This article discusses how to combat chapped and dry lips in people with celiac disease and gluten intolerances. This article contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
You’re not alone if you have celiac disease and suffer from dry, chapped lips.
Dry lips are a real issue for millions of people, particularly those with digestive disorders like celiac disease, an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the small intestine whenever a person with celiac eats gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats.
In one study, researchers found a “significant association” between celiac disease and dry mouth, specifically a decrease in salivary flow by 36 percent among celiac patients.
And while the connection between dry mouth and lips and celiac disease is a stretch, and other studies have failed to find a connection, many experts say that patients complaining of “dry mouth sensation” should be screened for celiac disease.
In this article, I set out to understand why so many people (with celiac disease and in general) suffer from chapped and dry lips and share what I found below.
But before I share, I want to give a shoutout to Red Apple Lipstick because it makes products that combat dry lips, and its products are 100 percent certified gluten-free. Bye, dry lips. Hello, shiny and healthy smile!
If you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance or want to try some dang good lip products and cosmetics, use the coupon code GOODFORYOUGF, to get 20 percent off your purchase when you shop my affiliate link.
Possible Causes of Dry Lips
While there may be a connection between celiac disease and dry mouth, which can lead to dry, chapped lips, millions worldwide are dealing with dry lips, and it’s not exclusively a gluten-related problem.
But why do so many people suffer from dry lips? The six most common reasons are as follows:
(1) Diet and Disease Impacts Lip Health
Eating right and caring for your body can help you achieve healthy and vibrant lips, hair, nails, and skin. A healthy inside usually makes for a healthy outside appearance.
In fact, poor lip health is often a sign of a poor diet, a nutritional deficiency (hello, celiac disease!), or another serious health condition.
For example, suppose you have an undiagnosed food sensitivity, allergy, or autoimmune disease like celiac disease. These disorders may lead to serious digestive issues, preventing your small intestine from fully absorbing nutrients from your food. The small intestine feeds every cell and organ in the body, leading to nutritional deficiencies that will likely impact the skin and lips.
People with undiagnosed or unmanaged celiac disease typically have trouble absorbing nutrients. But once they remove gluten from their diet, their body begins to heal, and they can again absorb nutrients properly.
Other experts say that dry lips may indicate a fatty acid deficiency. Few people get sufficient fatty acids in their diet (especially those on a low-fat diet), but fatty acids are essential nutrients that the body needs.
To ensure you get enough healthy fats, consume foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds, olives and olive oil, and fatty fish like salmon. I also recommend (and personally take) a high-quality fish oil supplement.
(2) Dehydration Can Lead to Dry Lips
Dehydration is an issue for many people, as 75 percent of Americans don’t drink enough water! Most people mistake thirst for hunger. They eat instead of drinking water, failing to pick up on their body’s thirst cues.
The simple remedy is to drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you, and hydrate your lips from the inside out all day long.
(3) Dead Cells Can Lead to Dry Lips
Lips retain dead cells, so it’s essential to exfoliate the lips each night before bed. Dead cells may also inhibit lipstick’s staying power, so if you want your lip color to last, you must exfoliate those lips!
Red Apple Lipstick makes an amazing Exfoliant Stick that you can use to eliminate those dead cells. I use the Exfoliant Stick every night to “dust off” the dead cells and keep my lips healthy and clean.
(4) Dry Climate Leads to Dry Lips
If you live in a dry climate (like me in Denver), chances are you reach for the lip balm more often than you’d like.
A way to combat dry lips related to climate is to use a humidifier, especially in the bedroom at night. A humidifier will add moisture to the air and hydrate your lips while you sleep.
(5) Harsh Chemicals Create Chapped Lips
If you ever want to have a fighting chance of having healthy lips, lose the harsh chemicals. Harsh chemicals dry out your lips and make them look and feel worse in the long run.
Here are some common chemicals to avoid in your lip care products:
- Petroleum: Petroleum is a refined version of the gasoline you’re putting in your car – yuk!
- Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT): BHA is a preservative found in some lip products that are classified as “possibly carcinogenic.”
- Parabens: Any chemical ending in the word “-paraben” is considered a paraben and may be an endocrine disruptor.
- Fragrances: Fragrances are often coded for phthalates, chemicals classified as hormone disruptors.
- Oxybenzone: This is a tough one, as oxybenzone protects your lips from the sun’s harsh rays; however, it’s also a hormone disruptor.
I like that Red Apple Lipstick contains no harsh chemicals that dry out lips and disrupt hormones. Non-toxic ingredients, like Vitamin E, will condition and moisturize the lips and restore their natural beauty. Many Red Apple Lipstick products contain Vitamin E.
Please note that some Vitamin E is derived from wheat germ (gluten). However, gluten is typically removed when wheat germ is refined. If using a product that contains Vitamin E, look for other clues on the label to see if the product is gluten-free. A gluten-free label will always be your safest bet.
The following Red Apple Lipstick products contain Vitamin E (and are certified gluten-free):
- Instant Color Formula Lipsticks
- Original Formula Lipsticks
- Summer Passion Formula Lipsticks
- X-series Formula Lipsticks
- Mint 2 Be lipgloss formula
- Rallye Balm
(6) Bad Habits Lead to Dry Lips
Finally, lip licking, lip biting, mouth breathing, and rubbing your lips with your hands are all bad habits that can affect your lip health. Rid yourself of these bad habits to restore your lips to their original beauty.
You Can Combat Dry Lips
There are many causes of dry lips, from poor diet to living in a dry climate and lathering your lips with harsh chemicals.
You might also like these articles:
- Gluten-Free Makeup, Skincare, and Beauty Brands
- Is Your Lip Balm Gluten Free? The Scoop on Which Lip Balms are (and are NOT) Gluten Free
- Guide to Gluten-Free Sunscreen
- Gluten and Celiac Mouth Sores, Canker Sores, and Cold Sores
- Geographic Tongue (Glossitis) and the Gluten Connection
- Gluten-Free Toothpaste Guide
- Is There Gluten in Medications?
- Can Gluten Cause Acne?