What Causes Dry Chapped Lips?

dry chapped lips

No More Cracking And Bleeding

We all know that feeling all to well.  It’s 30 degrees outside, your lips are drying out, they start cracking and bleeding right before your eyes.  It’s a feeling that I am sure we all hate to think about.  Let’s face it, dry lips are not attractive, not even a little bit.  So especially for women we like to make sure that our lips are juicy and luscious at all times.  During the cold winter months you can find her with lip balm in every location she’s expected to be for the day.  You are bound to find lip balm hidden in her office desk, purse, car and home.  Lip balms are great to have for your lips to seal and protect them from the elements. Sometimes there are some underlying causes for your dry lips. But, what causes dry chapped lips?


Licking your lips causes temporary moisture from your saliva.  It is a natural thing that many of us do as we start to feel our lips becoming dry overtime.  Subconsciously, you are making your lips even more dry and not even thinking twice about it.  I know you may get the urge to lick your lips when it feels like they are getting ready to fall off of your face.  But, by all means you should avoid licking your lips.  There is a chronic condition known as lip licker dermatitis.  It comes from repeated lip licking and can possibly cause a whole other set of issues.  Furthermore, saliva contains digestive enzymes.  Some of which are maltase and amylase.  They will wear down the lips on your skin which causes splitting, flaking, dry chapped lips.

Cold Air And Wind

The cold air and wind is amongst us all.  It also wreaks havoc on our skin.  Here is what causes dry chapped lips in the cold air and wind.  The cold air naturally pulls moisture from any and everything in its path(which makes kissing that much more scary).  Dry air that is moving (wind) is more liable to take all of the moisture out of your skin.  Our lips unfortunately do not have oil glands like the rest of the skin. So,  it makes sense that they are drier than the rest of skin on our bodies.  It can really suck because  when we go outside in the cold weather we take extra care to cover up.  But we can’t actually do the same for our lips.

Sun Exposure

Damage from the sun can have your lips looking like a dried out raisin.  Excessive exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can cause major damage to the lips.  Of course this is what will lead to cracking, splitting and drying.  Also sun damage also results in actinic keratoses.  This condition causes bumps that are crusty and dry to form on the lips.  Most importantly, for some groups of people extensive sun exposure and precancerous growth.  Your lips are subjected to sunburn because they are much more sensitive.  It takes a little but more patience and care to avoid damage from the sun.

Salty And Spicy Foods

As for myself I can say that I love spicy foods.  Hot sauce is my absolute favorite hands down.  Salty foods isn’t something that I absolutely have to have but I am sure this may be your guilty pleasure.  Salty foods such as popcorn and potato chips may dry your lips out if you are eating them daily.  Spicy foods put your lips in a compromising position and it alters the skins barrier.  To make matters even worst, spicy foods burn and you probably don’t want to fell a burning sensation on your lips when they are already cracked.


Is this what causes your dry chapped lips? Dehydration is a problem that many have to conquer.  It is a condition that occurs when the body losses a significant amount of fluids(water).  If your body is releasing more fluids that what you are putting in, at some point dehydration will start to set in.  Drinking enough water is an important part of keeping your lips hydrated throughout the cold and hot months.  Moisture is the key here. 

Drink Enough Water

Water is what is going to give you the moisture you need to keep your lips soft and moisturized.  Stay hydrated by drinking 8 glasses per day.  When you are dehydrated your body send signals to pull water from your intestines to rehydrate your cells.  If this happens your colon will become dry which leads to constipation and dryness to the body.  Which is the reason your skin and lips will suffer.


If you are not feeding your body with the nutrients and vitamins it needs to perform to the best of it’s ability other things will start to happen.  One of the most important vitamins that play a role in having healthy skin is vitamin b.  Vitamin b contains, riboflavin, folic acid, niacin, biotin and thiamine.  These vitamins are a vital part of your diet.  Vitamin b contributes to healthy skin.  You may be deficient in this vitamin if you have skin problems.  These could be rashes, acne, dryness and split lips.  Split lips also is a sign of someone who has low levels of iron and zinc.  These deficiencies are confirmed if you have split lips that show up in the corners of your mouth.

Start Now!

I hope that this article has helped you to understand what causes dry chapped lips and what you can do to stop it from happening.  After all, everyone deserves to have moisturized lips.  You can purchase our lip balm here that is moisturizing and soothing for dry chapped lips.  Check out our article on ” How to heal chapped lips with the best lip balm”.  It includes our lip balm recipe and what ingredients you should look for when purchasing a quality lip balm.