Dry lips: How to avoid them

Last updated: 4/1/2023

Professionally updated: 17 November 2022

Lips can become dry for many reasons, but in the winter they are extra exposed to cracking, which is irritating and painful. It is best to take action to prevent splitting and cracking.

Read here why you get dry lips, and what you can do to prevent it. 

Read by Anne Thestrup Meimbresse

Anne, Varde Pharmacy
Anne has a MSc in Pharmacy from the University of Southern Denmark and has worked as a pharmacist at the Varde pharmacy for several years. Here she advises both costumers and doctors about the correct use of medical products.

What can you do about dry and cracked lips? 

The best protection against dryness is regular care of your lips. The best way to do it is to use a good lip balm, which moisturises and protects against drying. 

The skin on the lips is thin. It is seen in the red colour, which is clearer than on the rest of the face. Besides, there are neither sweat glands nor sebaceous glands in the lips, so loss of moisture increases the likelihood of dry lips. 

A good lip salve forms a protective layer over the lips and provides nourishment and moisture, so that your lips do not crack. If you are often on the go, in varying humidity, you should make it a habit always to have a lip balm handy. Then you can treat dry lips before they crack and become painful. 

Care for your lips with nourishing Tea Tree Oil

Lip Balm from Australian Bodycare is the best way to give your lips what they need to stay healthy and soft. 

Lip Balm is enriched with the essential oil, Tea Tree Oil, which combats bacteria and repairs the skin. This means it is ideal for cracked lips that need gentle first aid. It comes in the form of a classic lip salve, which you turn to apply the product. 

Give your lips a layer of Lip Balm at bedtime 

If you often have dry lips, you can apply a generous layer of Lip Balm before you go to bed. This will allow it to work, while you are lying still, and not talking or licking your lips, which is when it comes off again. 

Night time is generally a good time for products such as hair treatments, rich face creams and lip balm, because the products can do their work undisturbed, providing moisture and balance for your hair, skin and lips. 

More good advice for dry lips

When you have found a good lip balm, there are other things you can do as well to combat dry lips. Here are a few of them. 

Take care, if you often wear lipstick 

Do you just love to complete your image with bright red lips? Then check whether that is the sinner causing your dry lips. 

There are vast numbers of lipsticks on the market, and some are better than others. Choose one that is not too dry, but is easy to spread on your lips. You can certainly get lipsticks that give a matt look without drying out the lips. 

When you have removed your lipstick, use a good lip balm – it will give your lips a shot of moisture before you put on lipstick again. 

Avoid picking dry lips

If you have dry lips, it often shows as white flakes. It is tempting to pick the dead skin off, but if you want to care for your lips, you should avoid picking. 

It can lead to small injuries, which are worse that the dry lips you started with. If your lips have become very dry and cracked, then start with our Lip Balm and keep your fingers away – and then just be patient until the skin has healed again. 

Why do you get dry lips? 

Although cold weather is the usual cause of dry lips, other factors may play a part. Read more about them here. 

Your lips are dehydrated 

The skin on your lips, just like the rest of your skin, can become dehydrated. The best way to prevent dehydration is to drink lots of water – about 1.5 litres a day. This increases the moisture in the skin and reduces the risk of drying.

You breathe through your mouth 

You do it unconsciously, but if you discover that you are breathing through your mouth – especially outdoors – it may affect your lips. Try to breathe through your nose instead, so that your lips are not exposed to constant streams of air, which can dry them out. 

You moisten your lips with spit

When your lips are dry, the most natural reaction is to moisten them with spit. Paradoxically, your lips only need moisture – and not water (in the form of spit). The enzymes in spit actually make things worse and your lips will become painful. 

You have cold sores

About 20 % of the adult population suffer from recurring herpes virus (cold sores), which appear as itching and stinging, and later on sores on the lips. 

It is said that dry lips can trigger outbreaks, so if you have repeated herpes outbreaks, it is advisable to prevent dryness with a good, neutral lip salve.

Our Lip Balm with Tea Tree Oil is a good choice here, because the oil has nurturing and healing qualities. 

Remember that the outbreaks cannot be stopped with lip balm, but should heal by themselves in the course of seven to ten days. 

What can you do to avoid dry lips? 

If you want to prevent your lips from drying in the first place, there are precautions you can take. One way is to keep up with the changing seasons, especially summer and winter. 

Winter

For many people winter simply means cracked, split and painful lips. The thin skin has difficulty with changing temperatures indoors and out, and it is sensible to care for them before the frost comes and you spend time in the dry air near a radiator. 

Use a moisturising lip salve before the winter, so that your lips can stay safe and healthy through the cold months. 

Summer

The heat of summer can also cause dry lips. Apart from that, you must remember to take care of your lips under the sun’s rays, too. Just as you apply sun cream to your skin, you should use a lip balm with a protective factor in the summer. 

At a pinch, you can use sun cream on your lips, but it may feel rough and dry. It is far better, therefore, to use a lip balm with a protective factor – preferably SPF 30 or higher.