations such as burning, stinging, or feeling uncomfortable when you apply a product to your lips, it means you’re irritating your lips, so you should stop using that product.
  • Vitamin deficiency: B vitamins, zinc and iron deficiencies have been reported to be a potential cause of dry lips. So load up on your greens as they are rich in zinc and iron.
  • Lip Comfort Oil 01 Honey

Clarins Lip Comfort Oils are enriched with Vitamin E thanks to jojoba and Hazelnut oils. Beauty Daily recommends using Lip Comfort Oil in Honey, £22, and leaving it overnight for ultra- nourished lips in the morning. 

How to get rid of dry lips fast

Follow our guide on how to get rid of chapped lips.

Soothing, fixing and preventing dry lips

1. Exfoliate your lips  

“You can exfoliate crusty lips using the Comfort Scrub, £26. It contains sugar microcrystals from beetroot, which are effective in removing dead skin cells, while the wild mango butter has nourishing properties to soothe the lips. Oily and gentle, it works brilliantly as a lip exfoliator,” McHale says. 

McHale advises to be gentle as the skin on the lips are thin and delicate, “If your lips are drying out, let the product do the work. You don’t need to add additional pressure or friction. It will gently take away any dry skin from the lips on its own.”

2. Moisturise your lips with a lip balm 

To plump and smooth extremely dry lips, McHale recommends the Extra-Firming Lip and Contour Balm, £33. “This soothing balm is formulated with raspberry seed oil and shea butter which repairs, replenishes, softens and moisturises severe dry lips.”

Or, we love the Hydra-Essentiel Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, £21. This excellent lip care has multiple five-star ratings for its ability to replenish and restore the driest of lips. It also has a natural rosy tint which gives the lips a more plumped appearance. It’s also great for lip wrinkles, as well as dry skin too! 

Clarins beauty advisors also recommend the Calm-Essentiel Soothing Repairing Balm, £30 for people with dry, cracked, and itchy lips. Apply liberally to affected areas to soothe sensitivity, dryness and irritation at any time during the day. 

Calm Essential Soothing Balm

3. Apply sunscreen on your lips  

One of the most overlooked ways of how to fix dry lips is to apply SPF to them on a daily basis. Lips are just as prone to the sun’s radiation as the rest of the body, which means they’re also vulnerable to skin cancer. Choose a lip balm or a sunscreen stick every day, ideally with SPF50.

Apart from the SPF in lip balms, look for moisturising ingredients, including hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, glycerin and shea butter. Swipe a fresh coat after eating, drinking, or sweating. Reapply every two hours for continued sun protection and intense hydration. 

4. Stay hydrated 

When considering how to stop dry skin on lips, hydration is key. Since dehydration can be a major cause of dry lips, make sure to keep hydrated and aim for an intake of two litres of filtered water a day, which can include herbal teas.

5. Invest in a humidifier 

If you’re suffering with constant dry lips and your environment is arid, invest in a humidifier. Keep the humidity in your home between 30% and 50%.

6. Avoid holding items made of metal to your lips

Jewellery and other everyday products made of metal can irritate your already inflamed lips.

7. Eat a rainbow diet

If you want to treat and prevent dry lips, opt for non-citrus fruits and vegetables. All vegetables and fruits are alkalising, so eat ‘the rainbow’ regularly. However, some fruits and vegetables can raise acidities, such as tomatoes, cranberries, citrus fruits, rhubarb, prunes, plums, dried fruit and to a lesser extent, blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, so be mindful not to overload on these. Everything is about balance, including the body’s pH level, which needs about 70% alkaline and 30% acidic foods to function optimally.

Symptoms your dry lips need medical attention 

While dry lips don’t require medical intervention, some may develop a more severe form of dry lip condition called cheilitis. 

Cheilitis is a condition that causes red, swollen patches in the corners of the mouth where your lips meet and make an angle. The NHS advises seeing a GP if your lips are hot, painful and swollen as this could be a sign of infection. 

While the environment and lifestyle choices are common causes of dry lips, certain health conditions, such as thyroid disease or Crohn’s Disease, can all have chapped lips as a side effect.

In addition, experts say menopausal and post-menopausal women often experience estrogen levels drop. This result in a reduction of saliva flow in some women causing dry mouth and dry lips.

If after following a healthy dietary and lifestyle change you see no improvement or if symptoms become worse, you should consult with your doctor as there could be an underlying medical condition or a vitamin/mineral deficiency.

Suffering from dry under eyes? Read How to Tackle Dry Skin Around The Eyes.

Does Alcohol Age Your Skin? The Experts Weigh In

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