Chapped Lips – Common Causes in Summer
Summer is here at last. Finally, relief from the skin woes of the dry, cold winter. Or is it …?
Though it’s true that skin generally behaves better during the warmer months, the season is not without its challenges. One area that is usually in need of a little extra TLC is the lips. This is because the skin of the lips is much thinner and more delicate than other areas of the body. Not only that, but unlike the face and the body, the lips don’t have glands to produce the natural oils that provide protection from the environment.
Here’s a look at some of the common causes of dry and painful lips in the summer and what you can do to keep them looking and feeling great– no matter the season.
What causes dry, chapped lips in the summer?
Though the causes can vary; chapped lips are essentially the result of a lack of moisture. This can happen because of both environmental and/or lifestyle factors:
- Sun exposure
Especially after a long, cold winter, it’s natural to want to spend as much time outside as possible when summer time hits. We all know that the sun’s UV rays can damage the skin, but the lips are especially vulnerable and often get forgotten. Because the skin on the lips can’t produce its own natural moisture or protective oils, it’s all the more prone to drying out. The delicate nature of the area coupled with the additional irritation caused by sun damage can lead lips to crack, split and even bleed. Make sure to use at least an SPF 15 lip balm every time you go outside to help protect against the drying effects of the sun.
With all that fun in the sun you’re having, it can be easy to forget to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water is one of the most important things you can do for your skin and the lips are one of the first places to show signs of dehydration.
Make sure you’re drinking around 2 litres of water daily to keep your body and skin looking and feeling its best.
- Alcohol Consumption
Let’s face it– summer tends to be a time of indulgence. After all, if you can’t enjoy yourself on holiday, when can you? Whilst everything in moderation is fine, drinking too much alcohol can have a dehydrating effect on the skin and can be a cause of dry, cracked lips.
Keep an eye on how much you drink and make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
Generally speaking, the healthier your diet, the healthier you look and feel. This is especially true when it comes to the lips. Certain dietary deficiencies including low vitamin B, iron and zinc have been shown to increase the likelihood of developing chapped lips.
Embrace fresh fruits and vegetables and try to include foods rich in vitamins and minerals to nourish your pout from the inside out.
- Dry Climates
In the same way that the lack of moisture in the cold winter air can sap the moisture from your lips, a hot dry climate can be equally harsh. Keeping in mind that the lips don’t produce oil, it’s especially important to keep your lips moisturised with a quality lip balm.
Keep an eye on the label and select a lip balm containing ingredients like Beeswax, Dimethicone, Polysilicone 11, Shea Butter, and Petrolatum for the most effective protection.