The simplest answer is also the most circular: Your lips are dry because somehow, your body is lacking hydration, and lips are simply more prone to dryness than other areas.

Unlike the skin in other parts of our bodies, there are no sweat or oil glands in the lips. As a result, this area doesn’t receive the moisture-balancing benefit of natural oil production. Lip skin is relatively thin, and therefore more prone to peeling and chapping. Keeping yourself hydrated internally by drinking lots of water, as well as using effective balms, salves, and masks can help restore moisture and keep lips healthy and hydrated. Still, it will help to examine your personal behavior to determine what makes your lips so prone to drying out in the first place.

Dry Lip Causes

Weather

While dry lips are more often an issue in cold weather, for some people lip dryness is a year-round concern. If you spend a lot of time in the sun when it’s warm out without a good SPF, your lips are vulnerable to sunburn and peeling. Colder temperatures bring their own problems for lips, including punishing winds that lead to chapping. Cold weather outside usually means dry heat inside, another lip drying hazard.

Oral hygiene

Your choice of toothpaste may also affect lip hydration. Generally, the stronger and “mintier” the toothpaste, the more it may dry your lips and mouth lining. Cinnamon toothpaste is another culprit. If your lips feel especially dry after brushing, you may have narrowed down the cause in your particular case.

Excessive licking

Do you lick your lips? Keep in mind this habit does not hydrate them as saliva has a drying effect in the long run. For those that lick unconsciously, there are behavioral specialists who can help you identify your triggers and offer soothing methods to help you overcome the habit, including meditation, chewing gum, and other substitute rituals.

Vitamin intake

Vitamin B deficiency can result in dry lips. Along with taking Vitamin B supplements, applying topical creams containing Vitamin B and other soothing agents can help make lips more moist and supple.

Bad balms

Many people with dry lips rely on lip balm, but, depending on the ingredients, some of these products can worsen dry lips over time. Look for a lip balm containing natural ingredients with no fragrances added. It is also possible your skin is sensitive to certain substances in the product, even natural ones, so try different lip balms to see if you detect a difference. If all else fails, honey is a very effective lip moisturizer.

Medications

Keep in mind some medications can cause dry lips. If the dryness increased after taking certain medications, whether prescription or over the counter, scrutinize the labeling to see if dehydration is a side effect. You could ask your doctor if another drug without this side effect is available as a substitute.

Not enough water

Most of our body is made up of water and is the most basic and essential solution for dry lips and dry skin in general. Always keep yourself well-hydrated  and carry water with you whenever possible. Unsweetened tea is another excellent option. In addition, strive to incorporate more water-dense vegetables and fruits in your diet and avoid consuming things that can dehydrate your body, such as excessive caffeine. As a rule of thumb, it’s always a good idea to drink water before you get thirsty. Your lips will thank you!

Alternative remedies for dry lips

Dealing with the common causes of dry lips head-on is the best way to reverse the condition. However, it also helps to keep your ears and eyes open to new products that can help. For instance, a high-quality collagen lip mask such as one made by KNESKO is one of the most innovative ways to maintain lip hydration. Not only do they hydrate and heal previous damage due to dryness, but lip masks also can restore volume for more, plump, youthful-looking lips.