In autumn-winter, some of the most common causes of dry lips seem even more obvious to us. The wind, cold and a dry atmosphere do indeed give them no gifts. However, other factors can dry out and damage them all year round: lack of hydration, the sun, an unbalanced diet (or even deficiencies), smoking, diabetes, alcohol consumption, pollution or even certain drugs. And sometimes, even making sure to hydrate well throughout the day with water and protect them with a lip balm, they can stay in a mess. What if this chapped lips issue was caused by one of the errors below? Take a quick look and discover these bad habits to change so as not to make your dry lips even more dry and sore.
Mistake 1: Using irritants for your oral hygiene
If you see your lips chapped despite a good natural lip balm and a good scrub, it could be because of your toothpaste or your mouthwash. Indeed, allergic reactions and irritations are very common because of these products. Mint, and more particularly menthol, can indeed irritate the mouth. However, it is above all the sodium laureth sulfate (or SLS) who remains the biggest culprit. Used for its foaming properties, this surfactant ingredient is very drying and irritating for the mucous membranes. Not content with making the lips very dry, it can also give canker sores ! So choose formulas without SLS to display soft lips.
Mistake 2: Licking Your Lips All the Time
The lips are devoid of hydrolipidic film. Also, they tend to dry out very quickly. To relieve ourselves, we then tend to moisten our lips with the tongue or the mouth (or even to nibble them, which is even worse!). However, after very short-lived relief, it actually only makes matters worse. Indeed, our saliva contains enzymes to aid digestion. It is these same enzymes that will then crack the skin of your lips and make them dry. In the end, a vicious circle sets in, which can even go as far as causing irritant contact dermatitis around the lips (redness and severe dryness). So forget about saliva once and for all and always keep an unscented emollient product handy instead.
Mistake 3: Very hot water on chapped lips
As it evaporates, hot water can dehydrate the skin and exacerbate an already entrenched drought. Indeed, it eliminates natural oils that allow the skin to stay hydrated. This is the reason why you should not hesitate to favor lukewarm water and opt for softer facial treatments during the colder and drier months of the year. Also watch out for long hot showers, the steam of which moistens the lips and dries them out at the same time as that of the body.
Mistake 4: Using too fragrant or paraffin lip balm
All dermatologists will tell you, not all balms are created equal, and scented lip balms can especially irritate the lips and increase cracking. This is particularly the case with the menthol balm or camphor which is to be banned. Although pleasant and refreshing, this type of ingredient can be very irritating and pungent. It goes then sensitize the lips and make them even drier. Overall, the less fragrance and dye a formula contains, the better it will be. So be careful with limonene, linalool, eugenol, etc. which are perfumes. Also limit paraffin oil which certainly leaves a pleasant film at the time, but which, when drying, requires constant re-application.