It’s happened to everyone—the seemingly inevitable chapping of your lips at the beginning of fall. The seasons are changing, and your lips aren’t holding moisture as well as the rest of your body, and all you want is some relief from the dryness.

Enter lip balm, that powerful tool to change the face of fall.

Or not? Recently, lip balm use has come with a smack of worry, desire for relief being outshined by debates about whether lip balm includes ingredients that keep you reaching for it again and again, even after it should have already helped with the chapping.

Let’s discuss the myth of lip balm addiction, and the facts about its use. You’ll be relieved to know that all you need to do is double check that you’re avoiding petroleum-based ingredients, only using the best possible products for your body!

Why Do My Lips Chap?

The skin of your lips is very different than the skin of the rest of your body. Not only do lips have a thinner lining, but they do not have sweat glands for providing moisture, or hair to protect against the sun. Saliva can be a nemesis of your lips—as saliva evaporates, so too do the helpful oils that keep them moisturized—so do your best to not lick them!

Chapping can also happen when you find yourself breathing through your mouth. Not only this, but dry air within your home or the outdoors can cause cracking of the skin, and as the weather gets colder, these arid conditions are going to draw you towards covering your mouth—creating condensation that can ruin those smackers!

The sun can also play a role in your lip health. UV rays cause damage to the epidermis of your lips and can cause peeling and cracking. You might not think a few hours on the beach will affect your skin too much, but your lips will probably show otherwise!

You May Have a Sensitivity to Certain Ingredients

So when you do reach for the lip balm, is it really going to hurt to put just a little on? The answer is, maybe! Lip balms aren’t engineered to chap your lips; however, it is possible that you are sensitive to one or more of the many ingredients often found in lip balms. Sensitivity can lead to compulsive lip-balm-use. Just keep in mind that these sensitivities can be different for everyone!

It’s Time to Go Natural

Your lip balm should do the trick within 2-3 applications after your lips begin to chap. But the more you apply some lip balms, the more you might feel you need it. This isn’t your imagination, it’s created by design to sell more product!  

Many traditional lip balms are made with synthetic ingredients that create a barrier on your lips like petrolatum, mineral oil and other silicones. These lock in moisture, temporarily nourishing your lips, but condition your skin to not maintain its own moisture levels. Your lips get used to the barrier, making them feel even dryer without the balm.

Switching from a petrolatum-based lip balm to a product with more nourishing organic and natural ingredients like ours with coconut oil and shea butter might take some getting used to, but remember that you are giving your body what it needs! Once you bring your skin back to balance, remember not to compulsively over apply. Just use it when you need a little extra moisture or during seasonal changes!

If your lip balm isn’t doing the trick, try one like our After Sun Lip Balm, made with truly nourishing certified organic ingredients.

Find a Lip Balm with SPF Protection

It’s easy to forget about your lips when you’re applying sunscreen, but it’s important to protect them, too! Don’t just swipe some ordinary sunscreen from your face onto your lips, either—that may cause further irritation. Instead, choose a lip balm that already has SPF protection, like our SPF 30 Cherry Sun Protect Lip Balm! Our SPF 30 lip balm is mineral-based and won’t glide like a traditional lip balm when applied, but the minerals are nourishing as well as biodegradable, so you’ll definitely be getting the most out of your sun protectant lip balm!

Even if you think you’re not going to be in the sun long enough, give your lips the best possible chance to stay healthy this fall!

Don’t hold back from using the balm. And most importantly, don’t wait until it is too late! Protecting and moisturizing your lips before you go driving, hitting the beach, or venturing out in dry weather can be what saves you from days of discomfort!

Experience. Respect. Explore.

Share your adventures with us! Show us how you share your love of the oceans, rivers, lakes, and streams around the world! Simply use the hashtag #Stream2Sea on Twitter and Instagram—and tell us why you love being on and in the water.

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