What Causes Dry Lips?

What Causes Dry Lips

Winter cold or summer heat, we’ve all suffered from dry lips. We take a closer look at what causes this condition, as well as some tips for fighting the dryness.

Why Do I Have Dry Lips?

As with dry skin, many women report suffering from dry lips, particularly in winter, when winds and cold temperatures combine to bother the sensitive area around the mouth. These external factors can leave lips feeling sensitive as a result of increased dryness. Additionally, the lip area has relatively thin skin compared to the rest of the body and needs more repeated application of topical moisturizers.1

How Do I Moisturize Lips?

When choosing products to help fight dry lips, it’s important to pay attention to their ingredients. A smooth gel texture may feel like it’s giving your lips some much-needed moisture, but in reality, not all lip balms or lip salves are created equal. In fact, there are two main types of moisturizers: emollients and humectants.

Emollients, such as shea butter, help cover lips with a protective layer, improving skin texture and smoothing the lip surface. Other moisturizers, known as humectants attract water molecules. Glycerin and hyaluronic acid are great examples of effective humectants.

1 Z. Ya-Xian, T. Suetake, H. Tagami, "Number of cell layers of the stratum corneum in normal skin — relationship to the anatomical location on the body, age, sex and physical parameters", in Archives of Dermatological Research 29.1 (1999) pp. 563-567 [Accessible at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10552214]
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