To live with chapped & dry lips the whole day is one of the most uncomfortable feelings. You keep licking your lips to hydrate them & guess what, they keep getting drier. Why? Because your saliva contains digestive enzymes like amylase & maltase which basically weaken the skin of the delicate lips & make them more vulnerable to dry air which can even lead to cracking of the lips & bleeding lips.
What causes chapped lips?
There are several factors that are responsible for chapped lips like,
- Dehydrated body
- Cold temperature
- UV radiation
- Menopause- decreasing estrogen levels
- Certain Acne products like Benzoyl peroxide, Retinoids, or Salicylic acid
- Lipsticks containing propyl gallate develop sensitivity on the delicate skin of the lips
- Medications prescribed for thyroid conditions & high blood pressure can also be responsible for the dryness of the mouth & lips
- Certain nutritional deficiencies
Well, in this article we are going to talk about certain vitamin deficiencies in the body that can lead to chapped lips.
Which vitamin deficiencies can cause chapped lips?
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
- Overdose of Vitamin A
Iron is the major component in making hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all the parts of your body. A deficiency in iron can cause your body difficulty to fight off any inflammations, wound healing, and sun damage & it’s one of the major problems for women in conceiving.
Your skin looks pale followed by brittle nails, constant fatigue, hair loss & a condition called angular cheilitis which is characterized by dryness of the mouth & lips.
Zinc supplement is one of the most important mineral supplements to keep your immune system healthy, people often take it more when they struggle with common cold conditions or diarrhea.
Zinc also plays a vital role in the reproductive health, growth & development of humans.
Zinc Deficiency can be suspected by physical symptoms like cracks around the mouth, chapped lips, a wound that won’t heal easily, hair loss, loss of appetite, weight loss & skin ulcers.
A Good intake of Vitamin C is directly linked to bright & supple skin, hydrated lips, healthy gums, strong immunity, healthy joints, energetic mood, and strong heart & blood vessel health.
Deficiency in Vitamin C is relatively rare, but still, it affects 1 in every 20 people because you cannot make or store vitamin C in your body, hence ideally you should eat fruits & vegetables which are high in Vitamin C every day to maintain the necessary levels to avoid getting cracked lips, brittle nails & rough, bumpy skin.
Fruits- vegetables high in vitamin C are, Acerola cherry, red peppers, kiwi, guava, lemon, orange, strawberry, papaya, kale, broccoli, and lychee.
B vitamins are a family of 8- water-soluble vitamins known as,
- B2- Riboflavin
- B3- Niacin
- B5- Pantothenic acid
- B6- Pyridoxine
- B7- Biotin
- B9- Folate
- B12- Cobalamin
These vitamins help a variety of enzymes to do their jobs like
- Energy production by breaking carbs, fats & amino acids into energy & then transporting that energy-containing nutrients & oxygen around the whole body.
- Cell Function
- Tissue repair & wound healing.
A deficiency of Vitamins B9, B2 & B12 is the main problem for having cracked & chapped lips.
You are more prone to Vitamin B deficiencies if you have celiac disease, gastritis & Crohn’s disease.
The majority of people are deficient in vitamin B12, especially vegetarians or vegans. Vitamin B12 is very important in the production of red blood cells & DNA. It also plays a vital role in the development & function of brain & nerve cells.
Sources of B-12 are meat, fish, milk, eggs, and cheese.
If you can’t get your key nutrient from these sources, it’s better to take a supplement regularly, especially during pregnancy.
Furthermore, a deficiency in B vitamins leads to depression, dermatitis & fatigue.
Overdose of Vitamin A
Everything from green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, beef, red bell peppers, goat cheese, butter, cheddar, feta cheese, blue cheese, eggs, milk, and sweet potatoes to carrots contains Vitamin A. It is easy to overdose on Vitamin A in the body, especially with additional supplements.
The fact that Vitamin A is fat-soluble, meaning any amount not immediately needed by the body is absorbed & stored in fat tissue or the liver. If too much vitamin A is stored, it can become toxic, hence vitamin A supplements are not very popular comparatively.
Overdose above 3000 mcg a day which is three times the limit of daily usage of Vitamin A can increase the risk of,
Bone loss, blurry visions, birth defects in pregnant women, dry skin & lips, interference in the beneficial actions of vitamin D, sensitivity towards sunlight, feeling of nausea & vomiting.
For pregnant women, it is highly advised to stay away from Vitamin A supplements & all kinds of topical Retinoids which contain vitamin A.
Are there any natural home remedies to treat dry lips?
There are a few ingredients that can definitely give you some relaxation for those burning, dehydrated lips.
- Raw honey
- Raw shea butter
- Ghee- clarified butter
- Coconut oil
- Avocado butter
- Mango butter
Now, I can understand applying raw honey can be really messy. The most convenient way to use honey or these other ingredients on the lips is conveniently through lip balms or lip masks.
You just need to find a good brand that uses no-nonsense ingredients like fragrances, menthol, alcohol, flavors, artificial food colors, chemical sunscreen, paraben & to your shocker and petroleum jelly in the lip balms.
Petroleum jelly is a refined byproduct of petroleum that is made from crude oil. My personal experience – Petroleum jelly always burns my chapped lips even more & there’s no relation to moisturizing at all.
My all-time favorite lip balms which gave me relief from dry lips are- Honey trap pot from lush, bursts bees mango butter & Laneige- lip sleeping mask- berry.
Takeaway– Yes! supplements do prevent chapped lips
Deficiencies in certain important vitamins can lead to chapped dry lips.
- Vitamin C
- B vitamins
- Too much Vitamin A
Take the necessary supplements & wait for improved results. There are also a few natural ingredients that can give you instant relief from dry chapped lips, like beeswax, mango butter, shea butter, honey, coconut oil, etc. For the convenience of usage, buy these natural ingredients in the form of lip balm or lip mask.
Hope you get some relief from the uncomfortable dry lips, Love~ Beauty Stroll