Why Are My Lips So Dry? And What You Can Do About It
Explore wellness products for deeply hydrated and supple feeling lips
Answers to the question, “why are my lips so dry?”
“Why are my lips so dry?” How many times have you asked yourself this question in your lifetime? Sometimes the answer is obvious; you spent a sunny day outside at the beach without SPF. Other times, the answer seems less obvious; “I think I drank enough water today?”
Taking care of the delicate skin on our lips is as important as the skin care routine we prioritize for the rest of our face. Though experiencing dry or chapped lips is common and relatively harmless, it’s still uncomfortable and a nuisance. One of the most common culprits? Licking our lips! Though tempting to lick our lips in an effort to rehydrate them, saliva actually evaporates very quickly and leaves your lips drier than before.
Some of the symptoms of dry lips, medically known as cheilitis, include irritation, dryness and peeling of the skin’s outer layer, most often caused by dry, cold or windy weather. Fear not, as there are many ways we can use plant-based and 100% natural plant ingredients to soothe and rebalance hydration in the lips, and we’re going to introduce you to some of our favorite products today.
Why are my lips so dry? Overexposure to the elements
One of the leading causes of dryness and irritation to the lips is overexposure to the elements. Whether you’re sitting under the hot sun at the beach and swimming all day in salt water or you’re skiing on a mountain top, the wind whipping against your face, overexposure to extreme outdoor elements can cause your lips to feel chapped, dry and even swollen. Did you know that even the common cold can cause dry lips? Congestion and runny nose force us to breathe more frequently through our mouth, which of course can cause increased dryness. So what can we do to combat overexposure to the elements and reduce dryness and irritation to our lips? We can apply protective and nourishing balms and salves before, during and after exposure to keep our lips feeling supple and supported.
Our top choice for a protective lip product:
Lip Protect: our carrot lip salve was created specifically for sun worshippers, outdoor enthusiasts and those with extra thirsty lips. Richly moisturizing coconut oil is blended with shea nut butter, rich in vitamins and essential fatty acids and carrot seed oil, known for its ability to keep skin supple and moisturized, especially after sun exposure and time spent outdoors. We like to keep Lip Protect tucked into our jacket pocket or hip bag for easy application as required throughout the day.
Why are my lips so dry? You’re not drinking enough water
Another major culprit when it comes to dry lips is improper hydration of the body. Our bodies are made up of 60% water after all, so it stands to reason that there’s an increased likelihood of our lips becoming chapped, sore and peeling if we’re neglecting to keep our hydration top of mind. Dehydration happens when we lose more fluids than we are taking in, so for example if you’re partaking in an active workout that’s causing you to sweat but neglecting to drink water throughout, you may notice your mouth and lips feel particularly dry afterwards. Some other common symptoms of dehydration can include feeling extremely thirsty, feeling tired and having to use the bathroom less frequently. Getting enough fresh, clean water each day is of paramount importance, and your lips will thank you for it.
Our top choice for a moisture-replenishing lip product:
Lip Nourish: this spearmint lip salve was formulated to help you kiss dry lips goodbye. Blended with coconut to treat the dryness and help encourage regeneration, vitamin E for skin soothing and smoothing, aloe vera as a skin conditioner and essential oils of spearmint, fennel and peppermint for tingling and freshness, Lip Nourish is our most restorative blend for the lips. We love to slather on a thick layer before bed each night and wake up to smooth and balanced lips.
Why are my lips so dry? You’re using the wrong ingredients to hydrate them
You might be saying to yourself, “but I regularly use lip balms and salves and I still experience dry lips!” which is why we suggest that it might be the wrong ingredients that you’re using in an attempt to rehydrate. When looking at lip products specifically for treating dryness, there are a number of ingredients you should avoid as they have been known to exacerbate symptoms of dryness, irritation and discomfort. Always choose lip products that have been formulated without artificial fragrances, alcohol, phenol and even salicylic acid. Salicylic acid is sometimes used to help slough dead skin cells and smooth the lips temporarily, but it's been known to cause inflammation and irritation over time. At Saje, each and every product we formulate is made with 100% plant ingredients specifically chosen to support smoothing, soothing, easing dryness and are free of potential irritants.
Our top choices for everyday lip care products:
Tingle Lips balm: our top-selling, refreshing balm called Tingle Lips is a fan-favorite for the way that it hydrates the lips while stimulating the senses. The nourishing base of this balm is made from skin care superfoods like coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and vitamin E, and peppermint essential oil bring freshness, cooling and tingling. Apply throughout the day or as often as desired to ease dryness and chapped lips.
Coco Lips balm: formulated to soothe extra sensitive and dry lips, Coco Lips is a nourishing blend of coconut oil to promote regeneration, shea butter to leave lips feeling deeply moisturized and the hero ingredient, cocoa seed butter, known for its ability to aid in repairing damaged skin. We like to keep Coco Lips in all our backpacks, purses and jacket pockets so relief from dryness is always close at hand.
Why are my lips so dry? Makeup and other face products
One of the lesser-known causes of dry lips may have to do with the makeup and skin care products you’re using regularly. Lipsticks, lip glosses and lip stains in particular are commonly formulated with methylparaben and polyparaben, both of which are known as potential endocrine disruptors as well as dyes and perfumes that can cause your lips to dry out quickly and feel extra agitated. In general, we encourage you to seek clean beauty brands that formulate makeup and lip products with as few ingredients as possible, being mindful to avoid ingredients that are thought to cause irritation to the lips and skin on the face. We want to share two products from our skin care collection that what while not specifically formulated for the lips are a welcome addition to any skin care routine that is built from clean, green beautifying ingredients.
Our top picks for skin care products:
Rose Mist: this fresh and floral mist can be used on the face, body and hair anytime you’re looking for a pick-me-up and wanting to experience the deeply hydrating effects of rose. Known as the queen of flowers, rose is a common addition to skin care products simply because of how soothing, calming and balancing it is to the body. Mist generously and breathe deeply to feel restored.
Bare Face makeup remover: this complete makeup remover, safe to be used on the entire face including the eyes, was formulated to be gentle yet effective at removing makeup at the end of the day. Aloe vera soothes and refreshes, coconut oil gently removes makeup while nourishing the skin and promoting regeneration and lavender helps to soothe skin irritations. Shake well, apply to skin using a cotton pad, washcloth or with the fingers and rinse well with warm water.
Never have to ask the question again, “why are my lips so dry?”
In order to prevent having to ask yourself the question “why are my lips so dry?” here are our favorite lifestyle tips for keeping the skin on your lips feeling supple, supported and comforted.
- Protect your lips. Before an outdoor adventure, whether in the summer or wintertime, apply a generous layer of balm prior to exposure and remember to reapply during the day or at the first signs of dryness.
- Avoid licking your lips. For many people, licking their lips is a nervous habit or a way in which we are attempting to restore moisture, which we now know is futile. If you’re feeling tempted frequently, it might be time to apply some balm.
- Breathe through your nose. When possible, avoid breathing exclusively through the mouth as this will increase the odds of causing dryness to the lips and mouth.
- Stay hydrated. Keep up with your daily fluids and keep the air in your home feeling moistened with the help of a diffuser or humidifier.
Taking care of our lips is as important as the wellness practices we employ on the rest of our face and body. Adding a good quality lip care product to your daily routine can help this be the last time you have to ask yourself, “why are my lips so dry?”