During the winter, the cold, dry air does a number on our beauty routines—hello static-y hair and bone dry skin. It seems like we have chapped lips for months, but according to dermatologists, the weather might not be entirely to blame. It might actually have more to do with some of your regular grooming products.
Here’s the thing: Even at their best, your lips are sensitive AF, says Sejal Shah, a dermatologist in New York City. “The lip skin is very thin and doesn’t have the oil glands that other areas of your skin have,” she tells Allure. “That can make them more susceptible to drying than other parts of the skin.”
That also makes your lips more sensitive to irritants like phenols, sodium lauryl sulfates and menthol, which are not uncommonly found in your go-to tubes of toothpaste and lip balm. “Your toothpaste and even your chapstick can cause reactions to certain ingredients,” Shah says. What may start as a little extra irritation, can turn into a full blown reaction leaving your lips, red, itchy and flaking. “It’s the next level of dryness,” she says.
More tips to relieve chapped lips:
- The Chapped-Lips Hack That Costs 17 Cents
- Fix Chapped Winter Lips With This Two-Step Hack
- The Scary Thing Your Chapped Lips Could Be Telling You
Your lip balm—and its ingredients—might also be to blame. “It creates a cycle where your lips are dry, so you apply more chapstick, which only creates temporary relief before leaving them dryer,” says Shah of the ironic chapped lip culprit. “When it comes to lip balm I’m pretty simple. I think Aquaphor and Vaseline do a pretty good job,” she says. “If you’re going to be outside, I do recommend having an SPF in your lip product, so I recommend Color Science Lip Care.”
The bottom line: when you’re sensitive, reach for products with simple ingredients.
Now, learn how to treat chapped lips with this two-step beauty hack: