Chapped or dry lips are generally the result of an evaporation of moisture in the body. This is most common in the colder months. Chapped lips appear to be very dry. Other symptoms include:
- Burning sensation
- Cracks in the skin
- Peeling of the skin
Cracks and peeling are signs of extreme dryness. When lips are extremely dry, they can be painful and even bleed.
Causes of Chapped or Dry Lips
Chapped lips are generally caused by a lack of moisture. some lesser- known causes of this condition are:
- Excessive licking of the lips
- Allergies to cobalt or nickel
- Breathing through the mouth
- Toothpastes containing sodium lauryl sulfate, which is know to cause drying
- Dry weather
- Citrus fruits
- Excess Vitamin A
- Certain medications including Accutane, propranolol, or prochlorperazine
There are many lip balms and chap sticks available today. However, many of the ingredients found in these widely- distributed products are harmful to the body. Petroleum is a common ingredient in many lip products. Petroleum is derived from crude oil and is found in some of the following products:
- Lubricating oils
Petroleum doesn’t allow the skin to breathe and therefore is considered comedogenic. While petroleum in lip balms will help to create a moisture barrier on the lips, it is not a healthy way to alleviate the problem. There are several natural ingredients that will do this in a safe, healthy way. Some natural ingredients for dry lips are:
- Aloe Vera
- Vitamin E oil
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
- Shea butter
Shea butter is perhaps the best substance you can apply to the lips to help prevent them from chapping and to stay moist. Shea butter helps to hydrate the skin cells and restore the skin’s elasticity.
DHerbs recommends switching your current lip balm to a natural moisturizer. There are many natural, organic, and petroleum-free brands available today at natural grocery stores and cosmetics retailers.
Take extra precautions in the colder months or if you are in an especially dry area. Be sure to keep your lips covered and protected from the elements. Remember that the lips are very thin skin and can be damaged easily.
Stay hydrated. By doing so your lips will retain more moisture and will be less likely to get chapped and dry. Water feeds the entire body and is essential to every function we perform.