The skin on our lips behaves in a similar way to that around the eyes and, therefore, is different from the rest of the face. Both areas need special care, which is not enough with the normal day cream.
The skin of the lips is fragile, and the horny layer is so thin that it is often even said there is none in this area. In addition, there are sweat and sebaceous glands on the red area of the lips, which means that the lips hardly grease themselves.
Another difference to the rest of the skin: the lips do not produce any melanin. This is the dye that is produced when we are in the sun and, at the same time, protects us from it. Since the lips do not protect themselves from UVA and UVB rays, we have to think about SPF for the lips, especially in summer.
Causes of dry lips
You want to find out once and for all what is the cause of your dry lips? Perfect, because that is the best basis for avoiding them long-term. Here we have listed the most common triggers for chapped lips – does one or the other thing sound familiar to you?
Probably the most common reason for dry lips is dehydration. So that everything runs smoothly in terms of health and beauty, we should drink two or more liters of water daily. So raise your glasses; maybe the dry lips will be superfluous in the long run.
We already know that dry heating air can have a negative effect on our health, hair, and skin. And the thing with the weather goes even further: Even extreme cold in winter or extreme heat in summer can dry out the lips. Yes, even temperature fluctuations are noticeable on the lips.
In some situations, a humidifier can help here; in others, there is nothing you can do about the weather, but with good lip care, we can at least get the dryness on the lips under control with a lip balm.
A vitamin deficiency often manifests itself in the form of dry, chapped lips. Especially if the corners of your lips are chapped, this indicates a deficiency. Most of the time, we lack vitamin B2; you can find this in, for example, kale, peas, or broccoli.
A zinc deficiency is also noticeable, like a vitamin deficiency, leading to chapped or inflamed lips. For example, you can find iron in lentils, turmeric, sesame oil, or pumpkin seeds.
Whether you rely on plant sources of iron or take the trace elements as a supplement, combining it with vitamin C is important, as this promotes iron absorption. By the way: caffeine is rather counterproductive here and inhibits absorption.
The fact that the body and psyche form a unit is shown repeatedly and visible on the lips. Dryness at this point can indicate excessive and prolonged stress. Because in such situations, our body throttles the functions that are less important and saves energy to deal with the danger (whatever triggers your stress).
Relaxing is probably a tip that anyone suffering from stress can use. Nevertheless, many everyday methods help to reduce stress. Yoga, meditation, and writing are just a few of them. While an artful asana won’t solve your problems, it can help you see them differently. If none of this helps, you should talk to a doctor about your situation.
Perfume and alcohol in lipstick and co
As already mentioned, perfume and alcohol are drying. Therefore, we should avoid it in our lip care whenever possible. But what we often forget: Our lipstick can also contribute significantly to dry lips.
Matte lipsticks are drying, but glossy lipsticks can contain alcohol, perfume, or other drying ingredients. Taking a look at the ingredients is, therefore, worthwhile.
Varnish sun protection
The sun’s rays not only ensure that we can get sunburn but also dry out the skin and thus also the lips. Unlike the rest of the skin, the lips do not produce any melanin, which would protect them from the sun. That’s why sun protection for the lips is vital – but we often forget it.
If your lips are regularly cracked and dry despite the right care, this can also indicate a fungal infection. We didn’t know beforehand that the lips, in particular, are prone to such things. But like everywhere else, it is also the case with the skin of the lips that bacteria and fungi can penetrate through small cracks and spread there.
Getting rid of fungal is much more difficult than caring for your lips right from the start so that no cracks form as far as possible. However, if you suspect that the cause of your dry lips is something more serious, you should have a doctor assess the whole thing. But if your dry lips are a result of mere causes, it is advisable to use a lip balm.