Does Lip Balm Make Your Lips Drier and More Parched?


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During the cold winter months, you may find yourself using moisturizers and lip balms more often due to dry skin. But not all products are created equal – some lip balms may exacerbate dryness.

You have to be very careful when choosing a lip balm, as some lip balms can make dry lips worse. Lip products that contain certain ingredients and fragrances may cause dryness, especially during the winter months. They are especially harmful to people who use lip balm multiple times throughout the day.

There is no rule of thumb for how often you should use lip balm. Lip balm should be applied when lips feel dry or chapped and can be reapplied throughout the day, but some ingredients can cause dryness to worsen when overused.

Here are the ingredients to look for and what to avoid when picking a lip balm.

Products and Ingredients That Moisturize the Lips

There’s a reason why our lips get extra dry in the winter.

Unlike the rest of our body, our lips do not contain any oil glands and cannot produce moisture. Therefore, if you have dry lips, it is advisable to try lip oil.

Lip balms can increase hydration by creating a barrier between the lips and the environment to keep them hydrated, but these products don’t penetrate the lips to replenish moisture.

This is where lip oil can come into play. Lip oil penetrates the lips and provides intense hydration, keeping the lips moisturized for longer.

Some other lip products can also help fight dryness. Lip balms that contain occlusives like petroleum jelly or shea butter can help prevent moisture loss throughout the day, and using a lip mask with moisturizing ingredients at night is also great for providing intense hydration at night.

It is advisable to look for lip products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Vaseline
  • Shea butter
  • Beeswax
  • Vitamin E

Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer that can hold a thousand times its weight in water to attract the moisturizer to the lips. Vaseline, shea butter, and beeswax are all occlusives that lock in moisture and prevent water loss, while vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects lips from free radical damage caused by UV exposure.

Also, it’s important to choose a lip product with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your lips from sun damage.

Ingredients to avoid

Certain ingredients can dry out lips and can cause damage when applied repeatedly. You should avoid lip products that contain the following ingredients:

  • Phenol
  • Menthol
  • Salicylic acid
  • Lanolin

Products with certain smells or tastes, such as vanilla or cinnamon, can also be harmful.

Other Ways to Keep Your Lips Moisturized

Using lip balm or other lip products isn’t the only way to prevent your lips from getting too dry.

A facial moisturizer can help keep the skin around your lips hydrated, or you can use a small amount on your lips to increase moisture. Facial moisturizers often contain moisturizing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, which can penetrate and be absorbed into the skin.

Drinking enough water to stay hydrated can also help, just like using a humidifier at home.

If your lips are dry, you may be tempted to lick them, but you shouldn’t. Avoid licking your lips, which will make the saliva evaporate faster and actually dry out the lips.

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