The Best Ways to Fix Horribly Dry Lips

Dry lips suck!

Why are my lips always dry and peeling? Why are my lips so dry even with chapstick? How to I get rid of dry flaky lips?

Sound like you? Well I’ve got some answers! Here are 5 of the most common reasons your lips are always dry and how you can fix each of them!

The causes aren’t always what you think!

5 tips to fix your lips

Why do I have dry lips?

Dry lips are super common. While some people have more issues than others, a majority could definitely use some more hydration.

If your lips feel dry, tight, rough, or flaky, they just aren’t in their best shape. These are the top 5 reasons why most people have dry lips. Do any of them apply to you?


Dehydration can cause dry lips

Unfortunately, most of the population is dehydrated to some degree. It’s typically not a harmful amount, but being fully hydrated can make a world of difference in how your skin looks and feels, especially the lips.

The typical 8 glass a day rule really isn’t enough water for most people. Plus it’s not very specific. I mean, what size glass?

Most people need to drink half of their body weight in ounces of water a day. So a 140lb person would need 70 ounces a day, a 200lb person would need 100 ounces and so on.

And this is just the minimum!

Exercise, hot environments, physical labor all require more water!

Are you drinking enough? If not, you should start slowly increasing your water intake until your at the minimum for your body weight. Remember, take your body weight in pounds and divide that umber in half to get your minimum number of ounces.

Once your at that minimum, keep your intake at that level for a couple of weeks and see how much of a difference it make for your skin and lips! It’s been about a year for me and I can definitely say it made a HUGE difference, and not just in my skin but in my general well being too!

Licking Your Lips

This is something I struggle with to this day. But licking your lips actually makes them more dry!

Although you feel some temporary relief, it quickly fades away and leave your lips in worse shape. Not only does saliva contain some digestive enzymes (which are definitely not doing your skin any favors) it also evaporates pretty quickly.

Since it evaporates so quickly, it doesn’t have any time to penetrate or hydrate your lips, and the evaporation itself can have a drying effect.

Bottom line is that licking your lips is terrible for them. Instead, you should make sure to carry around a hydrating lip product and apply it as needed through out the day.

Sun Damage

sun damage can cause dry lips
Photo by YIFEI CHEN on Unsplash

Your lips are just as susceptible to sun damage as the rest of your skin, if not more susceptible.

It doesn’t take much UV exposure to damage your delicate lip skin. Think back to the last time you had a sun burn, even a mild one. Remember how dry and rough your shoulder skin felt while it was healing? That happens to your lips too.

The best way to prevent sun damage on your lips is to use a face safe sun protection product before you apply your makeup and/or using a lip product that has sun protection or a mechanical type shield.

Which brings me to my next point, you could be using the wrong lip products.

You’re Using the Wrong Products for Dry Lips

Chapstick was not made to hydrate your lips.

There has fortunately been a ton of info floating around about being addicted to chapstick. While it’s not really an addiction (it doesn’t actually cause withdrawals) it does make your lips feel drier.

Chapstick was actually made to prevent chapping. It’s in the name! It’s made with wax and other ingredients that form a protective layer over your lip skin. This protective layer helps to keep your lips safe and protected in extreme environments.

It’s good for preventing windburn on a bike ride, damage from cold air and wind while skiing, sun a saltwater protection when your’re at the beach, etc.

Unfortunately though, it also protects your lips from water and hydration. Wax is hydrophobic, meaning that it repels water molecules. So even though it’s trapping in the moisture that;s already there, it’s not letting any moisture in either.

You may be thinking that it only prevents moisture from entering while it’s on, but it takes a lot more time for the wax to naturally come off your lips. Like days.

So on top of your lips never being clean of wax long enough to moisturize, it’s also trapping in your dead skin cells. 😭 Ew. But that’s why your lips feel so dry and flaky as the wax layers start coming off. Imagine how many dead skin cells you have trapped in there if you’re applying more layers of chapstick all day long. Gross.

It seems crazy, but that’s whats happening. And the only true way to remove wax is either with time or exfoliation.

You Need to Exfoliate

exoliate dry lips

So think of how many wax based lip products you use. Even if you don’t use chapstick regularly.
– Chapstick
– Carmex
– Lipstick
– Lip Liner

Bottom line is, a large majority of lip products are wax based. It stays put, it holds color well, it does protect your lips, but it’s not your best option.

To help rid your lips of these built up wax layers and dead skin cells, you need to exfoliate them. GENTLY.

Remember, your lip skin is delicate.

So if you don’t want to wait weeks for your lips to shed all of this excess gunk, a gentle scrub will help. While it won’t get it all of at once, a regular exfoliation routine and moisturizing with the proper products will have your lips feeling soft and smooth in no time!

Related Post: Top 5 Must Have Beauty Products

What are the best products for my dry lips?

In short, products that don’t contain wax. There are quite a few moisturizers out there that work really well. Some better than others, but once the wax is out of the equation, it really just comes down to personal preference.

Here is a couple of different types of moisturizers and my top product picks for each one!

Shea Butter

Shea butter is becoming increasingly popular, even in lip products.

We know shea butter is an amazing skin moisturizer. It’s in countless lotions and body butters, but it’s AMAZING for your lips skin too. It is deeply hydrating and provides a minimal amount of sun protection!

In addition to all of the hydration it provides, it contains oleic, stearic, palmitic, and linolenic acids which help prevent your skin from drying in the first place!

Shea butter is my absolute top pick for lip moisture! I mean, with all of these benefits, how could it not be?

Top Product Picks:
Best Lip Balm (Cocoa and Shea Butters)
Best Lip Gloss (Shea Butter + tons of color options)
Best Lip Color (Shea Butter + Vegan + Natural Pigments)

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is most well known for helping to prevent stretch marks. BUT it helps with that because it help to keep skin soft, moisturized, and elastic in the deeper layers.

So of course, if it’s hydrating the lower levels of your body skin, you can bet it reaches all of the layers of your lip skin! I recommend using a pure cocoa butter or one with very minimal ingredients. If you find a lip balm that cocoa butter based, make sure you read all of the ingredients! Most of them still have a ton of wax.

Top Product Pick:
I personally recommend this pure raw and unrefined cocoa butter from sky organics!

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