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Not only is the skin on our lips much thinner than on the rest of our body, it also lacks any sweat glands or hair follicles. As for melanin, the pigment that causes your skin to tan when exposed to the sun and helps protect from ultraviolet rays, your lips are without that, as well. What all this means is that lips are more vulnerable to various environmental factors and can easily become dry, chapped and sometimes even cracked. Not only is this an unpleasant sight, but it can also be quite painful.
There is a wide range of conditions that can cause lips to dry out. Of course, there are environmental triggers beyond our control, like frigid weather, prolonged sun exposure and strong wind. But beyond Mother Nature, other possible causes include allergies, dehydration and breathing through your mouth. Even certain medications can make lips dry.
When your lips are feeling dry, it may be instinctive to lick them, but this will only make the problem worse. The saliva on your lips eventually evaporates along with any natural oils, causing lips to become even drier. Before periods of prolonged sun exposure, be sure to use some form of SPF on your pucker, whether it means applying a lip balm with UVA/UVB protection or just dabbing on a little sunscreen.
Making it a point to regularly drink enough water will ensure your lips don’t dry out as a result of your body being dehydrated. Also, if the air in your home is particularly dry, a humidifier can serve as an effective solution.
Keeping your lips hydrated and healthy requires a balance of ingredients that are emollients (for softening) and humectants (for retaining moisture). Look for lip products that contain unprocessed plant-based oils and butters, like shea butter, coconut oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, or jojoba oil. Additional protection can be found from herbal ingredients like chamomile and calendula. And always opt for balms that are made using natural wax, like beeswax, carnauba or candellila.
Avoid any products that contain fragrance or flavored oils. Also, stay away from petroleum-based products, as they provide a temporary fix at best, but likely won’t cure dry lips long-term.
Mukti Macadamia & Honey Lip Balm
S.W. Basics Organic Lip Balms Flight
RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm