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Dry & Chapped Lips : Causes & Remedies

by Rashi Bahel Mehra |

Everyone has at least once experienced flaky lips during their life! Some get mild cracks while others get drastically chapped lips but are you aware that pregnancy causes dry lips too? 

We will get to know why pregnancy affects your lips, how vitamin deficiency can lead to lip dryness, and how can you cure it but let us first understand what is the root cause of dry lips and what should you do to counter it.


Reasons for Dry Lips Explained:


Since lips do not have any oil or sweat glands they tend to get dry and there is nothing to get scared of, they can easily be moisturized and cured. Mostly Lips get back on track within a few weeks of care, but if it lasts longer, It is advised to consult a dermatologist. Generally, the cause cannot be identified that easily because there might be a combination of reasons responsible for dry lips but you can figure it out by individually assessing each one.


The Notorious Nine Reasons:

1. Weather

If you live in a country where it is extremely cold during the winters and extremely hot during the summers, Your skin is likely to react to the weather extremities and start to peel out and get dry! Lips especially get dry during the cold because dry air sucks the moisture out of the lip skin.


A women sweating in the sun

2. Licking lips lead to dry lips

Though it might feel a little relaxing when you lick your lips for the time being instead you are irritating the lip skin because Saliva contains enzymes that break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and your lips are made up of the same components! If you are habitual of licking or biting lips, Try mind-relaxing techniques like practicing mindfulness, you can chew a piece of gum to resist the urge too!


3. Lip Allergies or Dermatitis

Sometimes you are unaware of what is making your lips dry even after doing everything right from applying the best lip balm to cutting off the bad lip habits, It might be an allergy. Lips might get infected due to yeast infections or Irritant contact dermatitis caused by friction on the lips, due to metal retrainers or implants.


A women suffering from lip allergies


4. Using Expired Lip Care Products

It is always advisable to check on the shelf-life of a product before purchasing it! You must never use expired lipstick or lip balm even if it looks just fine! Throw away the expired products that you might have junked up in your vanity! Some chemicals change their composition over time and may make the lip condition worse if used!

Expired lipstick and lip care products

5. Your diet can add nourishment to dry lips

If you intake a chunk of salty or spicy food regularly, chances are that your lips will get dry much more quickly. Salty foods, especially those that have a lot of salt on the outside can dry out the lip skin. A similar goes for the consumption of hot beverages frequently!

Salty and fried food

6. Dehydration

Water plays a major role in our life. Be it for our body’s regulation or skin’s hydration! A dehydrated individual will not be able to reap any benefits of even the best of the best lip care essentials unless he starts taking care from within by keeping himself hydrated!

A women drinking bottled water while working out

7. Sun-suffering

If you are over-exposed to the sun, your lips are likely to get burnt and fried in sun, just kidding they won’t get fried but they would get affected due to the UV rays. Ensure you apply a lip balm or a lip SPF before going out.

A women covering herself from UV rays

8. Medication and its side effects

When you are on medication for a particular disease or even an ailment, some drugs can alter the lip structure by causing side effects like drying and chapping. 

Common ones that dry out the lip skin are- Accutane, Chemotherapy drugs, Skincare ingredients like benzoyl peroxide, retinol, or salicylic acid, Antidepressants, Antihistamines, Antibiotics, Some OTC pain meds, etc.

Pills and tablets for medication purpose

9. Serious Lip concerns like Lichen Planus or Paraneoplastic pemphigus

These are very rare, hence kept at the last in the list of reasons responsible for dry and chapped lips so that you do not get scared. Lichen Planus usually arrives on the body causing blue or purple bumps but can extend to the lips as well! It can be cured with a topical cream!


Paraneoplastic pemphigus is a blistering disease associated with underlying cancer, it can appear in the form of a skin rash and can extend to an erosive oral disease. Contact your doctor if you experience something unusual!

A women getting lip surgery or treatments done


Dry Lips Due to Vitamin Deficiency:

Vitamins are the key nutrients required by our body as well as our lips to rejuvenate, repair, and maintain their texture!

 Many times lips get devoid of moisture due to the lack of vitamins in our diet. The deficiency of Vitamin B12 is responsible for causing cracks and chaps on the lips. This vitamin helps your body with cell growth, healing, and cell turnover.

