What are chapped lips?
Chapped lips are not just dry lips. The dryness is so severe that the skin flakes and cracks. This can cause sores and cracks at the corner of the mouth, but also sores on the lip. Sores at the corner of the mouth and cracks on the lip that won't heal are painful and require you to make an effort to get your skin back on the right and healthy track - which Australian Bodycare's Lip Balm can help you with.
We will guide you on how best to do this further down in the article. Firstly, you'll learn why your lips can become so dry that they crack and split.
Why do you get dry, chapped and cracked lips?
The skin on the lips is particularly vulnerable and therefore cracks more easily than the rest of the skin on the body. This is because the skin is thinner.
The thin skin allows the blood vessels to show through, giving the lips a different colour than the surrounding skin. The skin on the lips also has no pigment or sebaceous and sweat glands. As a result, they are much less protected from the sun and dehydration.
The lack of lipids makes the skin vulnerable to evaporation and therefore the skin cannot retain moisture in the same way.
There are various reasons why your lips may crack. We will take you through the most common causes here.
Wind and weather
Environmental factors such as wind, cold temperatures and low humidity are typical causes of chapping of the skin on your lips.
Keeping your lips healthy and moisturised is particularly difficult in cold and windy conditions. The big temperature changes in winter, when you go from the warmth of your home to the cold outside, can be particularly hard on your lips, causing them to dry out and eventually crack.
However, it's not just the low temperatures in winter that can cause chapped lips. The sun and high temperatures are also hard on delicate skin.
The sun dries out the already moisturised skin on the lips. Therefore, it also requires attention when the sun comes out if you want to avoid chapped and cracked lips.
Lack of vitamins
Can vitamin deficiency cause chapped lips? The short answer is: Yes, it can.
If you are prone to chapped lips and cracks at the corners of your mouth, it may be due to vitamin deficiency. The cracks typically occur if you lack vitamin B2, B9 or B12.
If your skin is dehydrated, it can cause chapped lips and cracks at the corner of your mouth. If you don't drink enough fluids, your skin won't be moisturised from the inside. This can affect your lips, which can become so dry that they develop cracks and sores.
Wrong kind of moisture
Do you often wet your lips with your tongue to moisturise them when they start to dry out and crack? This has the exact opposite effect. .
When lips feel a little dry, many people tend to use saliva from their tongue to moisturise. However, the moisturising effect is short-lived - once the saliva has penetrated the skin, you are left with lips that are even more dry and chapped than before.
Water - and therefore saliva - has a drying effect. Saliva contains enzymes that destroy the thin layers of skin on your lips. Your lips need to be moisturised by the right moisturisers.
Finally, one cause of chapped lips can be cigarette smoke. You don't have to be a smoker yourself. But if you are exposed to a lot of passive smoking, it can affect your moisture balance.
Smoke dries out your skin, which can be hard on the delicate skin on your chapped lips.
How to treat and prevent dry lips?
While there are various causes of cracked and chapped lips, there are also several ways you can treat them and get rid of the cracks.
Both if the damage has already been done, or if you want to be proactive and prevent your lips from chapping or cracking at the corners of your mouth.
Use the right lip care
First and foremost, lips need a good skincare regime with nourishing moisture if you want to say goodbye to chapped lips. For that, a lip balm is your main weapon in the fight against chapped lips.
A lip balm moisturises the lips and adds a protective layer over the vulnerable skin. The strong barrier protects the lips from the elements, while the fat layer reduces evaporation from the lips. This all means that the skin gets the right help to retain moisture.
When choosing a lip balm, it can be tempting to pick one with a nice scent or flavour. This is rarely a good idea, as products with fragrances or flavours typically contain ingredients that can irritate your lips. And then you risk being knocked back to those painful chapped lips.
Australian Bodycare's Lip Balm is specially formulated to moisturise your lips, so you can both prevent and provide first aid for chapped lips. The lip balm is packed with nourishing ingredients such as Australian Tea Tree Oil, which fights bacteria and soothes and heals the skin.
Apply a layer of the moisturising pomade to your lips as needed - you can always have it with you when your lips need a boost of moisture. This way you avoid falling into the trap of using your saliva as moisture.
You can also use it at night, when the moisturising ingredients can really work their magic in peace and quiet.
Protection from the sun
Do your lips dry up when the sun's rays peek out from behind the winter-heavy clouds? The sun's harsh UV rays are tough on the delicate skin on your lips. And if you already have chapped lips, you'd be wise to protect them extra well from the sun.
It's essential to use a sun stick with an SPF specifically for lips. It will moisturise your lips while providing effective protection against UV rays.
Drink, drink, drink
This cannot be emphasised enough. Water is healthy. Also for your skin - and therefore your lips. If you have cracks at the corners of your mouth and chapped lips, it's a good idea to drink plenty of water.
This will moisturise your skin from the inside out. This can be felt in the moisture balance of the skin, especially in the exposed skin area of the lips.
How to treat chapped lips for kids?
It is not only adults who are often bothered by cracked and chapped lips. Many children can also get sore lips - especially during the cold and windy winter months.
As with adults, it is important that children who are prone to chapped lips drink enough to keep their skin hydrated. You should make sure your child drinks about 1.5 litres of water a day, even if they are not thirsty, to ensure adequate hydration.
For children, a lip balm is also one of the most important means to overcome chapped lips and sores at the corners of the mouth. They also have a habit of licking their lips with their tongue to moisturise them briefly. Explain to your child that saliva only makes things worse and help them get into the habit of applying lip balm regularly to their lips to keep them moisturised.
Also, take a look at your child's toothpaste. Many toothpastes create a lot of foam thanks to the substance sodium lauryl sulphate. This substance breaks down the skin's natural barrier and can cause irritation, leading to dry, chapped lips.
How do you fix chapped lips?
If you want to get rid of chapped lips, moisturising is key. Moisturise them with a good lip balm and remember to hydrate the skin from the inside by drinking plenty of water.
Why do lips crack?
Your lips crack, due to the skin on the lips being especially thin and exposed to dehydration. Whenever your lips get too dry, you risk getting wounds and cracks on and around the lips.
What do dry lips tell you?
Dry lips are a sign that your skin lacks moisture. It can also be a sign that your body is lacking vitamin B2, B9 or B12.
Does vaseline help towards dry lips?
Vaseline can be great for dry lips. However, the downside is that, unlike a lip balm, Vaseline is more oily and liquidy. This means you'll wear the product off your lips faster - and it won't do much good.