But Really, What Causes Chapped Lips?

Michelle Grossman
Chapped Lips

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While chapped lips are no one’s friend, that doesn’t seem to stop them from hanging around. Peeling pouts are a problem we all deal with at one time or another, but do we really know the root of the issue? Sure, we know the effect: dry, cracked, less-than-pleasant to deal with (and look at) lips, but how exactly did they get like that? In order to prevent the problem, first, we need to know where it came from, so below, we’re filling you in on the main causes of chapped lips.

Winter weather: During those freezing seasons, chapped lips are common occurrences; that’s because there’s a lack of humidity in the air during the winter months, which is notorious for causing chapped lips.

MORE: 12 Multipurpose Balms to Kiss Chapped Lips Goodbye

Not protecting them: Forgetting to take proper protocol when it comes to caring for your lips can definitely leave them chapped. Even during the winter, you should still be protecting your lips with some SPF. They also need to be kept moisturized with a lip balm to help prevent them from drying out.

Your toothpaste or lipstick: Many toothpastes contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is a common culprit for causing chapped lips or skin irritation. So, while you’re checking the ingredient list on the back of your toothpaste, check your favorite lipstick too, because propyl gallate, which is commonly found in lipsticks, is guilty as charged too.

Lip-licking: Licking your lips adds temporary moisture to them – but, the thing is, once the saliva evaporates, all the moisture from your lips goes along with it. So, licking your lips actually makes them even drier rather than helping to moisturize them.

MORE: Cure Chapped Lips For Good With These Tips

Dehydration: Unlike your skin, lips don’t contain oil glands which causes them to become chapped very easily. Dry or chapped lips can actually be a sign of dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Mouth breathing: Breathing through your mouth causes air to constantly pass over your lips which dries them, so try breathing through your nose instead.

Too many fruits and vitamins: While we’re all for eating your fruits and veggies and taking daily vitamins to stay healthy, we’re also true believers in the fact that all things are good in moderation. Believe it or not, the juice from citrus fruits can irritate your lips, and consuming too much Vitamin A can cause chapped and peeling lips.