Lip moisturizers are commonly used products that can prevent lip dryness, as well as add extra volume and increase fullness. Moisturizers work by adding an extra layer to the outside of the lips, locking moisture in and preventing environmental damage to the lips. They can also protect the lips from extreme temperature, as well as wind and sun damage. However, they can also stimulate the lips, creating a small amount of swelling that increases volume.
Lip moisturizers are one of the most effective ways of protecting the lips from excessive sun exposure. This can help prevent skin cancers and other growths caused by UV exposure. During the winter, lip moisturizers can prevent chronic chapped lips, a condition where the surface of the lips cracks and bleeds.
Lip moisturizers have few common side effects and are safe for most users. In some rare cases, they may cause allergic reactions. Many of these allergies can be avoided by choosing a product that doesn’t contain added flavoring.
1Lip moisturizers can help reduce lip chapping. When exposed to a hostile environment, lips can quickly become dry and chapped. If left alone, this can lead to cracks and bleeding as the skin loses moisture. In severe cases, chapped lips can turn into cheilitis, a condition where the lips become infected. This can cause pain, as well as bleeding (1).
The lips do not contain oil glands like other parts of the body, so it’s much harder for them to stay hydrated. Lip moisturizers improve moisture retention in the lips, mimicking the function of an oil gland. Lip moisturizers that contain petroleum also help to form a seal on the lips, keeping moisture in.
2Lip moisturizers protect lips from sun damage. When outside, the sensitive tissue on lips can quickly dry out due to sun exposure and high temperatures. In mild cases, this can cause dryness and irritation. It can also cause more serious burns that lead to blistering and bleeding.
Long term sun exposure can cause more serious conditions, including actinic keratoses. These are precancerous growths that can be dangerous if left untreated. Sun exposure can also cause keratoacanthomas, a type of skin cancer that can grow on the lips (2).
These cancerous growths can then spread to other parts of the body. Many lip moisturizers come with sun protection. A 2001 study from Switzerland showed that this prevents your lips from drying, as well as adding a layer of protection from UV rays that can cause cancerous growths (3).
3Lip moisturizers help keeps lips safe during the harsh winter. Winter temperature drops and wind can lead to chronic dry lips, a condition where the lips begin to crack and bleed due to rapid moisture loss. Cracked lips can also develop an infection.
This condition, called cheilitis, can spread to the corners of the mouth and cause severe pain (4).
Lip moisturizers can keep lips shielded from winter weather and rehydrate them after fluid loss. They can also help heal cracked lips and prevent bleeding. Although lip moisturizers alone won’t heal cheilitis, they can help protect the infected area and keep it from drying out, speeding up recovery.
4Lip moisturizers have anti-aging benefits. A 2019 study showed that as people age, the lips slowly lose volume, becoming tighter and thinner (5).
However, some of this is simply due to dried out lips. When moisture is retained, the volume can return. Lip moisturizer can help add volume back by retaining moisture and keeping lips from cracking. It can also prevent volume loss over time by keeping lips hydrated.
Lip moisturizers can significantly increase volume and reverse signs of aging (6).
Many moisturizers can also help lips retain moisture, making them look fuller.
5Lip moisturizers can speed up lip wound healing. When lips are dry, it can take time for them to rehydrate and heal. In severe cases, the lips may stay chronically chapped, causing painful cracks and bleeding.
A 2016 study shows that lip moisturizers can help speed the healing process along by protecting the sensitive surface of the lips and keeping moisture in (7).
They can also promote healing by keeping out bacteria and shielding cracked areas from the environment. Moisturizers that have sunscreen speed healing by preventing extra damage by UV rays.
6Lip moisturizers create fuller lips without an operation. Lip moisturizers are a safer and more affordable way to fill out thin lips than injections. They cause few side effects other than mild swelling. They are also fully reversible, so there are no permanent effects from using lip moisturizers.
Some lip moisturizers work by using ingredients such as cinnamon or ginger that increase blood flow to the lips. This extra blood makes the lips appear fuller for a short period. Once the plumper wears off, the lips return to normal without any residual swelling or irritation.
7Lip moisturizers reduce pain. Severely chapped lips can lead to severe pain, as well as bleeding and discomfort. Lip moisturizers can help alleviate pain and soothe lips by protecting the damaged area.
A 2011 study showed that many lip moisturizers also contain natural substances, such as honey, that help reduce pain and stimulate healing (8).
