Why Are My Lips Always Dehydrated?

Dehydrated lips (also called chapped lips) are a common occurrence when living in a cold weather or dry air area. But why are my lips ALWAYS dry, and not just in a particular season?

Well, let's get started by taking a look at the structure of your skin in the lips.

Your lip's skin and why your lips can become dry

Your lips are full of muscle, and the skin on your lips is the thinnest part of your body and more delicate than any area. The layers of skin on our lips are only 3-5 layers thick - which is why our blood vessels are more visible in that area and give us that nice pink or red lip colour.

Moreover, our lips do not have any oil glands as they don’t contain any sweat or sebaceous glands. This is why our skin is not protected and seem to get dehydrated or chapped through external aggressions so easily.

Another aspect to look at when thinking of our lip's skin is that, when we are born, that area is full of collagen, but as we age, we lose the plumpness of this collagen (it can happen as early as 16-years-old!). Our bodies will produce less protein in the lips as we age, and show signs of thinning and less volume. In short, looking after your lip area is not only about avoiding dry lips: hydration is also the key to healthy, volume lips!

#funfact Another interesting fact about our lips is that they are unique - like our DNA, our lips are not identical to anyone else's!

Men applying lip balm onto dehydrated lips

How do dehydrated lips look and feel?

Dehydrated lips feel dry, look cracked, and don't seem to absorb any moisture.

Some other symptoms of dehydrated lips are burning, stinging or just a generally uncomfortable sensation.

Chapped lips are generally considered a winter occurrence. But if you do not treat your lips all year round, they can get dry, sore and scaly any time of year!

Signs of Chapped Lips include:


  • Dryness, dehydration, no moisture in the lips
  • Peeling, cracking
  • Bleeding from the cracks on the lips
  • More redness in the colour of the lips
  • Burning, stinging or tingling sensation

Woman with chapped lips

Reasons why lips become chapped or dehydrated include:

  • The habit of consistently licking your lips, as this strips moisture from your lips
  • The climate - dry and cold weather or dry air
  • Not wearing mineral or non-comedogenic lipsticks or balms
  • Using petroleum jelly as your lip balm or vaseline
  • Having no lipid (oil glands) within our lips to protect them
  • Insufficient water intake
  • Using harsh or drying products like menthol, camphor, or salicylic acid
  • Too much sun exposure
  • Not wearing an SPF on your lips (yes, your lips also need it!)

Moreover, if you consistently experience dry, chapped lips, your body might be lacking in Vitamin B or have a Vitamin B deficiency. This can be confirmed by a blood test or you can seek a naturopath that can help with vitamin deficiencies.

In the meantime, treating and hydrating your lips is key!

My top three lip treatments and supplements include:

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This nighttime (or anytime) power mask nourishes the lips and goes to work deeply

hydrating and improving the texture of the lips so they feel their smoothest, softest selves.

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Moisturising daily lip treatment helps smooth and restore. Apply as needed to help infuse lips with moisture, restore delicate tissue, minimise contour lines and help prevent the signs of ageing.

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asap hydrating lip balm+ SPF15 contains Niacinamide to deeply moisturise, antioxidants to soothe and protect, plus Alpine Rose to help reduce cold sore occurrence.

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Bestow Beauty Oil moisturises your skin from within. Consider it your edible cosmetic, making your skin soft, smooth and velvety.
Bestow Beauty Oil is able to do this because it contains high levels of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), a blend of cold-pressed organic flax seed and safflower oil, formulated to deliver the best balance of healthy fats for hydrated, glowing skin.

About The Author

My name is Sari Pols,
I have been in the skincare industry for over 15 years. My passion lies in ‘Health’. Health for the skin and body. My philosophy is if we have good well-being on the inside, then it shows our vitality on the outside.
I have furthered my knowledge of Skin Anatomy, Skin Concerns, and Fitness. I am a true believer in how to make my clients feel their best both inside and out. My emphasis is on guiding my clients through their journey of skin concerns and conditions. I do not like to band-aid a concern or condition but want to get down to the root of the cause. I aim to give personalised consultations with treatment and correct prescribed skin products.

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