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It is not unusual for some women to develop cheilitis while wearing lipstick because not all lipsticks are moisturizing
Zoe Diana Draelos, M.D.It is not unusual for some women to develop cheilitis while wearing lipstick because not all lipsticks are moisturizing. This may be surprising for some! Very moisturizing creamy lipsticks do not stay on the lips for long. They are easy to rub on and also easy to rub off. Moisturizing lipsticks also tend to migrate into the upper and lower lip lines smearing all around the mouth. Lipsticks that are advertised as long-wearing or smudge-proof or all-day-wear contain an ingredient known as a bromo acid. This acid interacts with the lip transitional mucosa to stain the lips a red color, which allows the lip color to be long lasting. However, the lip stain is also drying to the lips. Women who complain of dry lips should avoid these long wearing lipsticks.
Another source of lip dryness is the two part lip products. These products are removed from an automatic cylinder with a sponge tipped brush and stroked over the lips. One end of the cylinder contains a thin colored liquid and the other end contains a clear unpigmented or lightly pigmented lip gloss. These products have a staining pigmented liquid polymer that binds to the lips for long lasting color, but also produces dryness and irritation in some women. The lip gloss that comes with the product is designed to minimize the dryness and moisturize the lips, but it may be insufficient for mature lip moisturization. These products should also be avoided in persons prone to chelitis.
Women who like these long wearing lip cosmetics should use a lip balm every night on their lips to counteract the drying effect. They also may wish to use the long wearing lip product next to the lip and a more moisturizing lip stick on top to get long lasting color with better lip protection.