Other lip balms come with anesthetics. These substances slightly numb the lips, reducing sensitivity and pain.
8Lip moisturizers add color to lips. When lips dry out, they also lose some of their color. Lip moisturizers can add natural pink color back to lips, without any artificial coloring that can irritate the tissue.
Lip moisturizers are also gentler on the lips than most lipsticks, making them a good natural option if you want color without any harsh additives.
9Lip moisturizers are an all natural way to protect the lips. There are many lip moisturizers that use natural ingredients such as olive oil to protect and hydrate. These may be better for lips that are sensitive or have allergic reactions when using products with additives. Natural products are free of alcohols, which can dry out lips and worsen cracking. They can also lead to volume loss.
Some of them also feature honey, which helps heal damaged lips and prevents infections (9).
These natural products have been shown to be effective in hydrating lips, and may also have added UV protection. A study showed that topical application of olive oil protected mice from UV damage and helped prevent cancerous growths (10).
10Lip moisturizers keep lips protected from excessive salt. When at the beach, the salty water and sun can quickly dry lips and cause cracks. Lip moisturizer can help prevent dehydration from salty water, as well as avoid sunburns. Apply the moisturizer at least 15 minutes before getting in the water or going out in the sun. Choose a product that has petroleum jelly, as this helps prevent fluid loss better than other moisturizers.
11Lip moisturizers add moisture without extra shine. Many traditional lipsticks add shine when applied. Moisturizers can keep lips hydrated without added shine. They do this by using wax, which can moisturize without a shiny look.
12Lip moisturizers help create protection from lip sensitive foods. Food is one of the leading causes of chapped and dry lips. Salty foods suck moisture out of the lips. Spicy foods can also dry out lips and inflame the delicate tissue.
Lip moisturizer protects the lips while eating, creating a seal around the tissue that reduces inflammation from spicy foods and keeps moisture locked in (11).
Try to apply the moisturizer at least 15 minutes before eating so that it has time to absorb and form a protective layer on the lips.
13Lip moisturizers can help soothe cold sores. Cold sores can appear on and around the lips and are caused by a viral infection (12).
Although lip moisturizer cannot cure cold sores, it may be able to help alleviate irritation and reduce pain.
If using a moisturizer to treat cold sores, avoid any products that have added flavorings or substances, as these could possibly irritate the sores, and cause pain. Petroleum jelly moisturizers are safe and are the best at retaining moisture and soothing sores (13).
Lip moisturizers can also help form a protective barrier around cold sores that keeps them from getting infected by any bacteria. Products with natural substances such as honey may help avoid infection and speed healing of sores (14).
1Some lip moisturizers can cause allergic reactions. These reactions can vary from minor swelling to puffy lips that make it difficult to speak. However, these reactions are rare. There are also many lip moisturizers that have natural added flavors. Many of the allergic reactions to lip moisturizers are actually reactions to these flavors. Check the ingredient list before buying to make sure it doesn’t include any substances that you are allergic to.
2Some people also develop contact dermatitis from using lip moisturizers. This condition involves a red, itchy rash on and around the lips, as well as swelling.
Contact dermatitis is not life-threatening and only spreads to other party parts if there also come in contact with the substance that caused the allergic reaction. If you notice a rash after using lip moisturizer, discontinue use, and see a doctor if the rash remains for more than a day.
3Some lip moisturizers that contain sunscreen may make the lips more sensitive. This reaction is usually minor and goes away quickly. If lip sensitivity remains, speak to your doctor.
4Lip moisturizers may increase volume by mildly irritating the lips. This reaction is usually mild, but in some cases can lead to swelling and puffiness.
How much lip moisturizer you will need depends on a number of factors, including lip dryness, size, sun exposure, and temperature.
If using a moisturizer with sunscreen, apply at least 15 minutes before you go outside so that it can absorb. Once outside, continue to use additional moisturizer as needed (15).
When choosing a lip moisturizer, look for one that also contains petroleum. This helps the lips retain moisture better than standard lip balms, and also protects them from extreme temperatures.
Lip moisturizers that contain a type of compound called phenols can actually cause lips to dry out. If you have badly dehydrated lips, try to avoid moisturizers that contain phenols.
There are also lip moisturizers that are designed to be used for sensitive and cracked lips. These products are less likely to cause a reaction and offer an increased level of lip hydration.
