15 Mistakes You’re Making If You Have Chapped Lips

Having chapped lips is something that, for lack of a better term, straight-up sucks. It sucks when your lips feel dry. It sucks when the stuff you’re using to make your lips less chapped actually turns out to make them significantly more chapped. It especially sucks when your lips flake and crack to the point of bleeding, which sounds dramatic, but is something that occurs all too often if you, like me, happen to be someone who lives in a cold-sh climate and have a particular affinity for space heaters, which dry out the air and practically invite chapped lips.

Lip chap is, according to Google, usually self-treatable, usually self-diagnosable, does not require lab tests or imaging, and affects more than three million people in the United States every year. But! If your lips happen to be chapped at all, either moderately or severely, you probably don’t care all that much about facts about chapped lips–you just want to, you know, make it go away. And part of that is not so much taking action, but rather, stopping action regarding something that you may already be doing that could be making your chapped lips worse. So, here are some of the mistakes that you’re probably making if you have chapped lips:

1. Using too much lip balm:

I KNOW. SO RUDE. But some lip balms contain certain humectants that actually pull moisture out of your lips, so, even though it feels good when you apply it, you’re ensuring that your lips will feel drier in about an hour. To avoid this, look for all-natural brands that most likely won’t dry out your lips.

2. Using flavored lip balm religiously:

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If it tastes like root beer, it’s probably not going to make your lips feel great. Sorry.


3. Using menthol lip balm:

Super-minty lip balm feels great, but it’s actually not the best option for your lips–it masks the dry, burning sensation that comes from chapped lips for a short period of time, but actually dries them out more, so you feel like you have to keep applying it.

4. Using the wrong toothpaste:

Makin her mama proud. #lovethiskid #brushingteeth #EviVaughn

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Again–SO. RUDE. But many toothpastes contain a foaming ingredient called sodium laurel sulfate, which some dermatologists  say can cause chapped lips. So, if you suspect your lips are getting dried out from your toothpaste, read the back of the toothpaste label to make sure it’s SLS -free.

5. Wearing lipstick aaallll the time:

This probably isn’t a surprise, but it’s still annoying–if you wear lipstick, like, all the time, it’s going to dry out your lips, since many lipstick manufacturers prioritize color over moisture. If you want to combat it, you can put a lip balm on over lipstick, or switch your lipstick out for a tinted lip balm.

6. Especially matte lipstick:

That cool, muted look that comes from matte lipstick comes at a cost, and that cost is super-dry lips. But if you don’t want to give up your Kylie Jenner lip kit for good, just make sure you’re prepping your lips correctly, removing the lipstick completely at the end of the day, and using an ultra-moisturizing lip balm at night.

7. Using lip plumpers:

Talking about lip plumpers on the blog today ( link in profile) #FashionBlogger #StyleAddict #Beauty #Lips #LipPlumpers

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Another lip product that could be drying you out? Lip plumpers. This is because many of them contain irritants to pump up the lips, which can dry them out. If you must use a lip plumper, make sure you’re also drinking a lot of water.

8. Turning the heat way up:

Heat feels good in the winter! It also, unfortunately, dries up the air, and, subsequently, your skin. You don’t have to turn the heat all the way off, but try to turn it down overnight so you don’t dry up when you sleep.

9. You’re not using a humidifier:

내 목을 부탁해 #미니가습기 !

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If you can’t give up the heat, you can also invest in a humidifier to keep the air more moist.

10. Taking super-hot showers:

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Hot showers also feel great, but they also serve to dry out your skin. Try to turn down the water heat a few notches so you don’t leave the shower with dry, flaky lips.


11. Not staying hydrated:

Peach cream blush over a swirl of bronzer. #inspo #spikednaked @cheybutta

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If you’re dehydrated, your lips will be, too–try to drink at least six cups of water a day to help your lips resist dryness. (And also just, like, feel better in general.)

12. Eating too much spicy food:

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Love Sriracha sauce? If so, it could be drying out your lips–spices can break down your skin barrier, which makes it dry out faster. Obviously, you don’t have to give up your fave spicy food, but make sure you’re also drinking a lot of water to counteract it.

13. Forgetting SPF on your lips:

You know how your skin gets dry and flaky after a bad sunburn? The same thing can happen to your lips if they’re exposed to too much sun, so make sure you get a lip balm with SPF before going out into direct sunlight.

14. Licking your lips:

Don’t lick your lips. You saliva feels good for, like, a second, but then it just dries out your lips and make you feel like you need to do it again, like five minutes later.

15. Scrubbing your lips too much:

Gommage pour les lèvres au miel @madeinsephora ?? Exfoliant et hydratant ??

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Lip exfoliation can be great to slough off  dry skin and keep the lips smooth, but if you do it too much, it can dry out your skin. If you love exfoliating, try to stick to doing it one time a week.

Do you have chapped lips? Do you have any fave tips for dealing with them? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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