FYI, Your Lips Need More Attention Than You're Probably Giving Them

Dry, chapped lips can be more than a minor annoyance. Perpetually chapped lips can be painful, and even a little embarrassing, not to mention extremely frustrating. Especially if you are someone who religiously keeps chapstick on them to fight this exact situation. If you find yourself going through tubes of chapstick and lip balms and aren't seeing any improvement, you may need to reassess the moisture barrier of your lips.

The moisture barrier is the top layer of protection for your skin according to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. When the moisture barrier is damaged, the skin can have difficulty retaining moisture and repairing itself, which can leave you stuck in a cycle of dry, damaged lips. The moisture barrier around your lips is extra thin and prone to damage, and can be impacted by anything from kissing to dehydration. Looking for signs of a damaged moisture barrier and taking the steps to strengthen it is the key to unlocking happier, hydrated lips.

What to do if you have a damaged moisture barrier

One of the tell-tale signs of a damaged moisture barrier is lips that feel abnormally tight, irritated, and dry no matter how much chapstick you apply. If your lips sting every time you touch them or apply products, it may be a sign of a larger issue than just dry lips. If you believe you have a damaged moisture barrier, take a step back from your normal skin and lip care routines and focus on providing a richly hydrating, moisturizing routine to help bring back moisture and repair the barrier.

One of the easiest steps to start repairs is to drink enough water every day. A hydrated body translates to hydrated skin. Hydrating and moisturizing your skin are very different things, so you need a game plan to hydrate and seal it in. It's recommended to use a lip product with glycerin to provide additional hydration to your lips, Dr. Shari Marchbein told NBC. Look for products that have hemp oil, as hemp oils contain fatty acids that can help replenish your moisture barrier in addition to hydrating your lips according. To seal in moisture, make sure to apply a lip balm or chapstick that contains white petroleum jelly or shea butter. Both of these are excellent sealants for hydration to lock in water retention for your lips.

How to continue protecting your moisture barrier

Using a high-quality SPF is one of the oldest skin care recommendations in the book, and there's a good reason for that. SPF not only protects your lips from harmful UV rays, but helps seal in hydration you would lose from high sun exposure. Retaining moisture is one of the most important factors in maintaining your moisture barrier. 

Make sure to avoid activities and ingredients that can dry your lips out. Things like licking your lips, using heavy makeup, and nicotine products ruin your moisture barrier when used constantly. Try to be mindful! If you do use these, follow up with a hydrating lip mask and moisturizing lip balm. Are you worried about your moisture barrier becoming unbalanced again? Various barrier repair products are on the rise in all forms, leaving you with options to choose the best one for you. Try incorporating a weekly lip mask to help restore additional fatty acids and seal in hydration. Ghlee offers an affordable option that utilizes natural ingredients and contains glycerin to keep your lips looking luscious.