Lip Balm - The Dermatology Review

Lip Balm



Lip Balm: Moisture Therapy for Healthier Lips

Most people use lip balm as a means to keep their lips moisturized during dry or cold weather. Others use it on a daily basis, particularly if they have dry skin or tend to lick their lips regularly, which can lead to dryness, cracking and peeling. There are many different kinds of lip balm products available, from those with only natural ingredients, to lip balms with honey, to medicated balms, to flavored and even brands that add shimmer or shine to the lips. In order to keep the skin of the lips healthy, it is important to understand how these balms work and why they’re important when it comes to overall daily lip care.

Lip Balm Ingredients

The science behind lip balm isn’t as complicated as other types of cosmetics or skin care products. In fact, there are only a few ingredients in basic types of lip balms that keep the skin healthy. When you apply the balm to your lips, one ingredient moisturizes the lips (usually vitamin E), and the other ingredients seal it in (usually some type of wax). Those who want long-lasting results should consider that the best lip balm will contain more than one wax-based ingredient, so that the product stays on the lips longer. The most common types of wax that can be found in most lip balms are carnauba wax and beeswax.

How Chapping Occurs

While most people can experience daily dryness because of underlying health issues, weather and other environmental conditions are more often the cause of dry lips. People usually don’t give much thought to the fact that their lips have such a thin layer of skin until they start to become chapped and painful. While hot, dry weather, cold wind, and other weather conditions can affect the lips, there are several other reasons for the lips to become chapped. Because the skin on the lips is so thin, lack of hydration can cause the lips to dry out quickly. This causes lips to crack easily and for the dead skin to start peeling quickly. Anyone who has gone through an episode of severely dry lips knows that it can be very painful, because the lips are so sensitive and need moisturizing lip balm to stay healthy.

People with sinus problems are also vulnerable to chapped lips, as they often breathe through their mouths. This can cause the mouth to become dry, and this includes the lips. Illnesses that make it hard to breathe through the nose may also cause chapping and dryness, thus making lip balm an essential part of your skin care routine when you have a cold or the flu.

Lip Skin is Special

Applying lip balm daily is important for overall lip health because the skin on the lips is like none other on your body. It has no sebaceous glands, which means that it cannot make its own oils to keep it moisturized. It also has no melanin, which gives it no natural protection from the sun. The skin on the lips is also much finer than the skin that covers the rest of the body, which is why it can become chapped and peels so easily.  Using lip balm is an effective factor in overall lip health and should be taken seriously as a way to prevent unnecessary sores or infections.

The Importance of Lip Health

Those who suffer from dry lips should not discount the importance of lip balm in keeping their lips moisturized. If the lips are not kept healthy, activities such as speaking and eating might become impaired. Peeling of the skin could lead to bleeding and infection, which may spread to other areas of the mouth. Scabby, peeling lips are also unattractive and cause you to be uncomfortable in social situations. To prevent these problems, try a number of different lip balm products until you find one that’s comfortable for you.

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