The skin on your lips is much more sensitive than the rest of your face. The lips do not contain oil glands like your skin does. This is why the chap so easily.
Lips will crack easily in cold air, sun or wind. When this happens, resist the temptation to pick the peeling skin off your chapped lips.
Mouth breathing can also cause chapped lips. The air that is constantly passing over your lips serves to dry them out.
Toothpaste can be another cause of dry lips due to the ingredient sodium lauryl sulfate. Check your toothpaste label(s). You may also want to check for dehydrating alcohols in toothpastes, which you want to avoid.
Too much vitamin A can cause chapped lips. If you take more than 25,000 IU of vitamin A daily, you’re consuming too much.
Soon after licking dry, chapped lips, they will feel dry again. This causes you to lick them again. Before you even realize it, you’re in a continuing cycle of lip dehydration, because saliva evaporates – quickly. Now your already sore, chapped lips will be even drier than before. Eventually, you’ll be left with a rough, dry, shrunken upper layer separated from the moist layer below it.
Food That Can Cause Chapped Lips
The acid in citrus fruits can irritate the delicate skin on your lips. Tomato sauce is another potential irritant, especially if one already has chapped lips. Cinnamates, used in candy, gum and toothpaste among other things, can have the same effect.
Preventing Chapped Lips
- Even though licking your chapped lips seems to provide relief, resist the temptation. Your lips are more likely to chap as they dry.
- Apply a lip ointment at night. During the day use on that contains a sunscreen.
- When reapplying lipstick, don’t wipe off the old coat. Doing so causes irritation. At night, gently remove traces of lipstick with petroleum jelly or cold cream.
You can also use petroleum jelly or beeswax to keep your lips moist during the day.
Did you know?
Dry, cracked lips can be associated with deficiencies of certain B vitamins.