High And Dry: How Low Humidity Damages Your Skin (Especially Your Lips)

COML Staff

Most of us probably know that harsh, dry air has a pretty serious impact on how our skin feels. But today, we’d like to provide you with a simple little reminder: When your skin feels dry and rough, that’s not just discomfort — it’s a warning from your skin.

While your skin is naturally moistened by your sebaceous glands, unusually dry air can sap that moisture out of your skin. Additionally, if the arid environment goes with high temperatures, perspiration can actually make things even worse through its dehydrating effect. Dry air isn’t really any kinder in colder climates, though, as its moisture-leeching effects are still just as fierce.

So what’s the answer to protecting your skin against the dehydrating effects of bone-dry air? Most importantly for your entire body, not just your skin, is adequate hydration. The less moisture your skin collects from the air, the more it needs to produce for itself. So keeping hydrated is Step 1 in keeping your skin soft and healthy from the inside.

But not all skin is the same, and that first step is great, but it’s not the complete answer for all of your skin. The skin of your lips is different — here’s how:

First, the outer protective layer of the skin of your lips, called the stratum corneum, is much thinner than it is on the rest of your skin. Second, those sebaceous glands that moisturize the rest of your skin from the inside? If you guessed, “My lips don’t have those, do they?” Bingo.

That’s why it’s up to you to provide the moisture your lips need, and they need it most when the air is hot — or cold — and dry. And that’s why we use plenty of moisturizers in our lip balm: to provide your lips with the protection that’s vital to keeping them healthy and beautiful.