Chapped lips can be an unpleasant reminder that the weather is changing. Many different people experience chapped lips periodically, but they seem to be especially common when the air is dry and cold.
The health and wellness resource Healthline.com says that, because the lips do not contain oil glands like other areas of the skin, they are more prone to drying out. Therefore, people need to take extra steps to keep their lips moist.
Stop licking your lips
Licking your lips when they are dry is a reflex habit, and one that will only temporarily address the dryness. The Mayo Clinic says that saliva evaporates quickly, which can leave lips drier than they were before you licked them. Flavored lip balms may entice you to lick your lips more, so avoid them if that flavor is just too much to resist.
Rely on sunscreen
Use a lip balm that contains sunscreen, which can help prevent the lips from damage caused by UV rays, further exacerbating dryness. UV rays are present all year long.
Protect your lips
If you know it's going to be cold and dry outside, apply a lubricating lip cream or balm before heading outdoors. Products containing petroleum, beeswax or coconut oil can help lock moisture in. Reapply often. Also, a scarf or balaclava can help block wind that dries out lips.
Use gentle skin care products
Some people are prone to allergic reactions from cosmetics or skin care products. Read the ingredients carefully and avoid those that have led to reactions in the past.
Drink more fluids
Be sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, which can dry out lips and skin. While you're hydrating from the inside, also try to improve the air humidity inside of your home or office. A humidifier can make the environment more comfortable and help combat dry lips.
Drawing air in through your mouth can further dry out the lips. Alleviate a stuffy nose so you can breathe through your nose more easily.
The Mayo Clinic recommends speaking with a doctor if chapped lips are chronic and not easily remedied, as this may be a symptom of an underlying condition.