Chapped lips, also known as angular cheilitis, is a common issue for everyone since the skin of our lips is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your body. They are exposed to the elements, such as the sun and the cold, dry air, making them more prone to dryness, cracking, peeling and flaking.
Unlike the majority of your body, your lips lack sebaceous glands (oil glands), meaning they can’t produce their own moisture.
Whether you’re buying products at a store or making a home remedy, there are several ways to deal with chapped lips, such as:
- Glycerin, aloe vera, mineral oil, lactic acid, among others;
- Beeswax and vitamin E (good for sealing in moisture, but can cause an irritation if you have sensitive skin);
- Vaseline or Aquaphor (in case of severely chapped lips).
Chapped lips are covered in a layer of dry skin that can prevent your lip balm from healing that area. People often use lip scrubs to remove the dead skin cells, hydrate and moisturize the skin.
Common ingredients in a lip scrub are:
- Emollients (substances that soothe and moisturize the skin) such as coconut oil, shea butter, pure vitamin E oil, jojoba oil, among others.
- Humectants (ingredients which promote moisture retention) such as aloe vera, glycerin, and honey.
- Exfoliants (small solid fragments that get rid of the dead skin cells) such as white or brown cane sugar, coffee grounds, and course oats.
After using the lip scrub, make sure to use a repairing lip balm like petroleum jelly, for example.
You may not notice that you’re mildly dehydrated, so it’s better to make it a habit to drink water throughout the day. When the body is dehydrated, it draws water from certain areas to ensure the cells stay hydrated. This can cause dry skin, including the, you guess it, your lips.
Other symptoms of dehydration include:
- feeling thirsty;
- dry mouth;
The recommended daily amount of water varies depending on many factors, such as a person’s age, gender, and physical activity.
Most of the time, people don’t notice the quantity and frequency of how much someone touches their lips. This could be biting, licking or pulling on them, mostly done subconsciously.
When removing dry skin from your lips, you run the risk of removing healthy skin as well. This can increase the healing time and may even cause bleeding.
To prevent chapped lips, you can:
- use products that contain sunscreen;
- exfoliate regularly;
- avoid/quit smoking;
- stay hydrated.
These tips may be useful in preventing chapped lips, and can also help to repair your precious attributes!