Are Your Lips Peeling? This May Be Why
Struggling with dry, peeling lips? We asked an expert to share what causes lip to peel and what you can do about it. Keep reading to discover common culprits behind your parched pout—plus, expert tips for achieving smooth lips year-round.
Winter may be over, but that doesn’t mean your dry, uncomfortable lips are suddenly back to normal. If your lips feel dry and are peeling, you should first determine why your lips are peeling and then come up with a plan of action. To help steer you in the right direction, we tapped medical esthetician, SkinCeuticals ambassador, and Skincare.com consultant, Jenn Oakley for tips on what causes lips to peel, how to get rid of peeling on the lips, and how to prevent lips from peeling in the first place.
WHY ARE MY LIPS PEELING?
Peeling lips are, for the most part, a normal and very common occurrence. But in order to help address peeling lips, it’s crucial to understand the root cause(s). According to Oakley, “Dry, chapped lips have an array of causes.” To name a few, “excess sun exposure and exposure to cold weather are just a couple of things that can cause lips to be dry and peel,” she says. As such, you may be experiencing peeling lips coming off a long, harsh winter exposed to brutal winds and sub-zero temps. But you may also experience peeling lips in the warmer months after prolonged exposure to the sun, especially after a beach day.
What it all boils down to is a lack of hydration. The skin on your lips is extremely delicate and contains no oil glands. As a result, it’s incredibly susceptible to drying out. When that happens, peeling can soon follow if moisture is not reintroduced to the area.
HOW CAN I ADDRESS MY PEELING LIPS?
Since peeling lips are often caused by a lack of hydration, adding moisture to your pout can help tremendously. “I think we often forget that our lips are skin too, so we need to care and protect them as such,” says Oakley. Reach for hydrating lip balms, salves, and ointments and apply them liberally throughout the day. There’s no shortage of lip hydrators out there, which can make the selection process a bit more difficult. (Need a rec? Check out our roundup of the best lip hydrators, here.) “With all the different lip products out there, most of which I have used at some point or another, I truly love the SkinCeuticals Antioxidant Lip Repair to help repair my dry, peeling lips.” This restorative lip treatment for damaged and aging lips can help fight environmental damage, in addition to soothing and rehydrating the lips’ surface.
HOW TO HELP COMBAT LIP DRYNESS YEAR-ROUND
As mentioned, dry, peeling lips can crop up at any time regardless of season. Since hydration plays a pivotal role in the appearance and texture of your lips, we asked Oakley what she personally turns to year-round to help keep dry lips at bay. “I love SkinCeuticals H.A. Intensifier, as it does such a beautiful job of amplifying hydration levels, even in the lips!” she says. “I use it daily underneath a lip balm with broad-spectrum protection to keep my lips protected and hydrated.”
Aside from hydrating your lips often, there are additional lifestyle factors to consider. Here are some best practices to ensuring your lips look and feel their best at all times:
Avoid licking your lips: Do you have a tendency to lick your lips often? You could be making matters worse. The subtle act of licking your lips may provide immediate comfort to a dry pout, but that feeling of relief won’t last long. The reason being that saliva evaporates quickly and can leave your lips drier than they were originally. Kick the bad habit and instead reach for a lip conditioner when your lips start to feel dry.
Drink plenty of water: Hydration––from the inside out––is essential to achieving soft lips. Try to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Breathe through your nose: Did you know that breathing through your mouth can cause your lips to dry out? It’s true! Make a habit of breathing through your nose to help avoid dry, peeling lips.
Be careful with exfoliation: Whatever you do, don’t start picking at the dry skin on your lips with your teeth. Doing so can cause the sensitive skin on your lips to tear and bleed. To help remove dead cells, gentle exfoliation may help. The key here through is to approach lip exfoliation with a soft touch. In other words? Don’t reach for a toothbrush. The bristles on a toothbrush are much too harsh for the delicate skin on your lips. If you want to exfoliate your pout, we recommend doing so with a gentle sugar scrub formulated for use on face and lip skin. Sugar scrubs are less abrasive in nature and can help remove dead cells that cause a rough appearance. Read our reviews of some of the best sugar scrubs on the market, here. After exfoliating, be sure to follow up with a heaping dose of moisturizer.
Want to put your favorite lip balm to more use outside of hydrating your pout? We share 9 of the best lip balm beauty hacks, here!