Why You Have Dry Skin Around Your Mouth
Dealing with dry skin around your mouth but don’t know why? Don’t fret! We tapped board-certified dermatologist, SkinCeuticals ambassador, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Karen Sra to discover what causes dry skin around the mouth and how to find relief, ahead.
WHAT CAUSES DRY SKIN AROUND THE MOUTH?
Dry skin around the mouth is a nuisance, yes, but it’s actually very common. Most people will begin to notice more-than-usual facial and body dryness during the harsh winter months when moisture from the air is zapped—and these dry patches or flakes can also appear on the lips and around the mouth. Additional factors to blame can include our lifestyle habits (more on that later) or product use. While this dryness is usually temporary and not serious, it can definitely be frustrating to deal with. “The skin around the mouth is more sensitive than other areas on the face,” Dr. Sra says. As such, it’s important to take proper care to not aggravate the area, and kick bad habits to the curb. Here are some things to avoid to help prevent dry skin around the mouth:
1. Licking your lips: Licking your lips may seem like it’s providing relief from that awful dry feeling, but that comfort is temporary—we’re talking mere seconds—and can actually make matters worse. According to the Mayo Clinic, saliva evaporates quickly and leaves the lips drier than before. Instead of your tongue, hydrate your pout with a moisturizing lip salve or balm.
2. Long, hot showers: When it’s cold outside, it’s tempting to want to warm up in a long, hot shower. We urge you to resist that temptation. Hot, steamy showers can strip the skin of natural oils—especially if exposed for a long period of time—and leave your skin feeling dry from head-to-toe. Stick to a short shower routine with lukewarm water.
3. Products containing alcohol or fragrances: Try and eliminate products in your routine that contain skin-drying alcohol or fragrance. These ingredients have a track record of irritating sensitive skin. Take a look at your lip balms, toothpaste, and facial moisturizers specifically.
HOW TO ADDRESS DRY SKIN AROUND THE MOUTH
Once you notice flaky, dry skin around the mouth, the last thing you want to do is make matters worse. Here’s what you can do to help address dry skin around the mouth:
1. Exfoliate: The build-up of dead skin cells on the skin’s surface can cause a dull appearance and rough texture. To help slough them away, incorporate a gentle exfoliator into your routine. Our recommendation? L’Oréal Paris’ range of Pure-Sugar Scrubs that are formulated for use on both facial and lip skin. To learn more about the scrubs, read our review of each one here.
2. Moisturize: Applying a layer of moisturizer to the skin is one of the best things you can do to promote a healthy, hydrated complexion. Moisturizers formulated with ceramides—like the CeraVe Moisturizing Cream—are a good choice as they can help reinforce the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
3. Wear broad-spectrum sunscreen: Sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher should be a staple in your routine, regardless of whether or not you have dry skin around the mouth or elsewhere. Just like the sun damage the skin on your body, it can also burn your delicate lips and the area around it, too.
4. Drink water: Hydration from within is incredibly important for your overall health, let alone dry skin. Be sure to drink the recommended amount of H2O every day.
5. Apply a gentle lip balm: Chances are if the corners of your mouth are dry, your lips are probably parched too. The Mayo Clinic suggests applying a lubricating lip balm that contains SPF to protect the lips from environmental aggressors, such as harmful UV rays and moisturize-zapping winds.