Do your lips feel dry and chapped? Before you grab your go-to lip balm, you might want to think again!

Depending on the ingredients, your lip balm might be causing further irritation rather than providing the hydration and nourishment your lips need. So, it could actually be making your lips worse instead of better.

If you’ve noticed that no matter how much lip balm you use, your lips still appear dry and flaky, don’t worry – we have some helpful advice on how to properly care for your lips.

To shed some light on this issue, we consulted Dr. Rachael Teo, a dermatology specialist at Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore. Dr. Teo specialises in assessing skin allergies, acne, and pigmentary disorders, and she shared some expert tips on treating dry lips.

So, keep reading to discover how to prevent and heal chapped lips, as well as what to avoid in a lip balm, so you can find the perfect one for a beautiful pout!

Why Your Lips Are Dry

Credits: @zenzeta/Adobe Stock

Dry and chapped lips are a common issue, which can get annoying and sometimes even painful!

“The skin on the lips is thinner and more sensitive, and at risk of becoming dry and chapped”, says Dr Teo.

According to her, “triggers such as sun exposure, wind, dry environments, or reactions from chemicals in the products that come into contact with our lips” can all cause chapped lips, a condition known as cheilitis in medical terms.

In some cases, nutritional deficiencies can also contribute to cheilitis, so it’s important to consider these environmental factors when trying to improve the condition of your lips.

If you notice severe dryness, bleeding, or blisters on your lips, Dr. Teo recommends scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist for proper evaluation and treatment.

How To Prevent Dry Lips

Credits: @dimaberlin/Freepik

Looking to protect your lips from getting painfully dry? To avoid this unpleasant and uncomfortable situation, make it a habit to regularly apply lip balm.

According to Dr. Teo, using a suitable lip balm three to four times a day provides enough hydration for your lips.

Also, remember to keep your hands off your lips! Although it may be tempting, refrain from picking at the peeling skin, and avoid excessive licking of your lips to prevent further drying.

How To Choose Your Lip Balm


It’s important to choose the right lip balm to avoid worsening your lip condition.

Dr. Teo suggests observing for signs of your chapped lips improving, to determine if your lip balm is effective.

However, if your lips remain chapped, feel a burning sensation, or become red and swollen, it’s time to discontinue using the lip balm.

Credits: @dimaberlin/Freepik

Feeling betrayed by your lip balm? You might be allergic to common lip balm ingredients such as menthol and camphor.

“They give a cooling sensation which is meant to to act as an anaesthetic”, explains Dr Teo, but these ingredients may actually do more harm than good!

Instead, she recommends opting for fragrance-free, flavor-free, and hypoallergenic lip balms, to ensure they are safe for your lips.

Dr. Teo also suggests using ointment-based lip balms with ingredients like petroleum jelly, while avoiding irritants like menthol, lanolin, and camphor.

Additionally, she advises using an SPF-infused lip balm to protect your lips from the sun’s harmful UV rays, especially in our hot weather.

Lip Slugging


Replying to @playa1folyfe 👄 #drylips #girltips #chappedlips #selfcare #lifehack #foryoupage #slugging #skincare #foryou #fyp

♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) – Echosmith

If lip balms alone won’t cut it, you may want to give lip slugging a try!

This trending technique is inspired by the slugging trend for your skin that was created by Korean beauty enthusiasts, and involves creating your own lip mask before bedtime to wake up with softer lips.

All you need to do is use your favorite hydrating skincare products to give your lips some extra moisture!

Apply a hyaluronic acid serum to damp lips, then seal in the moisture with a moisturiser or Vaseline overnight.

Dr Teo shares that while there isn’t concrete medical evidence supporting lip slugging, it should work with mild cases of cheilitis.

According to her, it’s “generally safe to apply facial products like moisturisers on lips, provided they don’t contain any irritating ingredients”. So, it may just be worth a shot, as long as you’re using safe products!

Featured image credits:, @zenzeta/Adobe Stock.