(Paleo friends, I know you can relate to this)
Recently, my lips took a turn for the worse. I have been suffering from extremeIy chapped and cracking lips that are painful and unsightly. I know, I know, many of you are thinking it is probably due to the season change, I did too. But when my condition did not improve after a week of continuous moisturizing with natural lip care, I started to investigate other causes.
What I found was a ton of information on chapped lips and low carb diets. Yes, you heard that right. Low carb diets may be depleting your body from the nutrition it needs. This can cause vitamin deficiencies that create unwanted symptoms like chapped lips. Although I don’t “follow” a low carb diet, I do eat a strict plant based diet and haven’t been consuming a lot of carbs over the last few months. So, when I started craving bread (craving is a sign of nutritional deficiency) along with my chapped lips, I was able to make the connection.
Read "What's All the Crave?"
Chapped lips are a common occurrence in the Paleo world where people follow a low sugar, low carb diet. People who follow this type of diet undergo Ketosis which is a normal metabolic process that burns stored fats because the body does not have enough glucose for energy. This also causes a build-up of acids called ketones within the body.
Once your body enters ketosis, you don’t use your insulin reservoirs as much, which allows your body to release more fluids than it is used to releasing. This is why Ketosis causes a diuretic effect because glycogen stores are being emptied. This increase in output (aka pee) can cause dry mouth, chapped lips and increased sensations of thirst.
Obviously, it's not just people on low-carb diets who may experience chapped lips so if you have been experiencing ouchy, unsightly lips, here are 6 ways to prevent them.
- Drink more water and make sure you have enough sodium to absorb the water that you are drinking? (Sodium requirements are higher on a ketogenic diet)
- Eat more healthy carbs! You’re welcome. If you are on a low carb diet, get carbohydrate calories from safe starches (like sweet potato’s or white rice)
- You can add internal moisturizer by taking Coconut Oil, other MCT oils (medium-chain triglycerides), and/or Omega 3 fish oil
- Reduce your intake of high acid foods
- Reduce your Vitamin A intake as too much can cause chapped lips
- Use a non-toxic lip conditioner AND natural lip balm to get through the pain
Here are the best natural face products that are perfect for healing dry, cracked lips which I have been using to tackle my unsightly lip issues.