Why Are My Lips So Dry?

Learn what causes your lips to feel dry, and read our top tips for dry lips. Get your lips feeling lovely and smooth once more with expert advice from NIVEA.

Dry lips are a problem that most of us will encounter at some point, especially during the cold winter months. Having to contend with lips that are dry, cracked and flaking is never much fun; the good news is that we’re here to help restore your lips to their former glory.

Dry Lips Causes

‘Why are my lips dry even when I drink water?’

Before we discuss the remedies for dry lips, let’s take a look at what causes your lips to feel dry and uncomfortable in order to answer the following questions: why are my lips so dry, and why are my lips dry even when I drink water?

As one might expect, dehydration is one of the main dry lips causes. However, there are a number of other reasons as to why your lips may be feeling a little on the dry side:

  • The environment: exposure to hot and cold weather can dry out your lips, and low humidity levels often make your lips prone to dryness and cracking
  • Diet: dry lips are often caused by vitamin deficiencies. Making sure that you receive the nutrients that your body needs is great for your lips and general health.
  • Licking your lips: habitual licking has the effect of drying out your lips. This is because our saliva contains digestive enzymes which wear down our lips, leaving them vulnerable to the effects of dry air. It is also the case that, when saliva evaporates, it leaves your lips in an even drier state than they were before you licked them. As counter-intuitive as this might all sound, and as difficult as it might be, it’s best if you break the habit and resist the urge to lick your lips.
  • Breathing through the mouth: while we’re on the subject of habits that are hard to break, breathing through your mouth can eliminate moisture from your lips
  • Cosmetics: some lipstick formulations have a drying effect, and certain pigments that are used in lipsticks can cause allergic reactions
  • Diseases: impetigo, thyroid disorders and candida overgrowth are all irksome dry lips causes, leading to dryness around both the lips and the corners of your mouth. Consult your doctor if your dry lips are a source of pain and serious discomfort.

Why are my lips so dry?

How To Treat Dry Lips

Now that we’ve covered the various dry lips causes, let’s take a look at how to defeat those dreaded dry lips and protect your pout. The good news is that there are quite a few things that you can do to improve your lip game.

  • Use Lip Butters: our lip butters are made with creamy shea butter and almond oil, and they nourish, smooth and deeply moisturise your lips for up to 12 hours
  • Good dietary choices are key. Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help prevent dryness. Acidic foods, salty foods and spicy foods can irritate the lips; we advise that you either eat them very carefully, i.e. by not touching them against your lips, or avoid them altogether.
  • Install a humidifier: increase the moisture levels in your immediate environment with a humidifier. Adding a humidifier to your study or bedroom makes perfect sense if you spend long periods working from home.
  • Stop smoking: if you need further reasons to kick the habit, we have some good news for you. Tobacco smoke can cause your lips to dry out and crack, and quitting smoking can help clear up your dry lips in no time. It goes without saying that stopping smoking is one of the best things that you can do for your skin and general health.

  • Drink lots of water: if you have dry lips, the first step is also the easiest: drink plenty of water. Drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day will help your lips recover some much-needed lustre.
  • Exfoliate the lips: NIVEA Lip 2 in 1 Caring Scrub with Rosehip Oil exfoliates and moisturises your lips, helping remove the layer of dry skin on your lips that can prevent the healing ingredients in lip balms from being effective
  • Apply lip balm: lip balms provide an occlusive, or protective, layer on the surface of the lips. This seals moisture in your lips, protecting them from the effects of external exposure. It is best if you apply lip balm before you start applying other skincare products to your face, as this will protect your lips from active molecules that are present in those products.
  • Protect your lips from the sun. NIVEA Sun Protect Caring Lip Balm protects your lips from UVA and UVB rays during spells of hot weather.

For further information on this subject, read up on our expert advice for dealing with chapped lips, and find out more about how to treat dry skin and very dry skin.