Having dry and chapped lips isn't just physically unappealing, it also feels uncomfortable. It's also the reason why you can't properly apply your favorite rouge. But the question is, what causes it?
Our lips have very thin skin, so it's prone to drying and can show early signs of aging. Dermatologist Dr. Raissa Pasion explains the reasons for dry smoochers, "Dehydration is one of the major causes of chapped lips. If we are not drinking enough fluids, it shows on our skin and lips." She adds that while we think chronic lip licking helps to moisturize our lips, it's actually a futile effort given that "constant exposure to the saliva will eventually irritate chapped lips and dry them out even more."
Climate also plays a role in your cracked pucker. Dr. Raissa says, "Dry environments, such as traveling to a colder climate and being in an air-conditioned room the whole day, can aggravate lip chapping." To which, she added: "Persistent lip chapping can also be a sign of a more serious disorder. If the chapping persists for more than a few weeks despite moisturizing, or if there are crusts and blisters, it is best to see a dermatologist. These can be signs of allergies, infections, or actinic keratosis (a pre-cancerous growth)."
But, all these causes can be prevented by simply moisturizing your lips. Here are some tips to retain moisture on your pout:
1. "Hydrate yourself well. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily. There is even an app now that tracks how much water you drink in a day!"
2. "Be conscious if you have the habit of licking your lips. Avoid picking or peeling off dead skin from chapped lips."
3. "Moisturize your lips daily with a basic lip balm that contains ingredients such as petrolatum, vitamin E or shea butter. Stay away from flavored or heavily scented lip balms as these added ingredients can cause further irritation. Use it at least twice a day, at night before sleeping and in the morning."
4. "For use during the day, select a lip balm with a sun protection factor (SPF) as our lips are also prone to the damaging effects of the sun [that causes wrinkles and skin cancer]."
5. "Avoid matte or long lasting lipsticks, which tend to be drying. Before applying a lip color, rub in a thin amount of lip balm (even plain petroleum jelly works well) and wait a few seconds for it to soak in. Then apply a moisturizing lipstick or gloss."