Vitamin C deficiency can also cause chapped lips, but this case is rarer as generally, the body gets a recommended dosage of Vitamin C from a daily diet!


Dry Lips During Pregnancy :

Pregnancy is a beautiful beautiful experience that adds a sense of wholesomeness to a woman's life! A woman’s body goes through multiple changes during this course of time other than just the size of her belly and baby! Morning sickness, Mood Swings, Cramps, Pain, Vomiting, Dry skin and lips, and whatnot! Skin Dryness is generally an early pregnancy symptom and nothing to be concerned about!


What causes dry lips during pregnancy?

Majorly these reasons are responsible for dry skin especially dry lips when you are expecting.

1. Changes in the body:

The skin barrier becomes compromised due to hormonal shifts and the baby’s requirements for nutrients, As the baby grows the skin stretches for its accommodation causing stretch marks. The hormone shifts during pregnancy can lead to a lack of saliva, also known as xerostomia which leads to dry mouth causing oral issues as well. 


A pregnant women experiencing changes in body 

2. Improper Hydration:

To meet the needs of a developing baby, more body fluids and blood are produced during pregnancy. Not Drinking enough water can dehydrate the body making lips dry.


 A women taking care of hydration during pregnancy


3. Water Retention:

This usually occurs during the third trimester and is known as “Edema”. The skin loses moisture because of retaining more fluid, getting dry and chapped and so does the lip! 


A women massaging her foot

4. High Blood Volume:  

The increase in blood sugar level can cause kidneys to overwork, resulting in frequent urination and dehydration, which eventually leads to dry lips and skin.

 Blood pressure check

Simple Steps to Beat Dry Lips:


1. Use a Mild Exfoliator :

Exfoliation ensures the dead lip skin cells get scrubbed away from the lip skin. Use a gentle exfoliator that does not have heavy granules and mildly scrub the lips. Try to use organic and cruelty-free exfoliators with natural ingredients.


A women applying lip scrub

2. Make changes in your diet:

A man’s life revolves around food and shelter so it is one of the major aspects that can make a change in your lip care journey. Have a healthy lifestyle and eat a considerable amount of nutrients to help the lip care essentials work their best. Limit over-salty and extra-spicy food. Incorporate vitamins and minerals.


Healhty and Staple Food

3. Happy Hydration:

Drink plenty of water, have fruit juices, shakes, and all sorts of fresh drinks, and keep yourself hydrated to ensure your body is nourished from within, then only it can be moisturized from the outside!


A women drinking bottled water


4. Limit Sun Exposure and apply sunscreen :

Try to limit your sun exposure and use lip sunscreen whenever you go out along with your face/body sunscreen to ensure your lips are completely protected from the sun as well as pollution!

 A women applying lip balm


5. Use Emollients/Butter-based Lip Balms and Butter masks:

ButterMasks contain emollients and exotic butter like Shea and Cocoa which provide intense hydration! When your lips are dry they just don’t need a coating on the top but a deep level of hydration from within! 

Look for ingredients like wheatgerm oil and olive squalane and actives like Palmitoyl Tripeptide and Pracaxi Seed Oil. They are proven to provide 10x hydration and remove lip pigmentation, lip lines, and lip aging as well!

A women applying lip buttermask


Which lip ingredients need to be avoided during pregnancy?

Although the soon-to-be mother avoids every little thing that might cause toxicity or harm to the baby, some ingredients skip our mind and must be avoided and looked into during pregnancy to be on the safer side.

Ingredients to avoid during pregnancy


Ingredients to avoid in a lip balm

Although the soon-to-be mother avoids every little thing that might cause toxicity or harm to the baby, there are some ingredients that skip our mind and must be avoided and looked into during pregnancy to be on the safer side.

Keep yourself hydrated and eat well according to the needs of both the baby and you! 

There are certain ingredients that are safe to use during pregnancy for lips like Cocoa Butter, Peptides, Topical Hyaluronic Acid, and Coconut Oil. Look for these in your lip care products.



Dry and lifeless lips are a huge concern for a majority of the people out there! Lips do not require a lot, just a considerable amount of care packed with a healthy lifestyle! Chapped lips can stretch throughout the pregnancy but with the right regime and care, they can be easily cured! As soon as you are able to find out the underlying cause of your dry lips, start working on making them hydrated and nourished. touch it up with tender loving care and your lips will surely show some improvement! 



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