Welcome back to Haley’s Beauty Room! It’s January, meaning in the Midwest it’s dry, cold, and my lips are feeling the effects. The other day I woke up to extremely dry, chapped lips.
This isn’t the kind where a little lip exfoliation, mask, and balm will do the trick. This is no joke chapped and painful. I even have cracks on the side of my mouth that hurt every time I eat or talk. Great visual, I know.
If you know me, you know that I’m a lip balm hoarder. I have at least 5 chapsticks in every room, my purse, car, at work, etc. I consistently use a lip mask at night and I try to exfoliate my lips every few days or as needed. So needless to say, I was not too happy when I woke up to the current state of my lips.
However, this got me thinking that maybe something in my routine just isn’t cutting it anymore. Maybe my products don’t have the right ingredients, or I’m not applying enough, etc. This automatically put me in research mode.
Before I go any further, I just want to state that I am not a doctor or medical professional. All things that I state have come from my own research and personal experience. If you have any medical questions or items that need attention, please go and consult your general practitioner.
If your lip products contain menthol, phenol, salicyclic acid, castor oil, or camphor, you could just be making your dry lips worse. With the exception of castor oil, the other ingredients are tyically used in exfoliants. This means the outer layer of your lips is being removed leaving it exposed to the elements. You then feel drier and have to apply more, thus continuing the vicious cycle.
Castor oil, though thought to be a highly moisturizing oil, actually dries out the lips more as the oil dries. It’s best to also avoid heavily fragranced items, as fragrance contains alcohol which also dries out the skin.
WebMD recommends using products with emollients. The top two that I look for are petrolatum and dimethicone. Petrolatum locks in moisture while dimethicone seals off cracks and splits in your lips.
You’re Not Applying Often Enough
Believe it or not, our lips actually don’t have oil glands, so they can’t replenish their own moisture. Not applying your lip products often and early enough means you’re keeping them exposed to elements like dry air, saliva, and other factors.
According to WebMD, lip balms should be applied before lipstick or gloss and you need to reapply frequently. We’re talking like 6 to 8 coats a day, meaning you better apply first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and every couple of hours during the day.
You Have an Infection
If you constantly get those cracks on the corners of your mouth, it could actually mean you have a fungal infection called angular cheilitis.
“Angular cheilitis is a condition that causes red, swollen patches in the corners of your mouth where your lips meet and make an angle.” – WebMD
This pretty much happens with saliva collects in the corners of your mouth. It then dries and cracks leading to infection. You may constantly lick the area, providing warmth and moisture to an area where infections can grow.
If you think you have this, please go see your doctor, as they may prescribe antibiotics or a cream.
What You Should Be Doing
If you don’t have an infection and your lips are just dry and chapped, start drinking water and using a humidifier at night. Your body is simply just dehydrated and you need to replenish the moisture.
Next you need to reevaluate what lip balms and products you are already using. Do your current go-to’s contain any of the “bad” ingredients listed above? If they do, you don’t have to throw them out, they just won’t help you until your lips are back to normal. These ingredients aren’t necessarily bad for your lips, they just aren’t what you should be using when you have chapped lips.
If you’re already at the chapped stage, my go to is always Vaseline. The Original Lip Therapy has saved me on countless occasions and never fails. Plus it’s basically pure petrolatum, which is what we want!
Once you get a lip product that you need, make sure you apply it often. I am applying practically all day and at night I put on a super thick layer like a mask. This helps me wake to still moisturized lips.
Ultimately, find a routine that works for you and stick with it. No matter the time of year, make sure to take extra care of your lips through hydration, sunscreen, and good products!
What do you use to battle chapped lips? Any products you’d recommend for me? Let me know in the comments!