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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | The Real Reason Your Lips are Chapped

The Real Reason Your Lips are Chapped

Sometimes the hardest thing to keep track of is not your wallet or your keys, but your favorite tube of Chapstick. And without your trusty hydrating lip balm ready at all times, your lips are left vulnerable to sunlight and the paper-thin skin can crack in the summer heat. 

Why do we get dry lips?

 Chapped lips is the result of the over-drying of the skin, which can be caused by cold air, low humidity, strong winds, and sun exposure. While most of the skin on your body has fifteen to twenty cells of thickness, your lips have only three to five. Because the skin is so thin, it’s more vulnerable to over-drying and doesn’t have much protection to hold in moisture. Unfortunately, wearing trendy liquid lipsticks or lipsticks that lack moisture can make chapped lip cases even worse.

How to protect your lips

Taking care of your chapped lips is easy. While many think lip exfoliants and scrubs are the answer, it's really all about moisture.

“You just have to restore the barrier that holds in moisture while the skin of the lip is repairing itself and healing,” Dr. Schultz said. “The best way to do that is with oil-based products."

Try lip balms with petrolatum or beeswax; they restore moisture and lock it in to help your lips heal. When your lips crack, moisture is released, which makes cracks widen more and over-drying worsens. Thicker, heavier products give your lips more time to heal and stop the cycle of dryness.

But the best way to heal chapped lips? Stop licking them. When you lick your lips, the saliva worsens the irritation and ends up making your lips even more dry. Instead, swipe on a coat of lip balm and reapply often for smooth, soft, peel-free lips.

For more skin tips, learn from Dr. Schultz here

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