Creatures Of Habit: How We All May Be Sabotaging Our Lips (Pt 1)

COML Staff

Part 1: Licking And Biting

Some of the most persistent kinds of damage our lips are exposed to, day in and day out, are actually… our own fault. I know nobody wants to read that. I didn’t really want to accept it, myself, but it’s true.

Our everyday habits, formed over the course of our lives, can actually do as much damage to the delicate skin of our lips as the harshest environmental factors.

Our next few posts will outline a few habits to avoid — and a few to pick up — to safeguard the health of your lips:

Licking or Biting Your Lips

There are a couple ways people pick up this habit: The sensation of dry lips is a major one. The problem is that, as counter-intuitive as this sounds, licking your lips actually dries them more. See, both air and your own breath will evaporate your saliva. While this imitates the cooling effect of perspiration, your saliva leaves behind enzymes that actually sap moisture from your lips, making the situation worse.

Biting is a more insidious habit in that it typically stems from mental or emotional stress, and tends to act as a defense mechanism by providing the mind with mild physical discomfort as a distraction. Unfortunately, it also puts sustained physical stress on the skin of your lips, and over time can cause damage.

Unfortunately, while a lip balm can reduce these damaging effects to some degree, it’s not a complete answer in and of itself. But here are a couple ways that it can help:

It can prevent the sensation of dryness that prompts the urge to lick your lips. How? Its moisturizing agents will keep lips feeling just right. How can lip balm help with stress-related biting? Well, that one is going to need a little more help from you. Now that you know that biting can damage your lips, the feeling and flavor of the lip balm on your teeth and tongue can be a red flag in your mind: Oh, wow, I hadn’t noticed I was doing that! I should cut that out!

Thanks for reading, and keep those lips healthy!