In cases of severely dried lips, drink plenty of water in addition to using moisturizer. This will help rehydrate the lips, and the moisturizer will prevent additional fluid loss.
Make sure to apply moisturizer before bed, as lips tend to dry out overnight.
Are lip moisturizers addictive? Some people worry that the use of lip moisturizers can be addictive if they are not careful. Although lip products can form habits, they are not addictive and are perfectly safe if used properly.
Is it safe to put Vaseline on your lips? Yes, Vaseline is safe for lips. In fact, it makes for fantastic lip balm by creating a barrier that seals in moisture, helping to heal dry, chapped lips.
Why are my lips so dry all of a sudden? Lack of moisture can make the problem worse, whether it’s weather-induced or related to a lack of self-care. Little humidity in the air during the winter months is known to cause chapped lips. Frequent sun exposure in the summer can also worsen your condition. Another common cause of chapped lips is habitual licking.
What are dry lips a sign of? Dry lips are often a sign of dehydration.
Is it bad to put lotion on your lips? No, lotion will moisturize your lips safely. To heal chapped lips or even extremely dry skin, you need an occlusive shield, something your skin won’t absorb like Vaseline, vitamin E, or any lip balm to lock in the moisture.
Are dry lips a sign of diabetes? No, it is not. However, it’s a common symptom of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The exact reasons are unknown, but high blood sugar levels could cause dry mouth in people with diabetes. Some medications used to treat diabetes can also cause dry mouth.
Why do my lips peel all the time? Dry peeling lips (also known as cheilitis) can be a sign of anemia (low blood count), certain vitamin deficiencies, and allergies.
Do lip moisturizers cause dryness? Some types of lip balm, including many commercial brands, can temporarily relieve dry lips. However, they may actually cause lips to dry out over time. This is especially common if the product contains phenol, which can remove moisture from the lips.
When choosing a lip moisturizer, try to find one that has ingredients such as petroleum, which help keep moisture in. These products will not increase dryness and will help heal chapped and cracked lips.
Can lip products cause cancer? There have been claims that certain lip products could increase cancer risk. However, there is no evidence to back up these claims.
Some lip moisturizers can cause allergic reactions, but these are not linked to cancer. If you are worried about a lip product aggravating your lips, choose one without any flavored additives. This will reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.
Will lip moisturizers go bad? Many lip moisturizers will have long shelf lives, so they should last a while before you need to throw them out. Most products will have an expiration date printed on the package. Although some of these products may still be fine after the expiration date, you should consider throwing it out and replacing it.
What type of lip moisturizer is best? There’s a wide variety of different lip products available for different uses, so there’s not one product that will be best for everyone.
However, you should generally avoid lip moisturizers that contain phenols. These can cause the lips to dry out further and may cause chapped lips.
Look for a product that has petroleum jelly. These are the best at retaining moisture and preventing chapped lips. They also tend to have fewer additives, making them less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
What SPF sunscreen should a lip moisturizer have? Lips are some of the most sensitive tissue in the body and need protection from the sun. When looking for a moisturizer, choose one that has an SPF that is at least 30. Make sure to apply moisturizer frequently, as it can dry out quickly when exposed directly to the sun.
How does lip moisturizer for plumping work? Lip moisturizers for plumping increase volume by stimulating blood flow to the lips. They do this with a number of different natural ingredients, including ginger, cinnamon, and small amounts of hot pepper. These ingredients can trigger a small reaction in the lips that leads to swelling and redness. This swelling is minor and temporary, and in most cases causes minimal irritation to the lips. However, there are some cases where lip moisturizers can cause more serious swelling that is due to an allergic reaction. This is fairly rare, but you should contact a doctor if the swelling does not go away.
Lip moisturizers are some of the most effective ways of retaining moisture and increasing volume. They are often safe but may cause a few side effects.
They can help protect lips from cracking and chapping and prevent damage from wind and temperature. Lip moisturizers can also speed the healing process, helping ease pain and reduce bleeding. Use of lip moisturizers with sunscreen can prevent the development of dangerous skin growths (16).
The sunscreen may also help lips stay fuller when exposed to the sun by keeping lips hydrated.
Lip moisturizers are an affordable and safe alternative to lip injections. They can increase volume while keeping lips moist and protected from the sun.
There are few side effects associated with the use of lip moisturizers. Most side effects can be avoided by choosing a product that has few additives.