Dry lips drive me crazy. The last thing I do at night is slather balm on my lips because I cannot fall asleep if my lips are dry. I rarely ever leave home with out “lip stuff” as I call it. To say I am obsessed, my be an understatement.
A few weeks ago, I noticed that my lips were consistently dry and chapped. The creases in my lips had deepened and my skin felt taut. I tried to combat by moisturizing a little extra. I used Vaseline (my go to), Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Intensive Repair Balm (SO GOOD), lip scrubs… didn’t work. I tried sloughing off the dry skin but nothing really worked for long. I thought maybe it was my matte lipstick so I stopped using it for a while (a very painful decision) but that didn’t help either! What tipped me off that something was really wrong is that my lips were not absorbing moisture. Anything I applied just sat on top of my skin; the tight and dry feeling remained no matter what I did. I got so frustrated that I went to my dermatologist, Dr. Mack, to get some insight.
I told her that I had been experiencing dry lips for an extended period of time and nothing I did seemed to help. What she said shocked me – “it could be your toothpaste.” She suggested that I try a toothpaste without fluoride and sodium laurel sulfate.
Fluoride I had heard of because my mom had told me for years that fluoride free toothpaste was best but I’d never heard of sodium laurel sulfate. Turns out it’s a foaming/cleansing agent that most companies use. It’s also found in shampoo. It has the tendency to cause dry, itchy and cracked skin.
I switched my toothpaste immediately and after two days I found that my lips were retaining moisture again. I was ecstatic to have found the culprit! Not winter, not dry heat, not my matte lipstick (thank God!).
A few weeks after the switch, I ran out of toothpaste so I used my hubby’s for a few days and noticed the dryness coming back! It just makes sense, the more chemicals in the toothpaste the higher the chance that you can have a sensitivity to it. I can’t believe I didn’t consider that.
So if you have dry lips and nothing seems to work for you… try switching that toothpaste! I use Tom’s (which still has SLS but the version that’s derived from coconut) and it works for me.