Our lips have some of the thinnest skin on our bodies. They don’t have any sebaceous glands, so their only source of moisture is our saliva which can be dehydrating and sometimes irritating due to the presence of digestive enzymes.
Flaky, cracked lips are especially prevalent in the winter. This is primarily due to a combination of harsh climates and the cold & flu season. Cold and dry air in combination with dry indoor heat reduces moisture. When moisture is reduced, we can start to feel sick - the congestion that comes with sickness can cause people to breathe out of their mouths. Mouth breathing depletes the vital saliva, sucking the moisture from the lips.
The longer lips go without moisture, the worse they can become, so it is important to treat them on a daily basis as a preventive measure. As a first step, gently exfoliate the lips with a washcloth or soft toothbrush. Follow with a balm of your choice.
There are many great balms and treatment products out there. Some of my current favorites include: