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Lip Care 101: How To Care For Dry, Chapped Lips

Lip Care 101: How To Care For Dry, Chapped Lips

As the temperatures drop and the air gets colder and drier, you may have noticed that your lips feel chapped and dry all the time. Not only does is this a really uncomfortable feeling, but it can also be painful, especially when your lips crack or even bleed. While it may be tempting to blame the weather, in truth, there are many causes of lip dryness. According to dermatologists, the skin on your lips is very thin – only 3 to 5 layers thick, versus your face, which is 16 layers thick. Plus, lips don’t have the sebaceous oil glands found elsewhere on your skin. This combo of thin skin and lack of oil is a major factor in why lips dry out so much more quickly than your face – even if you have oily skin.

With the help of some simple lip care techniques, you can restore chapped lips and keep them soft and supple. Let’s break down the main causes of chapped lips, and share top tips to keep your lips healthy and moisturized. 

Chapped Lips

Main Causes of Chapped Lips

Lip Products With Fragrance

Using lip balms or lipstick that contains synthetic fragrance and strong medicinal ingredients such as camphor and menthol can dry out your lips. Because the skin on your lips is so thin, it is that much more reactive to any chemicals and/or strong ingredients. Choose lip products with little to no synthetic fragrance, and avoid lip balms containing camphor, menthol, or eucalyptus – these strong ingredients can cause irritation and potentially, an allergic reaction.

Vitamin Deficiencies

Lip peeling or redness can be linked to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially in Zinc and B vitamins. These essential nutrients play a crucial role in promoting healthy skin and aiding in wound healing. A lack of zinc and B vitamins, particularly Vitamin B12, may result in dry, cracked lips that struggle to heal. Taking regular supplements and making sure your diet is full of healthy, nutritious foods can help to resolve this issue.


For your lips to feel moisturized, hydration is key. Drinking enough water each day is not only essential for your body, but also for lip care. If you're not drinking enough water, your lips may become dry and chapped. Make sure to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and if you're active, you may need more than that. Keeping a refillable water bottle with you throughout the day is a good way to encourage more water intake.  

Licking Your Lips

Don't lick your lips! Many people have the habit of licking their lips when they feel dry. Although it may provide temporary relief, it actually makes the problem worse. Licking your lips can cause the saliva to evaporate, leaving your lips even drier than before. Also, saliva contains enzymes that can irritate and damage the fragile skin on your lips. Make sure to keep a lip balm or protectant handy, so you won’t feel tempted to lick your lips.

 Lip Care Tips

Our Top Lip Care Tips


One of the key ways to keep your lips healthy is by exfoliating them once or twice a week. Exfoliating will help remove any dead skin cells on your lips, allowing a new layer of skin to form. You can use a warm washcloth, homemade honey and sugar scrub, or a fruit-acid based lip exfoliating product to get the job done. A gentle exfoliation can go a long way toward lip care by keeping your lips soft and smooth.


After exfoliation, the next step is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It’s THE most important lip care step to keeping your lips healthy. Choose a lip balm with hydrating ingredients such as shea butter, beeswax, glycerin, lanolin, or ceramides. Nourishing ingredients like these can help lock in moisture, prevent your lips from getting dry, keep them plump and soft.  


If you’re going to be spending time in the outdoors, or facing extreme weather conditions such as excessive sun, wind, or cold, it’s important to apply lip care products with protection such as SPF (for sunny conditions), or a barrier protectant made with lanolin or petrolatum (for cold and windy conditions). The right lip barrier protectant can help keep your lips safe from damage, dehydration, and sun exposure.

Avoid Harsh Lip Products

Steer clear of lip balms, lipsticks, and glosses that contain potentially irritating ingredients such as parabens, fragrance, alcohol, strong essential oils, or overly-drying matte formulas that don’t contain enough moisturizing ingredients. If you must use these kinds of products occasionally, make sure to first protect your lips with a hydrating product before applying them over top. 

Woman applying lip gloss 

Our Favorite Lip Care Products

Image Skincare Ormedic Lip Enhancement Complex

This cult-favorite lip treatment moisturizes, softens and helps to plump the lips’ appearance. With the nourishment of avocado oil and vitamin E, the replenishing formula delivers a surge of moisture to instantly soothe and comfort dry lips.

Vacation Pineapple Upside-Down Cake Lip Balm

A sumptuous SPF 30 Lip Balm inspired by the hallowed “Pineapple Upside-Down Cake” that boasts world-class flavor, lip-nourishment, and broad-spectrum protection.

Avène Cicalfate Restorative Lip Cream

This silky lip cream seals in moisture to soothe and hydrate while facilitating the recovery process. Water-resistant lips care provides 6 hour hydration and protection for delicate lips.

Paul & Joe Lip Treatment Balm

This nourishing lip balm is a deeply hydrating treatment for chapped lips. Leaves a transparent, moisturizing and smooth veil on your lips. With a subtle, natural rose scent, this lip treatment balm is also the perfect base for lipstick.

Cosmedix Lumi Crystal Lip Hydrator

Lumi Crystal instantly transforms the look of lips and deeply conditions for a rejuvenated, softer-looking pout. Formulated with a 90% pure liquid crystal base and a plumping peptide, this indulgent gloss delivers a burst of hydration to dry, dull lips with a high-shine finish.