Can Lipstick Cause Chapped Lips? [It can!]

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Closeup of chapped lips with a cracks
  • Chapped lips can be caused by using lip balms and lipsticks with ingredients that irritate the skin, such as beeswax, mint, or cinnamon
  • If you have inflamed or swollen lips, you may have an allergic reaction to a product you’re using
  • If you have dry and peeling lips, you may have a skin condition called lip eczema
  • If your lips are red and inflamed, it’s likely that both your lip and skincare products are irritating them

My friend was always getting chapped lips, and we weren’t sure why. We knew that it was from her lipstick, because she would always get them after wearing it, but we weren’t sure what was causing the issue.

We did some research and found out that the ingredients in her lipstick were causing it. The lipstick was made with peppermint and cinnamon, which were irritating her lips and making them chapped.

I recommended that she stop using the lipstick and switch to a formula that was fragrance-free and glycerin-based.

She did, and her lips stopped getting chapped. She found that she might have had an allergy to the ingredients in her lipstick, and that’s why her lips were getting chapped.

So, can lipstick cause chapped lips?

Most lipstick brands claim that their products won’t dry out your lips. However, it is quite common for people to experience that this is not actually the case. Their lips can feel dry after that have been wearing lipstick all day long, and this can lead to their lips becoming chapped. Some of the most commonly asked questions about lipstick and chapped lips are answered below.

What Type Of Lipstick Causes Chapped Lips?

It seems to be the case that matte lipstick makes lips dry quite often. This may be because it does not contain as much moisture as glossier lipsticks. There is also more pigment in matte lipsticks, as this is what gives it its vibrant color. However, this can also have a drying effect on your lips.

Having to reapply your lipstick throughout the day can be annoying, and so there are lipsticks which have been developed which can last all day. However, these types of lipsticks have also been associated with chapped lips. Again, this is because there will be less moisture in these types of lipsticks.

Can You Wear Lipstick If Your Lips Are Chapped?

woman touching her lips
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If your lips are chapped, then you can still wear lipstick, but you may need to prep your lips beforehand. Putting lipstick onto your lips as they are may dry your lips out further, which will not give the chapping time to heal.

Putting a small amount of lip balm onto your lips before your lipstick is applied can make all the difference. If only a small amount is used, then it will help protect your lips from drying out further without affecting the application of your lipstick.

There are also lipsticks you can buy that have moisturizing properties. These may not do anything to reduce the chapping that is already present, but it may stop your lips getting worse.

Another alternative is to just apply Vaseline and then use lip liner to add a bit of color. This gives your lips time to heal and you will still look as if you are wearing lipstick.

Will Lipstick Make Chapped Lips Look Worse?

woman lips enlarge with magnifying glass
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If you are going to wear lipstick when your lips are already chapped, then there are some things to be aware of.

Chapped lips may look more noticeable if you are wearing a dark lipstick. Try and choose a color that is not too different to the shade of your lips.

Choosing a glossy shade will give your lips a more nourished look and make any chapping look less noticeable. If you can give your lips a wet look, then this can really disguise the chapping.

As discussed above, you shouldn’t apply any lipstick directly to your lips when they are chapped. Use Vaseline as a base and do not keep your lipstick on longer than you need to.

What Can You Do To Ease Chapped Lips?

When you are not wearing lipstick, there are things you can do to make your lips less dry and ease the chapping.

Vaseline is a good choice for helping to keep your lips moisturized. As well as helping to ease lips that are already chapped, it can also prevent any further chapping occurring.

Many people choose to apply Vaseline, or other brands of lip balm, just before they go to bed. This allows it to get to work overnight and is a time when you wouldn’t be wearing make up.

So Does Lipstick Really Cause Chapped Lips?

If you have not experienced problems with dry lips before, then lipstick is probably not going to cause your lips to become chapped. However, if you find that you are prone to chapped lips, then wearing certain lipsticks can make the situation worse.

Avoiding lipsticks that have a matte finish, or are designed to stay in place all day can help ensure that your lips do not get too dried out.