Dry lips are more than a cosmetic problem
iStock/gacooksey Dry, chapped lips do more than mar an otherwise picturesque smile; dry lips can be painful, especially when they crack and bleed. They tend to occur more often during the cold winter months, but sun exposure can also dry out a pout. “Lips are unbelievably thin [and] unlike other areas of the skin, the lips have no oil glands so they tend to dry out easily,” says Sam Rizk, MD, a New York City facial plastic surgeon Sam Rizk, MD. “The lip borders may become cracked and peel from excessive dryness caused by the weather, cold air, dry air, indoor heating, or exposure to chemicals, and from certain medications.” Some of your habits and choices may be making matters worse, even those that you think are good for lip health. Read on for the biggest lip mistakes, and find out what else causes dry, chapped lips.
Lip-drying mistake: Licking your lips
iStock/franckreporter It may seem counterintuitive but licking your lips dries them out. “Saliva contains enzymes that dry out and irritate the skin of the lips,” adds Neil Sadick, MD, founder and director of Sadick Dermatology in New York City. Break the habit by choosing and using a moisturizing lip balm whenever you feel the urge to lick.