How To Heal With Dry, Cracked Lips In 7 Derm-Approved Steps



Dry, cracked lips always—and I mean always—come up as some of the top skin care concerns come winter. And the thing is there are levels of severity with dry pouts: Some of us just have a bit more flaking around the edges (in which case a new, thicker lip balm may be the answer) or others deal with increased chapped texture (but are usually put at ease with this easy layering technique). 

But then there are cracked, painful lips. You know, the level of dryness that causes breaks in the skin, peeling, and even injury? Once you’ve crossed over into that territory? Well, you likely know it feels like nothing will actually help the skin get back to normal.

“The skin of the lips is thin and delicate and it does not contain oil glands like the rest of the skin, so this makes it particularly prone to drying out,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D. “This gets exacerbated during the winter because the humidity in the air decreases, so more moisture evaporates from the skin into the air. And exposure to wind makes this worse as well.”

So here’s a tip: Once you’re experiencing this level of lip dehydration, it’s time to stop treating it like it’s “just dryness” and start treating it like a wound. Yes, I understand that sounds dramatic, but when the skin on your lip actually breaks? Well, it’s exactly what it is! 

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