Dry lips – Why we get them & what to do about it…

Life potters along, for most busier than ever and more distractions than normal and those little things we just miss.

You suddenly notice that you are licking your lips more than normal, have a crack on the corner of your mouth or a cold sore forming, When did this start? What is this and why?

Did you know that our Lips unlike the rest of our skin does not house oil glands, which can make us more susceptible to dry and cracked lips!


To help you have the lips you want lets take a look at

7 underlying reasons for Dry Lips and if this affects you?


Tip #1: Excessively  licking your lips. 

Apart from the occasional lick or licking food off you wouldn’t even      notice doing it but once we do we focus on it.

What have you noticed, Do you have some dead skin, is there a crack,  a cold sore, just done a heavy work out, not drunk enough water, eaten hot spicy food or realise it is just a habit.

Continual licking of lips can make it all worse. The saliva on our tongue evaporates quickly and can lead to increased dryness, red rash & pain.


Tip #2: Dehydration

Do you notice yourself licking your lips more to try to increase their moisture. Dehydration comes in many forms but if your lips are dry from not drinking enough, water is definitely right up there.

When did you last have a drink of water? Drinking adequate water is a problem for many people and keeping hydrated is a great way to help soften your lips.

 Tip #3:  GUT

If you suffer from digestive issues like Crohn’s disease, Coeliac, loose stool, constipation malabsorption and many more GUT issues which affect absorption of both nutrients and moisture from our small intestine.  As moisture from the small intestine is reabsorbed to help nourish our cells or loose stool can remove moisture from the intestine and can lead to total body dehydration and can lead to increased risk of constipation, dry skin & lips

Recommended lip balm for your dry lips: Manuka or Vegan Lip Balm


Tip #4: Vitamin Deficiency

B group Vitamins you might know as Riboflavin, Niacin, Folic acid, Thiamine, Biotin are water based vitamins and need to be replenished to maintain good health and fight disease and maintain healthy skin.  Finding nutrients from your food should always be the first point of call but if we need a supplement to help boost our nutrient levels make sure you get a B complex (not slow release) which contains balanced levels of them all.  Also there is one B Vitamin which can only be absorbed if our GUT is in good order and is found mainly in Animal based foods.  If you have GUT issues or are vegan, vegetarian with a low Algae intake B12 supplementation is essential.  If you are not getting regular B12 injections from your doctor, or take a sublingual tablet I suggest you get your levels tested pronto. Zinc & Iron deficiency symptoms also show through our lips so eat foods high in iron and zinc.


Tip #5: Medications

If you have been prescribed medications from your GP or specialist I am sure they wouldn’t say “by the way one of the side effects is dry skin/lips” :} the most common medications which can lead to dryer lips are:  Blood pressure medications, Antihistamines, Statins,  Diuretics, long term use of PPI’s like nexium, Antidepresants, Pain killers, High Vitamin A, Chemotherapy treatments and many more.

When you are on these medications it is important to be conscious of what the side effects are and make sure you read the little piece of paper in the box of side effects and rare side effects and counter them as needed.

It is harder to reverse all skin issues on medications Recommended lip balm for your dry lips: Manuka or Vegan Lip Balm

Tip #6: Our Climate


Whether you live down south in dry air and blistering winds or in a Northern winter where the lack of humidity sucks moisture from everywhere including our lips.  Then top it off with our intense summer sun and your lips really need lots of love’n, so keep your lips protected and your fluids up to help counter this.




Tip#7: Products we put on our lips

It is hard to keep our lips covered when we are out in the elements or in a drying work or home environment. A scarf can be used to wear in a cold winter but it’s not very practical.  Even with us wearing face masks our lips are drying out more depending on the fabrics they are made from, So all we have left are products to help keep our lips hydrated.

The Lipsticks, Chap sticks or Lip balm we use will either nourish & hydrate or dry & irritate so select a balm that is;

Free of:

  • Petroleum jelly – might hold moisture on your lips until you drink, eat, lick, rub then you have to reapply. It also draws moisture from inside the skin and leads to greater dehydrated lips and more frequent application of balm.
  • Artificial colours & flavours – colours and flavours contain agents that can dry our lips. Yummy flavoured lip balms can also lead to you licking your lips more often.
  • Stay clear of allergens. You may be irritated by perfumes, colours & flavours which will lead to increased lip issues.

And contains:

  • A balm containing a wax base, be it beeswax or waxes like candelilla wax for vegan will hydrate, hold on the lips and not wipe off
  • Humectant containing ingredients. These will help draw and hold moisture to the skin and lips examples of a humectant are Olive Oil, Avocado oil, Macadamia, Coconut oil & coco butter are some of the good oils for hydrating your skin.
  • A balm which contains factor 15 or high levels of antioxidant which help protect your lips from our harsh sun.
  • Include herbs: If I didn’t include herbs in this list would not be doing your lips justice.  Herbs like Melissa, Violet & Calendula which are perfect for your lips to help protect, heal, repair, kill bugs and help to calm that cold sore.


Some additional tips to keep your lips ship shape;

  • Try giving your lips a gentle exfoliation with oil and sugar to help remove dead skin cells and smooth out cracks.
  • Wear a wide brim hat to protect your face and wind from the hot sun.
  • Apply a little of your rejuvenating serum to your lips during your nightly routine.
  • If you work or live in an environment with lots of heating and air conditioning think of using a humidifier to keep up the moisture in your surroundings.
  • Keep a lip balm by your bed or include in your nightly skincare routine to help keep your lips hydrated overnight.


If you have considered the above and find the cracks and soreness doesn’t improve after making these changes you could be suffering from an infection like Cheilitis. Go and see your health practitioner for further support.


As a Naturopath there are things that we see as so Naturopathic.  For me that is our lip balm, the making process, ingredients and purpose of ingredients is so Naturopathic. This purpose has been shown in the joy our Manuka Lip Balm has brought to countless lips over the past 14 years.

We are now proud to introduce you to our NEW Vegan Lip Balm. To make something that is as close to feel as our Manuka balm was hard to replicate and like all of our products we wouldn’t bring it out until we thought it was ready.

Many of its ingredients are the same as our Manuka balm of olive oil, Avocado oil, Melissa & Violet, Calendula infused herbs but also contains Candelilla wax, Cocoa butter & a hint of Sandalwood essential oil.

We hope you love it as much as we do.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about using our products in your Luscious Lip routine: info@oliveandash.com.au

Deb & Andrew

Qualified Naturopath & Skincare Chef


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